Mistakes of a Rich Man
Text: Luke 12:13-21
I. Someone approached Jesus, asking him to settle a dispute over an inheritance.
A. Jesus declined, stating that it wasn’t his occupation
B. But he pointed out the root problem between the brothers – greed
1. We know this without even knowing the facts in the case.
2. Whether it was one holding on to more than was proper or the other demanding more than was proper, greed was the root cause of this problem.
C. Greed, covetousness, the love of money: however you word it, this sin lies at the root of many sins - I Timothy 6:6-11
D. Jesus illustrated his point with a parable concerning a rich man
1. The man was not a thief. He did not practice extortion. He wasn’t a swindler.
2. The man is presented as an honest farmer who gain his wealth through hard work and perhaps a bit of luck in this particular year.
3. He had a bumper crop, which he had to decide how to handle
II. The Rich Man’s Mistakes
A. He measured success in the wrong manner
1. Jesus told the story to point out that life does not consist of how much you have - Luke 12:15
2. Wealth is a rich man’s security - Proverbs 18:11
3. Life extends beyond this world, but things stay in this world - I Timothy 6:7
4. Riches are an unstable commodity - Proverbs 23:5
a. How can they measure success when they come and go, seemingly as they please?
5. Then too, who is deciding that he has succeeded in life? - Proverbs 27:2
a. Such is not wise - II Corinthians 10:12
b. The true measure of success is found in God’s eye - I Corinthians 4:4
c. The Lord weighs the heart - Proverbs 21:2
6. The measure of success is found in spiritual things, not material
B. He missed the opportunity to do good with his surplus
1. One of the joys of working is the opportunity to help others - Ephesians 4:28
a. Luke 3:11 - Give of your excess
2. Yet this man’s focus was solely on himself - Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
a. The ultimate retirement plan - Luke 12:29-34
b. The proper use of wealth - I Timothy 6:17-19
3. Acceptable worship to God is doing good - Isaiah 58:5-8
C. He found happiness in the wrong thing
1. The rich man believed he could be happy because of what he had.
2. Treasures on earth - Matthew 6:19-21
3. Remember wealth is fickle. To find joy in something fleeting is foolish.
4. The believer’s joy is in God - Philippians 4:4
D. He thought he knew the future
1. Do not boast about tomorrow - Proverbs 27:1
2. Life is too short and unpredictable - James 4:13-15
3. After life comes judgment - Hebrews 9:27
4. Surely man strives in vain - Psalm 39:6
5. Because he trusted wealth, he made no preparations - Psalm 52:7-8
III. The rich man’s mistakes are common ones
A. Will you see the danger or walk on - Proverbs 22:3
B. The fool wants life to operate on his rules - Proverbs 14:16
C. Enough time has passed for making mistakes - I Peter 4:1-3
D. Will you today begin laying up treasures in heaven?