Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"God's Economy"
Luke 12:13-21

(This outline is inspired, in part, by Mike Hoy)

A. Filled With Self

    1. Manufacturing security and, eventually, left bankrupt

    2. Far from stable--pun intended!--investment in God

B. Filled With God

    1. God's new economy: secure in Christ and His forgiveness

    2. Affluent in resources so that salvation is given to all


1. pleonexia (verse 15): greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice

2. thesaurizo (verse 21): to gather, lay up, to heap up, store up; to accumulate riches; to keep in store, store up, reserve; metaphorically, so to live from day to day as to increase either the bitterness or the happiness of one's consequent lot

3. plouteo (verse 21): to be rich, to have abundance; of outward possessions; metaphorically, to be richly supplied; is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all

4. No fanatic about renunciation of possessions, Jesus nevertheless warned us that they could hinder our being open to the Kingdom and that we have to use them for others' welfare. (John Sheila Galligan, Spirituality Today, Spring 1985)

5. ...only in life towards God, a life participating in God's life, is peace. That will be a peace that weeps, knows anguish, sometimes does not know and does not have answers, but keeps believing in the worth God wants us to have and wants us to give and live towards others. (William Loader)

6. Excuse the pun, Ben Franklin, but would you have ever imagined how the pursuits of health, wealth and wisdom would, ultimately, leave us with none of the above? (Mike Hoy)

From Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"What Greed Can Do"
Luke 12:13-21

I. It can divide families (as in the text, v 13).
   A. The older brother was to receive 2/3 of the inheritance by Jewish Law; the younger 1/3.
   B. Greed is one of the "inside things" that corrupts a man-cf. Mk. 7:18-23
   C. The Bible says that it is idolatry-Cf. Col. 3:5

II. It can cause you to be forgetful:
 A. About the Giver of all good-Cf. Job 8:11-19; Prov. 30:8b-9a
 B. About the meaning of life-v.15; see also John 10:10, Eph. 3:17-19
 C. About the purpose of God's gifts-Cf. Deut. 11:15, Ps. 68:9-10, Prov. 19:17, Prov. 22:9, Prov. 28:27, Isa. 58:5-7. D. About how quickly wealth can be lost-v. 20. Cf. Ps. 37:35-36, 1 Peter 1:24.

III. Its opposite is in being "rich toward God."
 Cf. Eph. 1:7, 18; 2:7;  3:8; James 2:5, Phil. 4:19, 1 Tim. 1:14.

Albert Barnes writes about "being rich toward God:

"Rich toward God-Has no inheritance in the kingdom of God-no riches laid up in heaven. His affections are all fixed on this world, and he has none for God. From this instructive parable we learn:

1. That wicked people are often signally prospered-their ground brings forth plentifully. God gives them their desire, but sends leanness into their souls.

2. That riches bring with them always an increasing load of cares and anxieties.

3. That they steal away the affections from God-are dangerous to the soul.

4. That the anxiety of a covetous man is not what "good" he may do with his wealth, but where he may hoard it, and keep it for himself.

5. That riches cannot save their proud owners from the grave. Death will come upon them  suddenly, unexpectedly. In the very midst of the brightest anticipations-in a moment-in the twinkling of an eye it may come, and all the wealth that has been accumulated cannot alleviate one pang, or drive away one fear, or prolong life for one moment.

6. That the man who is trusting his riches is a fool in the sight of God. Soon, also, he will be a fool in his "own" sight, and will go to hell with the consciousness that his life has been one of empty foolishness.

7. That the path of true wisdom is to seek first the kingdom of God, and to be ready to die; and then it matters little what is our portion here, or how suddenly or soon we are called away to meet our Judge. If our affections are not fixed on our riches, we shall leave them without regret. If our treasures are laid up in  heaven, death will be but "going home," and happy will be that moment when we are called to our rest."

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