February 14, 2017

Advice for Investors

Luke 12:13-21

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.

—  Luke 12:15

The rich man had it all! He had built a successful business and had made all the right investments. And with this year’s abundance in profits, he decided it was time to reap the benefits of his hard work. He said to himself, “You have plenty . . . laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

It seems to make a lot of sense. When you’ve worked hard all your life and planned out your finances carefully, you should be able to look forward to a carefree retirement. You’d think the rich man in Jesus’ parable would have been commended for his wise planning.

Instead, God calls him a fool. But that’s not because he was rich or because he had planned for his retirement. It’s because he had missed the most important thing in life. He had not been rich toward God. In all his careful planning and hard work he had left God out of the picture. He had stored up treasures on earth without storing treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). And when his life came to an end, he stood before the Lord empty-handed.

That, says Jesus, is what will happen to anyone who lives without paying attention to the Lord and his kingdom. Today’s parable leaves each of us with some important questions: How am I living my life? Am I being rich toward God? Am I investing in his kingdom?

Lord God, help us to take a good look at our lives, and give us the wisdom to invest in your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.a

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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