August 1, 2010   

Hosea 11:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9, 43 (8)
Colossians 3:1-11
Luke 12:13-21 Jesus counsels against greed and tells a story of a greedy farmer who built bigger barns to hold his "stuff" and felt that he could retire to a life of ease and luxury.

- So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

--As Culpepper concludes: "Therefore, the story exposes our own inner commitments as clearly as it exposes the thoughts of the rich fool. It holds up a mirror before us and asks us to take a good look at our own inner lives and listen to our own inner voices."

- The More Addiction: the more you have the more you want.

-Looking more closely at v. 21, the problem with this man was not thesaurizo the "storing up of his treasure," but heautos = "for himself." Paul uses the "store up" word ("save" in NRSV) in a positive sense in 1C 16:2. There the "storing up" of funds is for the needy in Jerusalem, not for themselves. Stoffregen

-Where our treasure is? Do we value earthy things or spiritual things?

- Jesus says, "No slave can serve two masters". If we are living our lives merely to accumulate wealth, property, and possessions, we are devoting ourselves to the God of money

-The old T.V. show, All in the Family, .For Archie, not everyone was in the family - not blacks, Jews, Asians, only people like him, who looked like him, thought like
him. But the curious thing is that the show really was a message that we all truly are in the family.

-"I WILL do this: I WILL pull down my barns and (WILL) build larger ones, and there I WILL store all my grain and my goods. And I WILL say to my soul."

- He lost control, (he lost the illusion of control)

- Find the poverty in your riches

-His life was lost in his livelihood.

-"Real security comes only from being 'rich toward God'" (Juel and Buttrick, 16).

-The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith,but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. Howard Dayton Jr

-  Would you gain whole world and lose your soul?

-Money will buy: A bed but not sleep. Books but not brains. Food but not appetite. Finery but not beauty. A house but not a home. Medicine but not health. Luxuries but not culture. Amusement but not happiness. A crucifix but not a Savior. A church-pew but not heaven.

-John Ruskin told the story of a man who was in the gold business and he was transporting his gold from one place to another by boat. The boat developed a leak and was about to sink. The man reached for his gold, strapped as much of it as he could around his waist, leaped overboard, and attempted to swim to the shore. He did not make it! He sank like a rock and drowned and Ruskin raised the essential question, "As he was sinking, did he have his gold, or did his gold have him?"

-"The foolishness of the farmer's narrow aims is highlighted by the contrast between his many years of supply and the few hours that remain to him of life" (Nolland,

-Perhaps like alcoholics and their desire for alcohol, we are never cured of our greediness. We are always in recovery -- always in need to watch out for and
guard ourselves from this evil power in our lives. Stoffregen


SERMON                                     THERE'S MORE BEYOND THE PLENTY
  In our worldly kingdom we often feel like we have plenty but this scripture teaches us that  "Plenty" of worldly things are never enough.  Lindy

-The good life does not consist in gathering things, but in spending ourselves on people
- It's as if we were addicted to 'things'. Lindy
- Being rich towards God.
-The kingdom of thingdom
-Once those barns were filled he would find some other way to fill the emptyness.
-You are not a fool because you are rich, you are a fool because you are poor and do not know it
-"It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone' " (4:4).
 - "What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?" (9:25).
 - "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing" (12:22-23). 
-Not that things are bad in themselves....only when they become too important.
-We should own our possessions but not allow them to own us
-In a worldly kingdom, our possessions rule us; in God's kingdom, God rules us.
-Receive your life as a gift rather than protecting it as if was a possession.
-What looked so wonderful to us turns out to be little more than cotton candy that melts away into nothingness in our mouths and leaves us hungrier than before.
-Affluenza, a name coined by that PBS.
-Bliss out on wealth
-"How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" (18:24).
-He lacks freedom from his possessions!
-If there is to be any peace, it will come through being not having. Henry Miller
-Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...Matt.6:19
-Life and time is only real possession
-No true wealth beyond a man's need.Gibran
-It is not money that is the problem, however, but love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).

- In all abundance there is lack. Hippocrates
- Money has no value until it leaves your hand.
- It is in spending one's self that we become rich. Sarah Bernhardt
- The More Addiction: the more you have the more you want.
-Rich in proportion to what we can let go. Thoreau
-The best things in life aren't things-
-"Look to God for security, not to own ability
-"storage stress."
-"In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us
rich." Henry Ward Beecher
- "affluenza" Rev. Daniel D. Meyer
-"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
- Not a fool because he's rich but a fool because he's poor and does not know it.
- The good life does not consist in gathering things, but in spending ourselves on people
- Less is more. Robt. Browning
- "Make all the money they could; save all the money they could. Give all they could." John Wesley
-"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle, Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.   MacBeth:

- We need means to live on; We nee ends to live for Too often the means become our ends to live for. Lindy
- We have plenty, Plenty is not enough, There's more beyond the plenty Lindy
-  Then what?
- -We live in two kingdoms: The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Thingdom.
-Illustration:  One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobel was quite surprised to read his own obituary in a French newspaper. Obviously, it was a journalistic mistake. One of his brothers had died, and a careless reporter had used a prewritten obituary of the wrong man. But as he read, Nobel was shocked and deeply disturbed to learn what the world really thought of him. He was seen simply as the dynamite king, the merchant of death, who had amassed a great fortune out of explosives. Nobel had hoped his inventions would be useful to people and to nations. At that moment, Alfred Nobel resolved to show the world the true purpose of his life. He revised his will so that his fortune would be dedicated to the recognition of great creative achievements ? with the highest award going to those who had done the most for world peace. Today, we all associate him with the Nobel Peace Prize.
-illustration A reporter did an interview with former President Jimmy Carter. The reporter asked, "What's on the top of your agenda right now?" Carter replied, "Well, the Carter Center is my work. That's where my wife and I both spend our life. We work there for 51 weeks a year. We have programs in 65 nations, 35 of them in Africa. About half our budget is health care, and we negotiate peace agreements, we monitor every conflict in the world every day. We have a very large agriculture program in Africa, with about 600,000 farms, teaching them how to grow their own food, primarily. My wife has a global mental health program, and we help with elections." I've learned a lot in my governorship, in my campaign, in my presidency. But we also have learned at least as much if not more in the last 20 years, primarily about the plight and the needs of the poverty-stricken people of the world, who all too often, including now, are neglected or ignored"
-The Miser and His Gold  Aesop Once upon a time there was a Miser who used to hide his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden; but every week he used to go and dig it up and gloat over his gains. A robber, who had noticed this, went and dug up the gold and decamped with it. When the Miser next came to gloat over his treasures, he found nothing but the empty hole. He tore his hair, and raised such an outcry that all the neighbors came around him, and he told them how he used to come and visit his gold. "Did you ever take any of it out?" asked one of them. "Nay," said he, "I only came to look at it." "Then come again and look at the hole," said a neighbor; "it will do you just as much good." Wealth unused might as well not exist.

As a child, John D. Rockefeller Sr. was strong and husky. He made up his mind early to make money and drove himself to the limit. At the age of thirty-three, he had made his first million. At forty-three, he managed the largest company in the world. At fifty-three, he was the wealthiest man on earth and the world's only billionaire. Then suddenly he was stricken with an illness
called "alopecia." All the hair on his body fell out. He became thin and drawn, shrunken like a mummy. His weekly income was well over a million dollars, but he could eat only milk and crackers. He was so hated in Pennsylvania that he had to have bodyguards day and night. He could not sleep, was no longer happy, and enjoyed nothing in life. The doctors predicted he would not live longer than a year. The newspaper had gleefully written his obituary in advance-for convenience of sudden need. Those sleepless nights set him thinking. He realized with a new light that he could not take one dime into the next world. Money was not everything. The next
morning found him a new man. He began to help churches with his amassed wealth; the poor and needy were not overlooked. He established the Rockefeller Foundation whose funding of medical researches led to the discovery of penicillin and other useful drugs. He was soon able to sleep, eat, and enjoy life again. The doctors had predicted he would not live past fifty-four, but he lived to the ripe old age of ninety-eight.  Bass Mitchell

The Sheldons were a large family in severe financial distress after a series of misfortunes. One fall day I visited the Sheldons in the ramshackle rented house they lived in at the edge of the woods. Despite a painful physical handicap, Mr. Sheldon had shot and butchered a bear which strayed into their yard once too often. The meat had been processed into all the big canning jars they could find or swap for. Mr. Sheldon offered me a jar of bear meat. I hesitated to accept it, but the giver met my unspoken resistance firmly. "Now you just have to take this. We want you to have it. We don't have much, that's a fact; but we ain't poor!" I couldn't resist asking, "What's the difference?" His answer proved unforgettable. "When you can give something away, even when you don't have much, then you ain't poor. When you don't feel easy giving something away even if you got more'n you need, then you're poor, whether you know it or not."

-Children's message  Show children a piece of paper representing God. God wants to give away some corners. Let me give you a corner. Cut off one corner and give to a child. Now, how many corners does God have left? Four? No 1,2,3,4,5! Keep going to show, the more God gives the more God has. Elaborate
-The old Jack Benny radio program had a sketch of Jack being robbed at gunpoint. Jack Benny was reported to be the tightest man alive. In the sketch the robber says to Jack, "Hey bud, your money or your life." He got no reply. He said, "Hey, I said your money or your life." Jack replied, "Don't rush me, I'm thinking, I'm thinking!. We laugh at that idea, but Jesus' parable makes us stop and think it over.
-Your teeth are o.k. but your gums will have to come out
-'What would you like to have appear on your epitaph?' 
- How much do we really need? "Six feet by six feet by three feet." Tolstoy
- Change motto on money to "In gold we trust"
-A teacher asked her second grade Lutheran School class to draw a picture that would show what they would like to do if Jesus suddenly visited with them for one day. After a short while, industrious little Marie went up to the teacher's desk with her almost completed picture in hand. "Mrs.Harris," she asked, "how do you spell 'Bloomingdale's?'"

-- Forgive us when we try to live without a master..............
Forgive us when we try to be our own master.........
Forgive us when our possessions are our master...too often we allow them to give us our directions and our purpose
Help us to undo the chains of false masters. Lindy