This is the third in a series called “One Life,” where Kenny Luck discusses the urgency that comes from having only one life to live. It provides insight on how God teaches us to live life better and to number our days by living spiritually not carnally. We will explore three ways God teaches us how to live this one life with better priorities. This article talks about a third way that God teaches us to live better lives—He just takes us.
Parable of the Rich Fool
Jesus splendidly illustrated this spiritual truth in the parable of the rich fool, which is found in Luke 12:15-21. Jesus talks about this rich man who is going through life sort of casually, unconcerned about what’s really important in life, and only thinking only about himself. He’s really committed himself to the purpose of self-preservation. You know, of taking care of number one, amassing stuff, making life predictable, presuming that he has tomorrow.
In Luke, Jesus says: “Beware! Guard against every kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Then Jesus told them this parable.
“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do? I have no place to store 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 many years. Now take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry.”
“But God said to him, ‘You fool. This very night you will die. Then who will get what you worked for?”
You know, one of the things that happened to me on the 7th floor of the Western Medical Center’s cancer unit was that my definition of “rich” got redefined. It was counter-intuitive, but that is so often how God is. Ironically, in that hospital there was such physical trauma and physical poverty and physical pain, but there was relational richness and spiritual richness.
Can I ask you a question? What’s “rich” for you? If you swallow what the world’s selling; “rich” is stuff. It’s having the accessories. It’s being comfortable. It’s taking vacations. It’s accumulation. It’s having a thick 529 plan for your kid’s college fund. And look, just understand this — none of that is bad — but if that’s what you’re living for, then it’s wrong.
Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming
In Luke 12, we see His admonition to get our spiritual house in order and to be ready because the master can come calling anytime. In verse 35, Jesus is talking to His guys, and He says: “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet. Then you who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will serve, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat. He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn.”
Jesus continues the story:
“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a thief was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, because the Son of Man will come when you least expect Him.”
And that’s what we’re talking about today. When you have foresight about something, it should give you the insight to get ready in light of the truth that you know is coming.
In the Bible, the “house” Jesus is referring to is your life. It’s a parable for your life. Do you know that your purpose could be stolen away if you give it to the wrong stuff? You need to have a sense of stewardship towards this one life that you have, because the Son of Man will come at any hour. So my encouragement to you is this: to see life more eternally, see relationships more valuably.
See time more meaningfully. Start your day thanking God for 10 things. Say what you need to say … and say it NOW.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book—SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God—is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com.