By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
“Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.“ Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”
The man was rich.
He has more than enough.
He was thinking of how to keep everything to himself.
He did not know that he was going to die so soon.
He did not store anything in heaven.
How do we value what we have now? What else do we want in this life?
DON’T BE GREEDY!
You saved up, but what are you saving for? Is it only for you? Or are you thinking of others too? Check your heart.
What does greed mean? In the dictionary, it is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food. It is during this time that we should be generous.
In the story, the rich man did not think of giving to the Lord. He thought of building bigger barns to store up all his grain. It is very clear in the Bible that we should give a tenth of everything to God. He gave us everything and is only asking for 10%. Tithing is so important. It sets us free and puts God in His proper place. It is honoring Him which is what He deserves. Deuteronomy 8:18 says “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” We are remembering the Lord when we give, that everything comes from Him, that He is the one who blesses. Whatever you sow, you will reap. You can be set free from greed when you tithe. Randy Alcon says, “Tithing is not the ceiling of giving, it’s the floor. It’s not the finish line of giving, it’s just the starting block. Tithes can be the training wheels to launch us into the mindset, skills and habits of grace giving.” Although tithing in the Bible says 10%, give more if you can. Do it for the glory of God.
2. Bless Others
There is nothing wrong to have blessings and being rich but the feeling is different when you bless others. What you do with your riches matter. If you hoard, your riches will simply rot away. Luke 6:38 says “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ” This is our testimony. When you receive blessings, share it. And your blessings will overflow. You cannot out give God. We are blessed to be a blessing. This does not only mean money. Share the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will come back to you a hundredfold.
Luke 12:48 also says, “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” If you are blessed with many things, then you will also be accountable for many things. Businesses, talents,influence, power - God will ask you about each and every one of them.
Frank SInatra once said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” This is a very sad reality nowadays. I hope this is not us. His song “My Way” should not be our song too. The Christian’s way should be God’s way. Gandhi said, “There is enough for the need of everyone in this wold, but not for the greed of everyone.” The Philippines is so rich in natural resources - there is enough or everybody.
There are several quotations online that we would like to share with you:
Greed does not rest until it is satisfied and greed is never satisfied. - Sam Eastland.
It does seem that the more one gets, the more one wants. - Louisa May Alcott
Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy. - Cathryn Louis
3. Store Heavenly Treasures
In the parable, the rich fool became rich for himself only but forgot about his eternal riches. Why are people so busy getting rich on earth and not in heaven? We have to remember that we are not citizens o this world. We are citizens of heaven. While we are on earth, there will be problems and turmoil. But we who believe in Jesus Christ are assured that one day, there will be a glorious kingdom waiting for us. John 15: 19 says “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”
When we receive Jesus and are saved, automatically our spirit will go to heaven. But what we do with our faith will determine what Jesus will put under our care. We are in this world but we are citizens of heaven. Do not be obsessed with material possessions. Greed is being fixated on storing earthly possessions which we may lose in the long run. God will always take care of us because He loves us.
As we are locked down in our homes, let us teach our children not to be greedy. We do not need it because we are children of God. Blessings abound when we walk with Him.