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Kingdom Living

Kingdom Living – Overflow and Richness towards God (Luke 12:20-21)

Today’s Reading: Luke 12-13

Today’s Reflection: Luke 12:20-21

20) But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21) So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

This episode begs the question: what does it mean to be rich towards God?

It begins with a man asking Jesus to settle a matter of inheritance between him and his brother, which Jesus refuses to do.  Then Jesus warns the man against the sin of covetousness, telling a parable of a wealthy man who’s land produced a much larger harvest than he was expecting.  With nowhere to store the extra crops he wondered what to do.  Then decided to tear down his existing barns, build newer and bigger ones, and be set with food for years to come.  Just as he imagined how relaxed and happy he could be under these circumstances God told him he would die that very night.

One critical thing we often fail to recognize is that nothing we have is truly ours.  Everything we have (or think we have) truly belongs to God.

Psalm 24:1-2 – 1) The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2) for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

In fact God had given instruction to people about what to do with their harvest, to leave a portion for the poor, unfortunate and the stranger passing through their lands.

Leviticus 19:9-10 – 9) “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10) And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

Note how God ends this instruction, by reasserting His Lordship over the earth and His people Israel.  You should share from the abundance I have given you because I am the Lord to whom all of this truly belongs.  So in truth, the rich man shouldn’t have even been harvesting his entire crop in the first place.

Furthermore, when God provides you with more than enough, it isn’t an accident.  It’s overflow.  Overflow is a biblical principle.  God trusts people with more than they need so they can share it with those who are in need.

2 Corinthians 8:13-14 – 13) For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14) your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.

So people who are rich towards God are those who don’t ask, “how can what I have left over be of use to me?”, but ask “God how, and for whom, can I best use all you have given me?”  They are willing to share their overflow with others, just as God intends, and even sacrifice what they may themselves need at times for the sake of others.  This was the design of the church that Jesus started the apostles continued after His ascension into heaven.  I believe it’s still His will for us today.

Acts 2:43-45 – 43) And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44) And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45) And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

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