Luke 12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
The Bible presents a very balanced picture toward wealth and material blessings. It points out the benefits as well as the warnings. One of the dangers of prosperity that we never hear much about is covetousness which Jesus addressed in this parable in Luke 12. Covetousness is the word for avarice, greed, or the greediness of gain. The word covetousness literally means “a desire for more.” The antidote to it is teaching contentment, stewardship, and giving when we teach on prosperity.
Jesus gives the mistakes that a successful businessman made that we can learn from in this parable. We are stewards of the Gospel, our time, our talent (gifts) and our treasure. As stewards all of us will one day have to give account of our stewardship. 1 Cor. 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Hopefully we learn before that time that it isn’t a spectator sport but something all of us must participate in. What are some lessons we can learn from the successful businessman?
1. He forgot about God. God was the reason for his success.
2. He forgot the purpose of the surplus and his labor. He thought only of himself.
3. He forgot his fellowman.
4. He forgot he could not satisfy his soul with material things.
5. He was foolish in laying up treasures in the wrong place.
6. He was at the center of the decisions of what to do with it (vv. 17-19 notice how many times he says, “I”).
7. He was foolish into thinking that he might somehow live forever and never face a day of accounting.
God’s blessing us and increasing us financially was never meant to cause a shift in our trust in Him or to lead us to live independent lives. We are warned in Psalm 62: 10 that , “… if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” REMEMBER, GOD NEVER BLESSES US TO CREATE A LIFE WHERE HE BECOMES UNNECESSARY