Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Luke 12:13-21 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: One thing I love about this parable is that it exposes the myth of security. We think we can make ourselves secure by amassing things, degrees, net worth, etc. All it takes is one serious illness, a car accident, a painful breakup, or a stock market crash for us to realize we are fragile and vulnerable, no matter how big our “storage barns” are.
In this parable Jesus reminds us that we are all going to die—rich or poor—and that all the money in the world cannot change that. Bigger barns will not keep us safe from the realities of the world we live in. Financial markets and home values will rise and fall. Our jobs will sometimes be secure and sometimes not. Jesus tells us to build our lives on something stronger, something unchanging. Trust in Jesus’ love, justice, mercy—these will never change. As the words of the hymn remind us, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.”
Recalibrate: In what ways can Jesus be “solid ground” for you today? With what part of your life do you need to trust Him more?
Respond: Pray that your trust in Jesus will grow so that all that He offers will be enough for you.
Research: Read Philippians 4:19 and reflect on how Paul came to completely depend only on Jesus.
Remember: “Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. A man’s life is not measured by the many things he owns.” —Luke 12:15 (ICB)
Sam Leonor loves his work as chaplain to the students and faculty of La Sierra University. His ministry is marked by a call to radical faith in Jesus. He loves finding ways to engage culture deeply for the sake of the Gospel. He has devoted his ministry to helping young adults bloom into a faith that is growing, mission oriented, and full of love.
While the rich fool planned to build bigger barns because he had too much seed to fit in his current barns, a heart can never contain too much love. Invest in filling up your child’s life with lots of love, hugs and kisses, and plenty of time. An abundance of love is the best gift you can give your child.
What is an inheritance? Has anyone in your family been given one? If so, what was it and do they still have it?
Possessions can be so divisive. Have you ever gotten into a fight with a loved one over things? So often we as humans try to fill empty feelings with things. How might Jesus’ words, “Watch out! . . . life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” change the way you live?