October 08, 2016

Bigger Barns?

Luke 12:13-21

What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.

—  Luke 12:17

Some harvests are difficult, but others seem to come easily. Favorable climate and soil conditions can create an unexpected bumper crop for the farmer.

When business is good, when your financial security is growing quickly, do you think of God? Do you remember to thank him for all he has given you? Jesus tells a story about a businessman who had a windfall. It’s worth noting that this man is not portrayed as corrupt or unethical. He is simply someone who’s had a really good year.

The problem is in his attitude: “My crops . . . my barns . . . my surplus grain . . . myself.” The harvest is all about him.

Jesus looks us in the eye and asks, “When does it stop? When you’ve splurged for the latest electronic gadget? When you have a bigger boat? When you’ve locked in that college scholarship, or saved for twenty years of retirement?” He himself has demonstrated God’s generous grace by offering himself for our sin.

The Christian faith does not say it’s wrong to have desires or to appreciate good things in life (see 1 Timothy 4:4). In Jesus’ story, the farmer’s foolishness comes not from enjoying life but from forgetting God.

Whether we are rich or poor, we must ask whether we are “rich toward God,” living every moment out of gratitude for all that God has given us. 

Lord, fill us with your generosity. Help us to see your abundant giving in the blessings we enjoy, and to use those blessings to serve others. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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