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"David's Godly Heritage"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2022 5:00 am

"David's Godly Heritage"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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January 9, 2022 5:00 am

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Jesus life God Greed money heaven make guy people rich Jesus
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Hi there. This is Lon Solomon and I'd like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God has given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's Word as it is uncompromising and straightforward. And I'm so glad you've tuned in to listen and be part of that.

Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio. And now let's get to the Word of God. Does accumulating lots and lots of money really make people happy? Would it make you happy if you had lots and lots and lots of money? Or is there a better way to look at money?

Is there a better way to handle money? A way that will bring more fulfillment and more happiness to our lives and will bring us the blessing of God along with it? That's what Jesus wants to talk to us about. The title of my message this morning is Greed Your Enemy.

And I want to try to convince you that it is and why before we're done this morning. So let's look. Verse 13, chapter 12. Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. One day Jesus was teaching spiritual truth to this crowd. And a guy came up and said, Now, Jesus, I want you to arbitrate a financial dispute between me and my brother.

It was common for rabbis to be asked to settle legal cases. So there wasn't anything wrong with him asking Jesus this. But Jesus totally blows this guy off. Look what he says to him. Verse 14. He says, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you two guys?

Now, why did Jesus respond like this? Well, in Israel, the laws of inheritance were very clearly laid out. The older brother was always the executor of the will. And then he decided how the estate was divided up among the rest of the family.

What we obviously have here is one of the younger brothers coming to Jesus. And his feeling is that his older brother cheated him. And he wants more of the inheritance. He didn't get all that he thought he ought to get. Now, did the guy get some of his dad's money?

Yeah. Was all of that found money? I mean, he didn't work for any of that, earn any of that. Shouldn't that just be looked at as found money? And shouldn't he just have been grateful for whatever he got?

Yeah. But was he? No, he wanted more. And so Jesus looked through the outward facade here and said, The real thing that's motivating this guy is greed. And I'm not going to be a part of satisfying his greed. So Jesus said, I'm sorry, I'm not going to be any help to you.

But then he turned this into a teaching opportunity about greed. Look what he said, verse 15. And Jesus said to the crowd, Watch out and be on your guard against all kinds of greed. The Greek word here that's translated beyond your guard is a word that means to guard yourself against or defend yourself against or even vaccinate yourself against something that would harm you.

Now, think about what Jesus is saying. He is saying there's something we should vaccinate ourselves against. What is it that is so deadly to the soul spiritually that Jesus said we should vaccinate our souls against it the same way we vaccinate our bodies against polio?

What would it be? Well, he says, Watch out, vaccinate yourself against all kinds of greed. What's greed? Well, greed is an excessive love for money or material things. Greed, it means you get a thrill from just getting, getting, getting hoarding, hoarding, hoarding, holding, holding, holding my mind. That's greed. Greed is the opposite of generosity. Generosity gives greed what?

Hoards. That's greed. And Jesus said, vaccinate yourself against it.

Why? Well, he's going to tell us a little story that'll help us understand why. Look what he said. He said, verse 16, he told him a little story. The ground of a certain rich man had produced a big crop and he thought to himself, what am I going to do? I don't have any place to store all these new crops. Now, would you notice at the beginning of the story, the main character is a certain man, and at the beginning of the story, he's already rich.

You see that? This is not a poor, struggling farmer barely eking out an existence when suddenly he hits it big. This is a guy whose barns are already full. And he has a dilemma. The dilemma is he's got a new crop coming in and he doesn't know what to do with it. He doesn't live in America where he's in the 38% bracket, so he's going to have a lot of this left over for him. What am I going to do with all of it?

I don't have any room to even put it in the barn, he said. Well, you say, well, why didn't the guy give the excess away to poor people? Why doesn't he go through the community and find needy people and give it to them? Why not use his wealth to bless the lives of other people? You guys are so smart. You're such a smart crowd.

That's why I love working with you guys, because that's the whole point of this. You see, this is what Jesus is going to try to drive home to us. The Bible tells this rich guy exactly how he ought to use these excess funds. Listen to Deuteronomy 15. It says, there will be poor people in the land always. Therefore, I command you, be open handed towards the poor and the needy.

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart. And if you do, the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you put your hand to. This man had a great opportunity staring right in the face, an opportunity to show love and compassion to needy people, an opportunity to ease their burden in life a little bit, an opportunity to earn God's blessing, to earn God's favor and an opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven. He had a great opportunity. And what did he do? He blew it.

He blew it royally. Look what he did. Verse 18. He said, I know what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and I'll build bigger barns where I can store all of my grain and all of my goods. And I'll say to myself, self, you have plenty of good things laid up for many years now. Kick back, take life easy, eat, drink, be merry, consume it on yourself. Instead of sharing his wealth, this guy decided to hoard it.

He said, now wait a minute, hold on just a second. Are you saying it's wrong to save a little bit for a rainy day? I mean, are you saying it's wrong to have a retirement account? Do you say it's wrong to have a reserve fund?

Not at all. But you need those things. But you see, this guy already had them.

His barns were already packed to the gills. He didn't have any more room to put anything anywhere. We're not talking here about foresight. We're not talking here about retirement planning. We're not talking here about being a good financial manager. The guy already had done all of those things.

We're talking here about raw greed, just simple greed. And our friend thought he had it all planned out. And he did, except for one minor detail. He forgot about eternity. Look at verse 20.

And God said to him, you fool, you fool. This very night, your life's demanded of you and who's going to get all that stuff that you've saved up for you, huh? You're not going to take it with you.

Who's going to get it? This is how it will be, Jesus said, with anyone who stores up things for himself here on earth, but is not rich towards God. This man lived under the assumption, friends, he was staying here for a long, long period of time, indefinitely, that he was immortal, that he was bulletproof.

But he made a serious miscalculation. And when it came his time to go, and I might add rather unexpectedly, his heavenly portfolio didn't exist. His bank account with regard to God read zero. He had made every provision for this life, but he hadn't made any provision for life on the other side. And Jesus said, you fool, you fool. Now that's the end of our story, but it leaves us with the important question. You know what that is, don't you?

What is it? So what? Right. Is it interesting to you that Jesus called this guy a fool? Because you know why? It's interesting to me when I look at this guy from all outward appearances, he doesn't look like a fool. Does he look like a fool to you?

Think now. He was a law abiding citizen. I mean, there's no indication he was involved with the mafia or with crooked business dealings or business scams.

Okay. Number two, he was a hardworking man. He was diligent. He was conscientious. He was engaged.

Nobody could produce crops like this as a farmer unless they're diligent and hardworking, right? He was a good manager of his funds. He wasn't a gambler. He wasn't a squanderer.

He already had his barns full. He was an upstanding guy in the community. There's no indication he was an alcoholic or that he was on drugs or that he had a mistress or he hung out with gals. He weren't his wife. I mean, the guy was a model citizen. He's the kind of guy you'd love to have as your neighbor, but Jesus called him a fool.

Now, why would Jesus call a guy like this a fool? The answer is because he was greedy and his greed had cost him two critical things and made a fool out of him. Number one, greed had cost him the kind of lifestyle that really makes life worth living.

Greed had cost him the kind of lifestyle that really makes life fulfilling and rewarding. I skipped a little bit. Did you notice I skipped a tiny bit of this when we went through?

Let's go back and get it. Verse 15. Then Jesus said to them, watch out and be on your guard against all kinds of greed.

I didn't skip that, but here's the part I skipped. For Jesus said, a man's life, a woman's life does not consist in the abundance of the things that they possess. A person's life does not consist in the abundance of things they possess. In other words, Jesus was saying, just having a lot of money won't make life worth living.

Just having a lot of money won't make life truly rich and rewarding. You say, time out. Time out. Hold on right there. Stop.

Lon, I'm not sure I agree with that. I mean, from my point of view, winning the Publishers Clearinghouse would solve all my problems and make my life complete. If I could win that, I'd be a happy person the rest of my life. $10 million.

Are you kidding? I could be happy with that. I could be happy with half of that. Wait a minute. Stop for a second. Would money really make you happy?

I mean, will that really stand the test of real life? Think of some people who've had lots and lots and lots of money. Let's see if they were happy. Let's take, for example, Elvis. What about Elvis? Can you think of anybody who had more than Elvis had?

I mean, $10 million was a drop in the bucket for this guy. And he had Rolls Royces and fancy cars and a fancy mansion. He had anything he wanted anywhere he wanted to go. People knew him. He was rich. He was famous. He had prestige.

He had power. He had women fawning all over him. I mean, if you're a guy, what more could you want than Elvis had? Was Elvis happy?

Are you kidding? Elvis died in an alcoholic stupor of a drug overdose. If you read about his life, he was one of the most miserable human beings on the face of this earth.

His life was a disaster zone. Did money make him happy? You know, some of the most unhappy people I know are people with lots of money.

For one thing, they've got to try to protect it and watch out for it. See, the stock market can do anything it wants. I don't lose sleep because I don't have any money.

Let it go wherever it wants to go. For me, it's just a news item. I don't care.

But you watch people who've got a lot of money in the stock market. Oh, man, forget it. Listen, if money won't make you happy, you say, what will? Lon, if money will not make me happy, then what, please tell me, will make me happy? Well, I'd love to tell you.

Can I tell you? Let me tell you what will make you happy. I want to show you in the Bible. Turn with me back to First Timothy chapter six.

Let me show you what will make you happy. I want you to look at the very end of verse 19. The very end of verse 19 says that in doing whatever the verses before it say, it will result in us being able to take hold of the life that is truly life.

Now, what does this mean? Taking hold of the life that is truly life. It means taking hold of a life that is really worth living, a life that is really rewarding and rich and full. And how do you get this kind of life?

Well, let's go back up and read a little bit. It says verse 17, command those who are rich in this present world. And what are we to command them to do? Verse 18, command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share in this way, aha, in this way, what are they going to get? They're going to be able to take hold of the life that is truly worth living. And you know, friends, you and I have to be willing to blow off Madison Avenue and blow off the advertising industry that keeps trying to convince us that the really good life comes from get, get, getting, from have, have, having, from own, own, owning.

You listen to me, listen to what Jesus is saying. The good life does not come from having and owning and getting. That doesn't make life rich. The really good life comes from giving and sharing and serving other people. That's what brings joy to life. That's what Jesus was saying. That's what he said in another place in the Bible where he said it's more blessed to what? Give than to receive. Now that's anti-American, but it's true.

It's absolutely true. And the happiest people I know in the world are givers. Remember the question was, Lon, if a whole lot of money won't make me happy, what will? I'll tell you what will. It's using whatever money you've got to bless other people's lives.

That's what will bring happiness and joy and real fulfillment into your life. Living to bless others, using it to be a blessing to others and greed will get in the way you're doing that. Greed will stand up as a big linebacker and say, you're not going to do it. I'm not going to let you do that.

We're going to keep it for ourselves. Greed will hurt your quality of life. And that's why in the first place, Jesus said, guard yourself against it because it will rob you of the kind of life that's really full of joy and reward. Secondly, the second way in which greed hurt this rich man in which it'll hurt you is not only did it cost him quality of life, but it cost him treasure in heaven. It cost him treasure in heaven. Remember back in the parable, Jesus said that this is the kind of guy who had it all laid up for himself on earth, but he was not rich towards God.

He was poor towards God. I want to show you that same thing right here in first Timothy chapter six. It says verse 18, command them to do good. We've already read this, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous, to be willing to share in this way.

They will lay up treasure for themselves for the coming age. The Bible says that there's treasure in heaven. Now let me just stop and say here, we're not talking about how to get to heaven.

I don't want you to confuse this now. Nobody gets to heaven because they use their money right. Or nobody misses heaven because they use their money wrong.

That doesn't have anything to do with it. You get to heaven because you trust Jesus Christ as your personal savior and you rely on what he did on the cross for you personally to be payment for your sin. That's why you do or don't get to heaven.

It doesn't have a thing to do with your money. So don't walk out here and say, boy, Lon says, if I want to get to heaven, I got to use my money right. Using your money right will not get you to heaven.

Only trust in Christ will. And I hope if you're here that you know that and you've done that. Jesus is talking to those of us who are Christians who've already trusted him, who know we're going to heaven and telling us how to make sure when we get there, we've got some reward waiting for us. And what he tells us is that the day you and I became a Christian, the day you and I trusted Christ, Jesus opened up an account for us in the pearly gate savings and loan or something like that. And it's up there waiting for you, has your name on it. He said, but Lon, how do I make deposits into that thing? I mean, I got no deposit slips. Oh yeah, you do.

Yeah, you do right here. Just told you what your deposit slips were. Look, verse 18, do good, be rich in good deeds, be generous and willing to share with your money and your material wealth. And every time you do that, every bit of generosity, every bit of hospitality, every bit of charity, every bit of sharing with people in need, every bit of giving to the Lord, every use of money that puts God first in your life is a deposit in your heavenly bank account. And you know what? When some of us as Christians get to heaven, we are going to have a lot in our account. And some of us, when we get there, our account is going to be on a respirator. There's not going to be anything in it. It's not that anybody else had a greater chance than you did or that anybody else had the inside track and you didn't.

No, no, no. It all depends on how you use your money here and how other people use their money. That's the whole point of Jesus's parable. The rich man was a living example of somebody who saw money the world's way. Accumulate it, hoard it, stockpile it, and then consume it on myself. And Jesus said there's no spiritual advantage from doing that. You get no treasure in heaven from doing that at all. You end up a spiritual pauper. Jesus said the kind of lifestyle that produces treasure in heaven is a different lifestyle. It's a lifestyle that says money is just a tool. Money is a tool God has given me to meet my own needs and then to lay up treasure in heaven by ministering to the needs of people with the money that I've got. Friends, what Jesus is telling us is that money only brings a spiritual advantage when we part with it. Not when we keep it, but when we part with it. And that's why Jesus warned us about greed because greed is the enemy of this kind of lifestyle. Greed seduces us into an unbiblical lifestyle with regard to money that robs us of laying up any treasure in heaven. Greed says keep it all for yourself. Don't give anything to anybody.

You worked hard for this. And that produces no treasure at all in heaven. If we were to sum up what Jesus was trying to say to us today, I would sum it up by saying this. Make sure you're planning your investment portfolio for life. Make sure you plan it in a way so that it makes you rich towards God. Make sure you plan your investment portfolio so that you accrue treasure in heaven. And how are you going to do that? You're going to do it by giving to the work of God and by giving to the needs of others around you.

Be like Barry Sanders. Don't be like this rich guy. That's what Jesus is trying to get across to us. And you know the nice thing about when you use your money this way? The nice thing is there's a value added. And the value added is that you also end up a happier, healthier, more fulfilled human being in this life living this way as well as laying up treasure in heaven. I mean, folks, we got a win-win here.

I end up a happier person here and I end up with treasure in heaven. That's a good deal. Your great enemy? Greed. Now, I hate to tell you this, but you're greedy.

Say, well, how dare you tell? Well, I'm greedy. Folks, we're all greedy.

It's not something you try to do. It is something that is endemic to homo sapiens. If you're homo sapiens, you're greedy.

It comes with the turf. And if you don't think you're greedy and you don't think that's a problem in your life, then you probably got the problem worse than you realize. We're all greedy. The secret of this whole thing is whether or not we're willing to be honest enough with ourselves to admit it and deal with it.

And you know, greed is a slippery, slimy little animal. It'll hide behind all kinds of other justifications and excuses in your life. Things like, well, I gotta have some security. Well, I gotta lay up for retirement. Well, I gotta make sure I've got enough to take care of my family.

And I don't want my kids taking care of me in old age. I gotta make sure. Listen, there's some legitimacy to every one of those, but many, many times when you peel a lot of that stuff away at the bottom of it is just raw greed. St. Francis of Assisi, the great Catholic leader, once said, people have confessed to me every known sin except the sin of greed.

Isn't that interesting? I've never had anybody ever come in, sit in a confessional booth and say, father, I am greedy. Forgive me. Why is that? Because it's such a slippery, slimy little animal that it'll hide in the crevices of your life. And unless you're brutally honest enough to flush it out, you'll never have to deal with it. But friends, I assure you, you go in there and start flushing and you'll find greed because it's there. And it is in my life.

The secret is not to pretend like we don't have it, but to be honest enough to admit it and get it up in the open and on our knees before God begin dealing with it and saying, Lord, this is true of me. It's my enemy. It'll keep me from living the kind of life that really is rich and rewarding on earth.

And it'll rob me of laying up treasure in heaven. I got to deal with this ugly thing. You got to help me subdue it in my life and God will help you if you and I are honest enough to get it up and deal with it. What's the best way to get over greed? Well, my suggestion is start giving. Maybe you'll have to force yourself at first.

That's all right. Give it. Give, give, give, learn to be a giver.

And you know what? God will make you a happier human being. And when you get to heaven, you'll never regret one penny you gave away in the service of Jesus Christ. Greed your enemy. Deal with it. May God help you. May God help me to pray. Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the word of God this morning. I want to thank you Lord for using it to confront in our lives a genuine problem area.

And you know the American society we live in, Father, just fuels the greed in our lives, just feeds it like a bunch of hungry sharks. Father, I pray that you would use the word of God this morning to give us a reality check to help us stand back and evaluate the way we're really living and the way we're really using material things. Lord, teach us as you've instructed us this morning that they're just tools given to us after we meet our basic needs, given to us so that we can lay up treasure in heaven, so that we can share with others. And Father, I pray that you would take what we've talked about this morning and that you would change the way we see life and the way we live. The result will be that not only will we get treasure in heaven, but we'll be happier, healthier, more fulfilled people. So Lord, create that win-win situation in our life by helping us grapple with and overcome the greed in our lives by your power. And Lord, may we go out into this world as this church, as members of McLean Bible Church and as members of the body of Christ, and be so conspicuously generous and so conspicuously giving that the world will be drawn to our savior because of the way we live. These are the things I pray, Lord, and I ask you to change our lives in these areas. In Jesus' name, I pray.

Amen. You've been listening to So What with Dr. Lon Solomon. So What is an outreach of Lon Solomon Ministries. To listen to today's message or for more information, visit our website, lonsolomonministries.org. Thank you for your support. If you would like to contact us, please visit our website or call us at 866-788-7770. We hope you will join us next time when Lon seeks to answer one of life's most important questions, So What.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 17:43:03 / 2023-07-01 17:53:26 / 10

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