“And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; 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?” Luke 12:19-21
Every year many people do the same thing, they make up some resolution to commit to a thing that they will endeavour to fulfil for the entire coming year, thereby improving themselves or, at least, completing a goal that they have set for themselves. Inevitably, every year, a vast majority fail miserably. And so it goes, every year the same thing to such a degree that the resolution, in of itself, has no resolve in it whatsoever. Every year made – every year broken. Some quit vices, such as watching too much television or overeating. Some may resolve to finally pay off that unmanageable credit card or debt. Some resolve to do more; more exercise, spending more time with family, spending more time helping others by volunteering and so on. Many times the motivation may be age related, since we are not getting any younger and time slips away so quickly on us. In the context of the Christian life, some resolve to spend more time reading the Bible, pray more, be more faithful to going to church. However, after making a new year’s resolution, many times it only takes a few days and all is forgotten. But, why? Do we have the wrong intentions? The wrong motivations? Are we doing it for personal gain? Is it for self-promotion? …From a wrong heart? That could be, but I believe making a resolution that we are to keep all year long is setting an unattainable goal. In so doing, as Christians, we have the wrong focus; on self and on our own ability rather than on God’s ability through us.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phil. 4:13
I submit to you we are biting off more than we can chew when making a resolution for a whole year; we are setting ourselves up for failure. A lofty target such as that is unattainable, and worse, I submit to you it is unscriptural and sinful. Please allow me to prove this to you from scripture.
a “day” is a measurement of time created by God consisting of twenty-four hours; or, the evening and morning. I believe God knew exactly what measure of time we could handle, so he gave us this time frame called, a day; no more and no less. We can see how God uses this time period to our advantage. Every day we find ourselves completing necessary tasks needed to stay alive, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, waking, and clothing ourselves. If we do not take care of these simple tasks we would not stay healthy for very long.
Furthermore, I was curious to know how many time the word, “day”, occurred in the Bible. I found that “day” or derivatives of the word were used so many times I could not take the time to count them all. Sufficed to say, that my Strong’s concordance had at least eight full pages printed in a miniscule type size on each page; many hundreds of occurrences of the word. As a consequence, we find that most of the stories in the Bible are written in the increment called, “day”. So, clearly, this word is very important to our Heavenly Father who has our best in mind to live in that context. Let me prove this to you:
- Gen. 1:5
- Evening and morning were the first day;
- all things created in 6 literal days.
- Exod. 16:4-5
- after Egypt, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 yrs.;
- God provided food everyday; strict limits;
- v.5 – notice, “MANNA” collected daily and 2x “daily” on Friday to observe God’s Sabbath;
- Did this every day for 40 years.
IN COMMITMENT BY JESUS
- Matt. 6:9-11
- the context of a day;
- Jesus commanded us to pray daily;
- Bible characters example of prayer; ie.: Daniel, David, Jesus;
- If Jesus commanded us to pray this way then He did not choose any other time frame.
So, God showed the importance he places on this time increment called, a “day”:
in creation – by defining the day; in commandment – to His people, the Israelites by supplying their daily need; and in His commitment – in prayer. Could it be that asking for more is selfish and ungrateful, in fact, sin? Now that we have clarified God’s definition of the day he has given us and that He did not give any more time to work with other than that, how can we apply this to our lives?
Don’t rely on yourself.
Our text, found in Luke 12:16-21, is the parable of the rich fool. What is a parable? If the parable is found in your Bible it is an allegory or a story designed to illustrate an example or teaching for us in life given by God Himself for our mutual benefit. Who is the audience? Verse 1 of our text says, “…an innumerable multitude of people…”. Also, it is addressed to us, the readers of this preserved scripture from God. In this parable of the rich man, we see he had a problem: he had an “eye” problem! You ask, where do you see that? Well, please look at vv. 17-19;
“And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 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. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” Luke 12:17-19
Did you catch that? I will do this and I will do that and I…. I, I, I, me, me, me, …which lead the rich man with the “I” problem to destruction in three easy steps.
STEP #1 – He did not give God the credit for his increase; leading to
STEP #2 – He gave HIMSELF the credit; he lied to himself – leading to
STEP #3 – He wanted to be his own god.
Where have we seen this before? Have a look at the following scripture found in Isaiah 14:12-14;
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14
This one also had an “I” problem. Even now, Lucifer is following the same, “three-steps to destruction program” that the rich man did. Just like the rich man in our parable, Lucifer did not give God the credit for his blessing, but instead, in pride, gave himself the glory and the credit. Instead of giving God glory, he lied to himself and willed himself to be his own god, saying, “I will be like the most High”. Back in our text in Luke 12, notice in verse 20;
“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?” Luke 12:20
You see, relying on self caused the rich man his destruction. It will cause the destruction of Lucifer and, if you persist, it WILL lead to your destruction as well, not maybe. Look with me for a moment at v.18 – What does the rich fool say? “THIS WILL I DO”. What does the Bible say?
Don’t Think Too Far Ahead
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Jas. 4:13-17
How do we avoid thinking too far ahead? By doing… Please look each one of these scriptures up and ponder them for a while.
DO – Take things one day at a time. Matt. 6:34.
DO – Be humble. Humble yourself before God and before others; James 4:5-7.
DO – Pray. Admit your frailty; Psm. 39:4-7; Jer. 17:9-11; John 15:5.
DO – Be content with what you have; Phil. 4:11, Heb. 13:5, Luke 3:14, I Tim. 6:6-11.
We are greatly blessed when God opens our eyes for the day. But, be more thankful still that He did not give you more than you can handle and that He did not give you more than one day to deal with! We are given a great blessing of a day to live in. You are only given one day at a time – if I may say, as an adage, “Know your limit. Live within it!”
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Matt. 6:26-27
Why do we worry? This is the most unprofitable action and so unnecessary. I submit to you that relying on yourself and thinking too far ahead leads to worry, AND WORRY IS SIN.
“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Rom.14:23
Take Peter, for example, it took great faith to get out of that boat to walk on the water. At that moment he was relying on Jesus – his focus was right! But, when he saw the water he stopped looking at Jesus and realizing his own weakness may have said to himself, what am I doing?! He failed because, at that moment of doubt, his trust was then placed in himself. Don’t laugh at him. What about you? Clearly God does not want us to think farther ahead than the one day he has given us. In other words, do not be concerned about tomorrow. God wants us to trust Him for all of our needs! Again,
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt. 6:34
This verse says, “Take therefore…”. So, what is the word, “therefore”, there for? Look up the scripture preceding v.34; Matt. 6:27-33. If God can take care of the birds and those that do not labour, how much more, “oh ye of little faith”, shall He take care of all your needs! This passage outlines, food and raiment, or clothing. God the Father knows you have need of those things! He will take care of your every need. Do you believe that?
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Tim. 6:8
Remember our definition and God’s example of a “day”, in creation, to his people, and by His own commitments? We are given a day, the great blessing of “one” day. Be thankful that God, in His great mercy, did not give you more than that! Do not go looking for more than that. God already knows that one day is all we can handle. Would we rather boast of our own failure prone capabilities or trust in God’s immutable grace?
So, tomorrow, when God wakes you and opens your eyes for another day, will you realize in yourself that you are frail (read Psalm 39:4-7 again) and that you have no ability to handle this day on your own without God’s help? In fact, will you admit to yourself and before God that this day will be destroyed in your hands? Would you not rather admit this? This should drive you to your knees in prayer and humility. If we do this we will not succumb to our selfishness as easily, because we know the day is God’s now. If we do this our worries will immediately be swept away by thought of birds and flowers that are so well taken care of and the sweet realization of our value in comparison to them; from God’s assurance in His Word that our Heavenly Father God promised never to leave us nor forsake us. You see God never gave you a year, He only gave you one day, today. ~R.
“This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psm. 118:24
(c) 2015 Remi Fernhout