6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Deuteronomy 31:1–32:27
Luke 12:8-34
Psalm 78:32-55
Proverbs 12:21-23

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Luke 12:15 (CSB): “He then told them, ‘Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.'”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Money often creates massive rifts between people. Families are not immune. As a pastor, I have observed a handful of families that were thrown into turmoil when their parents died. They wanted their share of the inheritance.

I will never forget one phone call I received many years ago from a woman who was thinking about suing her siblings over her parent’s inheritance. I opened my Bible and read 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 to her. I encouraged her to realize that a Jesus-follower must sometimes embrace injustice and refuse to take legal action because of the higher law of love.

This is what Jesus was addressing in our Verse for Today. Let’s look at this brief story…

Luke 12:13 (CSB): “Someone from the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.'”

Awkward! Or, in the vernacular of today’s kids: “Cringy!”

The fact that an inheritance was being discussed meant that a parent had died. The fact that this man brought this matter up to Jesus meant that the family was experiencing turmoil after the death of the parent … over money!

Rather than grieving over the demise of the parent and then honoring their parent’s memory by maintaining good relationships, the family was arguing over money.

Jesus would have none of it! This was wrong! This was also a teaching moment and Jesus was going to address the matter clearly.

Luke 12:14 (CSB): “‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?'”

As Jesus confronted error and a wicked heart, He said, “Friend.” Even when Jesus spoke harsh truths, He did it because He loved the person(s) he was talking to.

Jesus made it clear that He didn’t come to settle family squabbles. He had come to address the heart attitudes behind matters like family squabbles.

And then He labeled the sin for what it was…

Luke 12:15 (CSB): “He then told them, ‘Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.'”

Greed!

The man felt that he was being wronged by a sibling who had taken more than his fair share of the inheritance. Maybe he was right. Maybe he wasn’t. But, that wasn’t the real issue. Regardless of the merits of his complaint, it was only an issue to the man because money was his god. He was greedy!

Friend, Jesus not only labeled the man as being greedy, He also made it clear that our life shouldn’t be limited or defined by something so fleeting as money. You are worth so much more than the money that rests in your bank account, or the stuff that clutters your closets and garage.

And this is serious! A heart characterized by greed demonstrates a heart that is headed for Hell. Just listen to what the Bible has to say about this…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (CSB): “Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

While true Jesus-followers will periodically battle thoughts of greed, it will not be the nature of their heart. If greed, or anything else on the above list, is what characterizes us, then we are demonstrating a heart that has not been transformed by the saving work of Christ.

So, my friend, realize that while it is our moral obligation to work in order to take care of ourselves (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) and our loved ones (1 Timothy 5:8), it becomes sinful if we continually want more.

Greed is sinful … and very serious!

Let me end this post with God’s Word on greed (sin) and contentment (the righteous alternative). I pray that if greed is an issue for you that you will acknowledge it, repent of it, and gain victory over it.

Philippians 4:11 (CSB): “I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.

1 Timothy 6:8–10 (CSB): “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Hebrews 13:5 (CSB): “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.”