Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of August 6, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from Luke 12:13-21, “Rich in God.” We are continuing our series on Biblical Stewardship discovering what the Bible teaches about how Christ-followers should be good managers of God’s riches. Learning to take care of what God has provided will lead to a more complete and purposeful life. The song, “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin is a catchy, feel good tune that is fun to listen to, but the song does not offer any answers to the worries we face. What it does offer is a false hope that if you just forget about your worries, they’ll disappear and you’ll be happy. Jesus is addressing a crowd concerned about the worries of the day. They lived in difficult conditions. Life was not good for the average Jewish citizen. They had many worries. In Luke 12, Jesus tells the crowds at least eight times, do not fear, do not be afraid, or do not worry about what’s happening around you. But, unlike the song, Jesus offers a solution to life’s challenges. Jesus taught that life is more than what you own. He presented a life that is “rich in God.” But what does it mean to be Rich in God?
1) Being rich in God is NOT excessive ADMIRATION of stuff. (vv.13-15) We are NOT rich in God when we desire stuff excessively. The riches of God are not found when we covet the wealth of others. (v.15) “Beware and be on your guard against every form of greed; for NOT even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possession.” Jesus answers the person in the crowd saying be careful, your life consists of more than what own. You can have all the possessions in the world. You can have a lot of things. You might even have so much you don’t know what to do with it but your life is more than that. So why is it that even today we find ourselves admiring and wanting more stuff? Maybe it’s because we have become ungrateful and fail to recall all that God has provided. A person who is rich in God does not spend much time admiring and desiring more stuff. It could be material things but it could also be things like relationships, status, power, money etc. The person who is rich towards God is content and thankful. Being more content and thankful is not easy as there are many temptations that Satan uses to keep us from enjoying what God has for us. Most of us in America have more than enough but we work hard to have more.
2) Being rich in God is NOT excessive ACCUMULATION of stuff. (vv.16-19) We are NOT rich in God when we store stuff in excess. (v.18) “This is what I will do; I will tear down my barns and build larger ones.” Jesus wants everyone to know God. He told the crowd of many thousands, the parable of the rich man to teach us that when we focus on having and getting more stuff we miss God. This very wealthy man had an abundance of crops. He had so much he ran out of storage space. He could’ve sold the crops, or even given it away to help the needy but instead he tore down his old barns and built new ones to store the excess crops. We humans like to store and accumulate stuff. We are blessed to have so many things in America but unfortunately this prosperity diverts our attention from God, to goods. Instead of seeking to store up treasures in Heaven we store up treasures on earth. We fool ourselves into believing that when we have a lot of stuff, like houses, cars, bank accounts etc., we will have security. Just as the rich man said in verse 19, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat drink, and be merry.” To be “Rich in God” is security in Him, not in the stuff we have.
3) Being rich in God is NOT excessive ATTACHMENT to stuff. (vv.20-21) We are not rich in God when we are tied to stuff excessively. (v.20) “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you!” I get it, it’s hard to let go of something that you worked very hard for. This last point may be one of the more complex things to deal with because often when we become attached to something there are strong emotions. If you have ever had to move or downsize you know what I mean. Even though we intend to get rid of things often we cannot donate or throw stuff away because memories are attached to that object. The good news is that Jesus is not scolding the rich man or us for emotional attachment to stuff. Jesus is reprimanding him for placing too much value on what he owns. Those who are rich in God have a proper perspective on wealth. The truly rich are not those who have the most toys in the end but is the one who seeks to build their treasures in heaven.
For the follower of Christ, when the pursuit of stuff is controlled, along with a feeling of freedom, it might lead to an increase in contributing to God’s work. Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” A commentary rephrased it this way, “Where one puts his money reveals the priorities of the heart.” When you avoid being excessive in what you ADMIRE, ACCUMULATE, and ATTACH yourself to, you will be on the path that will lead you to discovering what it means to be, “Rich in God.”
8/11 2:00pm Memorial Service for Howard Agawa; reception at 22540 Foothill Blvd. Hayward
8/11 5:30pm Little House potluck and fellowship
8/12 1pm-6pm Special Camp Post Camp Retreat
8/13 9:00am SS Teacher’s Kickoff Meeting in rm 8-9-10
8/13 both services Missions Moment – Jondy Natividad On a Mission - Japan
8/13 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for room assignments and favors
8/25 6:00pm 6th Grade Welcome Party
8/27 12:30pm Missions Team meeting in room 8-9
8/30 9:30am Women’s Bible Study resumes (sign up with Joyce Mitsuyoshi)
9/2 8:30am Missions Prayer
Children’s SS resumes from summer break
9/10 9:00am Deacon’s Meeting in room 8
9/10 both services Missions Moment – Andy and Nate Jeung
9/16 3 on 3 Hoops Classic at Alameda Point Gym
9/17 both services Missions Moment – Pr. John Katagi & Holly Yamagata – Brazil return report
9/17 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting for assignments, confirm teachers and design program
9/23 10am-12pm Potluck Brunch for supporters of Andy Jeung / ERRC
10/7 JCCWC 40th Anniversary
10/14 88th Anniversary (13th) and Fall Banquet
10/15 12:30pm Craft Day planning meeting final details
10/31 Harvest Festival
Have a blessed week, rich in God,
Stan , for SLZJCC