Sunday, August 4, 2019 by Pastor Ho Lee
“Parable of the Rich Fool”
Why does Pastor want to talk about money? Actually, it’s not my choice, but the lectionary verse.
Whenever the church is talking about money, how do we get? One of the comments I’ve heard a lot is that the church always talks about money. The money scripturally has a very deep relationship with the Bible.
What is the main mission of the church? To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. How can we make disciples of Jesus Christ? How can we be disciples? We should transform ourselves first. Your whole life will be changed – transformed – all of your life and things will be changed. It also transforms the way we use our money. Right now I give an offering and I am here on Sunday. How many times have I preached about money or mission? A lot – over 2000 times. Jesus preached about money 15% of the time in his teachings. Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.
Today’s Bible passage is a parable of the rich and poor. There is a man who has a lot of crops, and he says to himself, “What should I do?” I know, I’ll build a bigger barn. And then God says to him, no you are poor. Why did God call this rich man poor? From his point of view, he didn’t do anything wrong. He had stuff – perfectly acceptable in our society. He wisely invested his profit into his future. That was his intention. He thought himself very wise. There are 3 reasons God called him poor: 1) He is too caught up in things, no mention about others, his family members or neighbors; 2) He only focused on himself. He said six “I’s” in this short text; and 3) He believes in money for his safety. The joy of his life was because of money and his possessions. From these perspectives, God says that he is poor.
Society tells us we should buy things to increase our happiness, improve our lives. Sometimes we have to think about how foolish it is to buy all these things. We think, “I’ve earned this money. I deserve to buy things for myself.” But we should believe that God has provided this money to us, not that my money comes from my labor. Give yourself love, not money. We invest a lot for our retirement. This is a good thing. With this money we have insurance. But we have to ask ourselves, “What good could we do with this money?”
In our society we are bombarded with different messages about our money. But one very important message: bring back God to your pocket. Not only to your heart, but to your pocket. Whenever you use your money, ask yourself, “How can I use this money for the good of God?” Remember, God is the master of your money. Your money comes from God. Which is a better use of your money than for God? Ask yourself, “How can I change this world for the kingdom of God?”
We just had another mass shooting. One of the reasons I think this happens is because we are not in relationship with each other anymore. We have to invest our money in creating relationships with each other and with God.
Trust that God provides. Our lives are special. The Bible tells us our real life with be in Heaven. This life is temporary. This life is preparation for our heavenly life. We need to spend our money for eternal life. Make preparations for yourself to make treasures in heaven, for wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I hope that we know how to use money for God’s use. Amen.