August 2019   
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8-4-19 Sermon

Luke 12:13-21 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost 


Heavenly Father, shift our values and make us rich in CHRIST, that we might be a generous people in Jesus name…Amen.


Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, was not happy. He was one of the wealthiest men on earth having a very prosperous kingdom. Yet he despaired. All is vanity, he said. I’m going to die and someone who hasn’t worked for it is going to get all that I have. What’s the point? We too, may have had the same thoughts as . We all have a lot of stuff! Some is useful or we believe we might need it some day. How much value does something have if it’s not useful?

In Colossians Paul said, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with CHRIST in God.


You have died, Paul says. That’s baptismal talk. Dying and rising with CHRIST in the water. All the stuff accumulated over the years is no longer needed. You have died, so your life isn’t in the things of this world. It is hidden with CHRIST in God.


But to set your mind on things that are above, is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do! The things of this world are always right in front of us, making it easy for us to focus on them, rather than the life given to us by CHRIST.


Paul in the Epistle reading for today, actually takes what Solomon says to another level. When we set our minds on the things of this world, our arrogance leads to sexual immorality, impure thoughts, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Then those things lead to anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk. All because we don’t focus on things that are from above—namely Jesus and fail to love God above all else.

Now contrast that to the life of heaven where there are no haves and have-nots. No Greek and Jew, no circumcised and uncircumcised, no slave or free; but CHRIST is all and in all. That is the unity CHRIST wants for his church on earth.


The Holy Spirit has brought us to live together here and now—to rejoice together or struggle together…. Because when our minds are set on things above we become a blessing to each other. Things of this world are only temporary and are secondary to CHRIST. That’s what Jesus was talking about in the Gospel today. one who lays up treasure for himself is not rich toward God, but is like the rich fool, never sharing with those in need. words of Jesus in Matt. 25: 4 Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. That is the greater purpose all believers are called to be about. treasures of this earth are not trophies or rewards to hoard. Life is much greater than that.

God lets us keep our “stuff” to see if we use it for the things of this world or for the glory of His name.


It’s when our stuff becomes our reason to live - it’s no treasure, but an idol. Like in the Gospel today: Jesus, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me!


Or when Jesus fed the 5,000, people chased after Him the next day thinking he was going to be their meal ticket. Jesus was trying to teach them about the bread of life, all they could see was PB and J sandwiches!


Jesus is teaching us about true treasures as seen through the eyes of God. But we get caught up in only what the world has to offer… It’s not fair, Jesus! He needs to divide the inheritance with me!


In all three readings today, Jesus is saying: If you want an inheritance, have mine! Jesus didn’t just come to divide His inheritance with you, but to give it to you. All of it! Or to put it in Solomon’s words: I’m going to die and someone after me is going to get it all. And that’s exactly what happened at the time of Jesus death---we got it all!


But some are so foolish and turn it down for the things of this world. God is a giving God and the world thinks His mercy and grace are foolish. For you see, Jesus took our curse—our sinful disobedience and gave us His place with the Father.

So in His death, Jesus atoned for our sins; in His resurrection we can be raised to new life;


in His ascension we receive His kingdom; in His inheritance—we have a place in God the Father's house.


Satan wants to seduce us away from Jesus with stuff that will not last. Jesus, Paul, Solomon all tell us to set our minds on things that are above, because only then will we know the fullness Jesus offers to us in His heavenly glory.


We cannot pay the price of forgiveness, life, and salvation. Jesus, in His love, offers them to us as a free gift. Only then will we hear the blessed words of Jesus, “Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you...”