Reading Time: 10 minutesThe Merchant’s Tears, Part TWO
“I will build me bigger barns.” (Luke 12:18)
Today we look at a rich man, who is given the name, “Fool.” This rich man who had it all — but was still not satisfied. The rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement—preparing for life before death—is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. If you accumulate wealth only to enrich yourself, with no concern for helping others, you will enter eternity empty-handed. Faced with the dilemma of discovering that his riches were not enough to satisfy the deeper longings of his heart, the rich man [named “Fool”] opted for building even bigger barns and increasing his stock and store. He wrongfully imagined that more would be enough to satisfy the ache in his soul:
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. (Luke 12:18)
But he was very wrong.
Jesus made it clear that one can accumulate great wealth in this world and still be a miserable wretch. The solution is to become, in the words of Jesus, “rich toward God.” Centuries earlier Solomon said, “I have see a great evil under the sun — wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner” (Eccl 5:13). By gathering, and gathering, and gathering more a man will come to ruin in the things that matter most. Ultimately he will become possessed by his possessions.
Why do you save money? Are you saving for retirement? to buy more expensive cars or toys? Or bigger investments? To be secure? Jesus challenges us to think beyond earthbound goals and to use what we have been given for God’s Kingdom. Faith, service, and obedience are the way to become rich toward God.
But this is the best the world can teach us. “Get all you can! Can all you get! And then sit on the can!” This rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement—preparing for life before death—is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. If you accumulate wealth only to enrich yourself here in this life, with no concern for helping others, you would enter eternity empty-handed:
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Cor 15:19)
Bible prophecy tells a chilling accounting of what will happen to the richest people on the planet. The ones who are so rich that they cannot possibly spend all of the money they have, and yet they keep wanting more. prices for everything keep rising, and new costs are constantly being added to the mix making the general population even poorer, and more desperate than ever.Lets look at one text for an example:
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (Rev 18:11)
Those who are in control of various parts of the economic system will mourn at Babylon’s fall. The political leaders will mourn because they were the overseers of Babylon’s wealth and were in a position to enrich themselves greatly. The merchants will mourn because Babylon, the greatest customer for their goods, will be gone. The sea captains will no longer have anywhere to bring their goods because the merchants will have nowhere to sell them. The fall of the evil world system affects all who enjoyed and depended on it. No one will remain unaffected by Babylon’s fall.
The voice from heaven (Rev 18:4) continued to prophesy against the greedy merchants of the earth. “The fancy things you loved” and the “luxuries and splendour” were gone. This list of merchandise illustrates the extreme materialism of this society. Few of these goods were necessities—most are luxuries. They are want to haves, not need to haves. Modern media and it’s propaganda are very good at convincing people they absolutely need whatever they are trying to entrap you with.
Today, slavery has not been outlawed at all. It’s still here, only under a different guise. Even people have now become commodities—sold as slaves to Babylon [the merchants]. If you have credit cards, mortgages, certain investments, etc, then you are a slave to “the economy.” That “economy is not for you or I. It is for “the merchants.” The desire for nonessential luxuries is what drives these insatiable merchants. Yet, how many of these luxuries listed are in our homes? Most people will find that they own almost everything on the merchant’s list! We are a people who truly live in great luxury. We incessantly buy things we want, following all the promptings of “Social” Media, and obeying the crowd mentality meticulously. Rarely do things that we truly need hold such importance and prominence as does all of our useless junk. We too, are in danger of being absorbed in possessions and pleasure. Make sure that your desires lead you in the right direction. Put boundaries on them. Don’t go after everything you see. Even if you can afford it. Keep your desires on serving God and building his Kingdom by helping others. Buy what you need to do God’s work.
The Lord’s way is not in gathering, hoarding, and piling up colossal fortunes, but in gaining fortunes to increase our giving. Become a giver, rather than a collector; one who lays up treasure in heaven. That is the ultimate investment, and it pays eternal returns. You can do it the world’s way: GET, and become caught up in the never-ending chase for never enough. Or, you can do it God’s way: GIVE, and find that there is no end to the measure of your peace and blessings!
Will You JUST LET Jesus IN!
“Behold, I stand at the door, and I knock: if any man hear my voice and open, the door, I will come in to him., and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev 3:20.
Here is given a picture of Christ standing at the door, knocking and making request that the door be opened that He might enter in and sup with the one within. Why does the Lord knock on the door of people’s hearts? Is it to feast at their expense? ‘It is true, but the words prove that the feast is reciprocated—“You sup with me and I with you.” He comes in as guest and then turns host. But His feast too is in your home !
Turning to 1 Kings 17:10-14, we read of Elijah at the brook Cherith with nothing to do. What an easy time he has! The ravens bring him his food, both in the morning and evening, and he drinks water from the brook. But the brook dries up and the Lord tells him to go to Zarephath. “Why to Zarephath says he.”
“I want to feed you.”
“Through a poor widow.”
Well, it was very humiliating for Elijah;—He was a prophet of God, and he was being sent to a poor helpless widow to be her guest. And yet, Elijah goes and asks her for food. She tells him of her plight.
“Only a handful of meal in the barrel and a little oil in a cruse and I am gathering two sticks to dress it for me and my son that we may eat it and die.” He says that she could do so, but she must first bake him a cake But there is a’ recompense—”The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.” God was concerned about the prophet, but the widow’s needs too were met far beyond her own expectations. The scripture says: “The barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail according to the word of the Lord, which He spake by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:16.
In the New Testament we see that the Lord Jesus Christ has the same motive, He knows that you are not empty. The world could think so of you~ and you yourself could condemn yourself as valueless, but Jesus knows that the Creator God has made no single person without even one talent. But the problem of the person whose talent is less visible than others is that they are unable to make the most of what God has given them.
So what does Christ do? He makes such a one realize his own limitations. To make the most of what we have, Christ sometimes comes as a visitor. Sometimes he comes as one asking for a favour. It was as a beggar that He asked for water from the haughty Samaritan woman. “A Jew asking water of a Samaritan woman?“ was her arrogant response. Did the Lord want a drink of water from the woman? It was only the opening for her to receive something so much greater than the water from Jacob’s well. His desire was to make her a FOUNTAIN OF WATER.
In the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus had focused His attention on a little boy with five barley loaves. But He told the disciples that they should give the multitude food to eat. The disciples saw nothing beyond the impossibility of the situation. But Jesus knew what He would do. The poor meal of the poor boy probably hidden away that none should know his condition, was not to be hidden away any longer.
He would hand his barley loaves to Jesus who worked miracles and did wonders. And why did Jesus want them? Was it to deprive the boy of his food? We know the result. Twelve baskets left over and 5,000 fed! What tremendous possibilities did Jesus see in the small boy with the five barley loaves! The disciples only saw the limitations “What are these among so many ? We too see only our limitations. Christ makes a demand from you, not to deprive you of what you have, but to make it a blessing to others. To many others.
In Luke 5:1-9 we see Peter with an empty boat and an empty net. But Jesus must first meet the needs of the people. He gets permission from Peter to preach from his boat. The preaching is over; perhaps the multitude dispersed. But the Lord has not forgotten the man with the empty boat and the empty net. “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.” How diffident was Peter, but he obeyed. “Peter, where is your empty boat ?“And they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat that they should come and help them.” What a haul of fish! The Scripture says, “He was astonished and all that were with him at the draught of the. fishes which they had taken.” (Luke 5:9).
Dear Readers, there could be many empty boats and useless nets today. Yours might be financial losses, or voids in your lives which are aching for re-filling. Just allow Christ to come in. Yes, you could think that you are doing good to Him, that you are bestowing a favour on Him. Look at it in that light, but let Him come in. He will take over; Jesus will be the Head, Jesus will give you success.
The Christian life is one of co-operation. God cannot work without you and you cannot work without God. It is a close fellowship. Jesus says, “I knock at the door.” (Rev 3:20). Jesus will never force open the door. The key is in our hands. There is no door handle on the outside. Only on the inside. We are the only ones who can open the door when Jesus knocks. If you notice in the famous painting of Jesus knocking on our door; there is no handle on the outside of that door. Jesus cannot force His way in. Jesus will not force us to accept salvation. It has to be done by our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour. And Jesus will not rob us of the freedom of our wills. Let us NOW take the chance the Lord has given us and open the door to Him.
Jesus will come in and prepare a feast for us. When Peter obliged Christ by giving Him his boat, Christ commanded him to do something:
”Launch out in the deep” Jesus said.
Now what about you dear Reader? Your house is empty: your pot is empty? your cruse is empty? Your bank account is empty? You are unable to live a full life?
Jesus Christ is standing at the door waiting to fill all the emptiness and enrich your life. You need only to let Jesus come in. Yes, Jesus will make certain demands on your life. He will want you to do something. Are you then going to say,
“Lord, I cannot do it; I have only one handful of flour.”
That is the type of excuse that many people give. They are waiting till they get twenty pounds of flour to give to Christ. Give from what you already have. Give from the adversity you have. Work with what you got, no matter how little. When you do that, God will give you a hundred-fold. God has something for each one of us to do. He sees possibilities in us which are beyond all of our dreams.
“What have I to do” you ask.
First, let him come in, then you must sup with Him and He will sup with you.
We are living in momentous times. Its been a difficult year for everybody.
I am one of those people who do not have a big pile of money in my bank account for my “retirement.” Yet Jesus has led me to people who need my help because now they are going through similar trials that I have undergone in my past. Just yesterday, one person that I wrote a note to to tell them how God changed my heart and my life said in a reply:
“Thanks for your message and your prayers. And for your kindness as well. Also, thank you for the open platform to say whatever I like. It is nice to have this conversation with another Christian”
We can be the Light that others are searching for, regardless of how much money we have in the bank. And no matter what the merchants of the earth try to do to us.
Now suppose we put away all murmuring and complaining, and look to the light. Let us try it, and see what kind of a life we shall have. When Satan suggests doubt and darkness, say, “I will be free, I am free,” and when Satan tells you that you are a sinner, tell him, “I know it; but Jesus said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” Ask God to help you to place your thoughts upon Jesus, and Satan cannot control your mind. Put away all mob mentality; determine that through Jesus you will elevate your soul above all that is low and earthly, and become lights to the world. Let your words be as choice silver, your conversation full of hope and courage in the Lord, and wherever you are those around you will realize that a precious influence goes with you. The light and love and power of God will rest upon you.
Its a lonely time we live in where everyone is increasingly isolated, and everyone is doing whats right in their own eyes.(Deut 12:8). BUT Jesus is appealing to you. He says, Open the door and give me a chance and see what I will do for you.” Your barrels will not be empty; your needs will no longer be there. Your material needs will all be supplied and you will he a blessing to others. Every faithful praying believer will be a soul-winner. When you allow Christ to come into you and allow Him to take over the reins of your life, and to reign in your home, in your work Jesus will undertake for everything. To those who have only one talent, I plead with you to use it, lest you lose it. This is the time to rise up and serve the Lord. The time is ripe! May the Lord bless you all!
Treasure In Heaven