I love barns. I sometimes stop and take pictures of old barns, just because I think they look cool. They remind me of the old barn on my grandpa’s farm when I was a kid. It seemed so mysterious and dark. I often wondered what treasures might be behind that dilapidated green door with the rusty hinges.
Before the barn was finally torn down, we did find an old hand-built corner shelf and a pie safe that was in shambles. Treasure!
Building Bigger Barns
Jesus told a story once about a man who so treasured his wealth, he built bigger barns to store it all in.
“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’
And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.”
‘Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.'”
‘But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
‘This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God'” (Luke 12:15-21, NIV 84).
It’s easy in our western culture where we have so much stuff to become focused on acquiring more and more. We justify why we need this or that when we see the latest style, model, or edition of something. We see that everyone else has a Fitbit or an InstaPot. Why shouldn’t we?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t. I’m only saying, should we?
In other words, do we pray about all of our purchases and then make a decision about whether or not it’s something we really need? I bet 9 times out of 10, we will desire the latest whatever, and in a few months or years, we’re tired of it or never even used it or we’re trying to sell it on e-bay or we’re ready for the upgrade.
Why do we have this fascination with stuff?
Well, because the enemy wants us focused on building our own kingdom rather than God’s kingdom.
Building the Kingdom
What if we instead looked at the needs around us and saved some of that money to help someone else or send missionaries around the world? The man in the parable wasn’t wrong because he was rich. The Lord provided his good crop by sending the rain and the sun. He was wrong when he decided that storing it up and taking it easy the rest of his life was the thing to do.
God rebuked him because he saw his treasure as something he gained for himself, and he reserved the right to decide what to do with it. He rebuked him because his eyes were on himself and not God.
“The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
This verse clearly tells us that everything belongs to God. He gives us the health, strength, and energy to work. He provides the job. He alone brings the wealth. All we are and all we have is because God allowed it. We don’t really have the right to decide what to do with it.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
Our Greatest Treasure
When I am wanting something that I don’t need, it’s usually because I am focused on myself or not feeling content in some other area of my life. We need to learn to find our contentment in Christ. He is our greatest Treasure!
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
“The LORD is my shepherd. I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1).
There are many people all around us with needs. Will we be willing to give up some of the our wants in order to meet some of their needs?
Jesus said our lives don’t consist in the abundance of our possessions. What we treasure most matters. It matters to God. It matters to the kingdom. It matters to eternity.
We can keep acquiring and keep building bigger barns. Or we can lay aside some of our desires and start building the kingdom. Only one will impact eternity.
What are you building?