Share Your Possessions

KEY VERSE: “Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” —Luke 12:15

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:13-21, 27-34

PAUL quoted Jesus as saying, material things “It is more blessed to give than concerned. Some to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Many people have learned to follow a more selfish course than this, thinking that happiness is to be found through the accumulation of more and more of this world’s goods. This is to be expected of those who do not know God and his ultimate plans and purposes for mankind. But the Lord’s people have experienced the joy of giving, and through it realize a peace and satisfaction that “passeth understanding.” Our God is a giving God, with his greatest gift that of his own Son, who, being also imbued with the spirit of giving, willingly laid down his life for us.

“A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15) The highest happiness does not come through the accumulation of more wealth, but, as with God and Jesus, through sharing what we have with those less fortunate than ourselves.

There is much inequality in the world, and even among the Lord’s people insofar as the health, better homes, better jobs, more money than others. Happy are those who have learned to be content with such things as they have. Paul wrote that “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”—I Tim. 6:6,7

Paul continues, “And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that be rich fall into temptation and a snare. … For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some covet after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (vss. 8-10) The possession of money is not in itself an evil. It is only as we set our affections upon wealth, and set aside all else in its attainment that we are following an unrighteous course. The Lord’s people should be on the alert to detect even the slightest disposition to make the attainment of material possessions the primary purpose and activity in life.

The parable of the rich man in our lesson presents an interesting study. His land brought forth plentifully. This was a blessing from the Lord, but the rich man was not in a proper condition of heart to appreciate this and to see how he might use his abundance to help someone else in need, and thus glorify God. He thought only of himself, and how he could hoard his extra wealth for future security. Having done this he felt he had attained that which would bring him happiness. So he said to his “soul, … Take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” Thus his covetousness did not benefit him.

In this parable there is an interesting use of the word ‘soul’. First the rich man addresses his own soul, and then the Lord tells him that his soul will be required. By Scriptural definition, a soul is a living being. In the first instance, then, the rich man was simply talking to himself—he was a soul—and gloating over his seeming good fortune. In the second instance, when the Lord used the term, he was obviously referring to the man’s life’ that would shortly come to an end.

Jesus’ admonition to his followers not to seek food and clothing does not mean they are to be lax in providing a proper living for themselves and their families. Rather they are to seek first the kingdom of heaven. This is to be their chief aim in life; all else should be incidental, and should not be allowed to consume more time and energy than is necessary. The child of God should not take anxious thought—worry—concerning the necessities of this life.

Christians, walking in the way of sacrifice, must learn to accept with thankfulness what the Lord provides along temporal lines, to have faith that divine wisdom knows what is best for them as new creatures in Christ Jesus. Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound … to be full and to be hungry.” (Phil. 4:11,12) The Lord permitted the great Apostle Paul to go hungry at times, and to be abased. Yet he was content, realizing that his only treasure was in heaven.

Like Paul, let us place our lives in the hands of him in whom “we live and move and have our being.”—Acts 17:28

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |