What Will Make Your Life Good? 

Luke 12.13–21

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • June 28, In the year of our Lord, 2015


  1. Lord willing, next Lord’s Day I shall address what happened this past Friday when the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriages, making same-sex marriage legal in America.
  2. The Ideal House

    A man and his wife bought their house in the suburbs because it had everything they wanted in a house: it was the ideal house! But after a few years they began to be displeased with their house because they thought of some things their house did not have: and they began to be displeased with some features it did have. Finally their displeasure grew to the point they could no longer enjoy their house, and they put it in the hands of a Realtor to sell for them, and began looking for a new house.In their search for the truly ideal house, they came across an ad describing a house which seemed just too good to be true. But, to their amazement, when they checked it out, they found it was the house they were trying to sell!

    How true to life is the above story! So many people are in what is really, a positive and fortunate situation; but they can’t enjoy it because of their ever-growing dissatisfaction over some things about which they are displeased. We make ourselves miserable, unable to enjoy what we have because of constant fretting over what we don’t like and don’t have! We should “count our blessings” and BE THANKFUL!

    (Yarbrough Leigh, The Good News, 03/22/87)


  1. Luke 12.13 – I Want My Fair Share

    13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12.13).

    1. Covetousness led this man to make a demand of the Lord.
      1. Notice that he did not humbly and
      2. politely submit a request to the Lord, or
        1. even ask if the Lord would do something of this nature.
        2. Luke 10 shows Martha approaching the Lord the same way,

          40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me” (Luke 10.40).
    2. People go to the Lord with preconceived notions
      1. on how they think that He should operate,
      2. leading them to demand that the Lord do what they say.
    3. Who do we think the Lord is?
      1. Who do we think we are?
      2. Jesus did not come to solve social issues,
        1. although when a person becomes a disciple of Christ,
        2. that person will change socially.
          1. Jesus did not come to destroy slavery, yet,
          2. following Christ people see the evils of slavery.
      3. What caused the problem between this man and his brother
        1. was not the proper division of an inheritance, but
        2. covetousness in both men.
          1. For that reason, Jesus gave a lesson on covetousness.
          2. Remove covetousness from this man’s heart and
            1. the problem with his brother will go away.
      4. Does this mean that his brother will give to him what is rightfully his?
        1. Maybe, maybe not.
        2. Resisting covetousness is not a way to manipulate people.
        3. Resisting covetousness changes your perspective on life’s meaning.
  2. Luke 12.14 – The Place of Christ in Our Lives

    14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” (Luke 12.14).

    1. Why did this man expect the Lord to be a judge or arbitrator in this matter?
      1. The man knew
        1. that the Lord is above all and
        2. knows justice perfectly.
      2. It seemed reasonable to this man
        1. that the best candidate for solving the problem was the Lord.
        2. However, this man did not see the Lord’s purpose for coming to Earth.
          1. He is the King of kings and the Creator of heaven and earth,
          2. not just the best judge for serving man.
    2. Jesus did not come to solve social issues.
      1. He had the ability to feed all people miraculously, because
        1. He miraculously multiplied bread on at least two occasions, but
        2. He did not do it for the whole world,
          1. He even allows starvation to continue to this very day.
          2. He expects us to do something about it.
      2. He healed many people, yet,
        1. in comparison to the numbers of people living then He healed few,
        2. though He has the ability to heal everyone of us.
      3. Why did He not feed and heal everyone, and
        1. why would He not judge in this matter of the inheritance?
        2. The answer is in discovering
          1. why those problems exist and
          2. why Jesus came to the earth.
    3. Problems exist because:
      1. We are living in a sin-cursed world,
      2. Now this is not intended to be our permanent home, and
        1. Jesus came for man’s spiritual salvation,
        2. not his earthly well-being.
    4. If Jesus had led a slave revolt,
      1. why would people come to Christ?
      2. They would seek political freedom rather than spiritual freedom.
    5. If Jesus fed everyone miraculously and healed everyone miraculously,
      1. most would come to Christ for those reasons
      2. rather than to be fed spiritually and healed spiritually.
  3. Luke 12.15 – What Is Your Life All About?

    15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12.15).

    1. Take heed and beware of covetousness.
      1. Jesus saw that this man had a serious problem, but
        1. knowing that this is a general human problem, Luke said
        2. that Jesus addressed Himself to everyone present.
      2. Therefore beware of covetousness because:
        1. It will distract you from spiritual matters,
        2. It will make you see Jesus in the wrong way, and
        3. It will become your god.
          1. Paul labels covetousness as idolatry.
          2. It deceives you,
            1. making you think that your life will be better,
            2. if only you could have more.
          3. It lies to you about what is life,

            5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth. fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col 3.5).
    2. Your life does not consist in the abundance of the things that you possess.
      1. Nevertheless, we pursue more things with reckless abandon.
      2. We feel cheated when we do not have as much as the next guy.
        1. Truly, the pursuit of building an abundance of possessions,
        2. does just the opposite,

          9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1Ti 6.9–10).
      3. Therefore, listen to what Paul said further to Timothy,

        17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life (1Ti 6.17–19).
    3. In what does your life consist?
      1. For Luke’s context, Jesus will tell us in verse 21, but
        1. for now let us see what the Bible says in other places, and
        2. these other passages affirm the same thing as verse 21.
      2. Romans 14 does not tell us what life consists of, but
        1. it tells us what is the essence of Christianity and
        2. in Paul’s answer he also gives us the essence of life,

          17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14.17).
      3. In Matthew 6 our Lord explains that life is more than material things,

        25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt 6.25).
  4. Luke 12.16–20 – Take It Easy Because You Are Rich?

    16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (Luke 12.16–20).

    1. This man sought treasure for himself.
      1. He had no desire to glorify God,
        1. either by giving God thanks nor
        2. by using his goods as God directs.
      2. He only saw that it was for himself.
    2. He did not consider the will of God.
      1. This man assumed that everything was in his own control.
      2. He also assumed that tomorrow would be like today, but
        1. Ecclesiastes 7 reveals what we should all know,
        2. that tomorrow could be as bad as today was good,

          14 In the day of prosperity be joyful,
          But in the day of adversity consider:
          Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other,
          So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
          (Ecc 7.14)
      3. God blesses us, but
        1. this man gave no thought as to why or how he was prosperous,
        2. that God blessed the farmer that he might do something with it.
    3. God could call us unexpectedly.
      1. We live here temporarily.
      2. One heart beat separates us from a place where our things are of no use.
    4. What good will our treasure do us?
      1. We will bring nothing with us,
      2. as the Pharaohs so ably demonstrate.
        1. God owns the heavens and the earth;
        2. do our things impress Him?
          1. Are you impressed if one pack rat stores 10 things more
          2. than his fellow pack rat?
  5. Luke 12.21 – Be Rich Toward God

    21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12.21).

    1. It is foolish to lay up treasure for ourselves.
      1. The foolishness comes in thinking
        1. that by laying up treasures for ourselves
        2. we will finally have a good life.
      2. God may bless us with material wealth.
        1. Abraham was wealthy.
        2. David had enough wealth to supply the material for the temple.
        3. Solomon had wealth that exceeds our imagination.
        4. Job was the wealthiest man in the East.
      3. However, let us remember
        1. who gave us the wealth and
        2. why He gave it to us.
          1. The Lord warned the Israelites Deuteronomy 8
          2. not to forget who had blessed them,

            11 Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” 18 And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deu 8.11–18).
    2. We must be rich toward God.
      1. Proverbs 13 puts material wealth and spiritual wealth in balance,

        7 There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
        And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
        (Pro 13.7)
      2. Being rich toward God is something that we will take with us.


  1. What or who is your God? 
    1. Do you serve your things or do they serve you?
    2. Are things or God better able to give you the right quality of life?
  2. Are you following Jesus totally, 
    1. living by faith,
      1. knowing that He will give you what is good and right?