In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable about how a rich man was reaping an abundance of crops. In his greed and self-interests, he decides to tear down his barns to build new and bigger ones. This is his ticket to an easier life of ongoing success and luxury. In response to his selfishness, God says "Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" (Luke 12:20 ESV).
Why does God respond this way? What does it mean to be a fool?
In context, Jesus is warning those listening to his parable about the dangers and destructive nature of idolatry. When anyone places there faith, hope, love, and gratitude in something other than God, they are committing idolatry and thus sinning by breaking the first commandment (Exodus 20). Regardless of what our culture believes, God is for the betterment of people. When someone pursues a created thing instead of the Creator, that person has made a detrimental decision. God calls this man "a fool", because that's what he was. A fool is someone who rejects God's definition of reality and is therefore ultimately left empty.
Four Factors Shape Our Heart:
1. Faith - approval and trust to provide
2. Hope - desire for fulfilled expectation
3. Love - a feeling of strong affection
4. Gratitude - showing appreciation
If our hearts are shaped by God and His Word, then we have an eternal perspective that's secure. However, when our dreams and identity is centered on materialism and money, then we have a temporary perspective that may seem secure today, but will fade away. Charles Spurgeon said, “One way you know that Jesus Christ is precious to you is that nothing else is.” What's really precious to you?
“When awe of material things rules your heart, then you will live for material things, and when you live for material things, you will do just about anything to gain them, maintain them, keep them, and enjoy them... Such a materialistic attitude is not only morally dangerous but is also a violation of the reason for which you and I were created. It is wrong for material cravings to dominate our hearts and lifestyles.” - Paul David Tripp
Every Home Needs a Plan
1. Christians must place their relationship with God as top priority.
2. A unified plan for the home is crucial.
3. Create a written Financial Plan that aligns with your convictions.
4. Work the Plan every day of the year.
This Financial Plan is best when saturated in prayer, has received counsel from people who understand financial disciplines based in Scripture, and developed with percentages (when possible). Here is an example created by a friend of mine who helps people get their finances in order. This pie chart reveals a possible percentage breakdown of an American home. Your home's financial chart may look different. However, the real question is: "do you know the percentage allocation of your finances?"
Let's go back to the "heart". Under the category of Charitable Giving, there are several probing questions and comments that have been rattling around my brain.
1. Christians should be generous toward Kingdom work. The Kingdom of God is different from every other investment, because of eternal factors. The Word of God and the souls of people are both eternal. We should also give generously out of gratitude as children of God who are already citizens of His Kingdom (Philippians 3).
2. "What is your heart motivation for your career? Is it to get rich, to have guaranteed financial security, or are you doing what you are doing because you want to build up treasure in heaven and advance the kingdom of God." - Austin Stone Church
3. Could a lost person look at the way you are stewarding your money and your stuff and know that God is the master of your money?
4. “The reality of God’s generosity to us will never hit the world until they see our generosity to everybody else.” - Timothy Keller
5. "Those of us who live in prosperous regions of the globe and have never known food scarcity perhaps don’t feel much awe in it. That is a sad thing: a lack of awe. It’s the dark side of abundance. We sinners tend to grow blind to glory when there’s a lot of it. God is kind not to give us heaven yet. We would not appreciate more than a fraction of it." - Jon Bloom (Desiring God)