Welcome to Living Savior Lutheran Church
Living Savior church is now having regular worship services at 9:00a.m. every Sunday. We will be practicing social distancing. Masks are required. Communion will be given at the end of the service. After communion, you will leave through the back door, so please take all your belongings with. Offering plates will not be passed, but will be located at the entrance and at the exit. For those of you who are not comfortable with this arrangement, we also are offering the service to you in the parking lot on 105.7 FM on your radio dial.
Scriptures & Message
for Sunday, October 18th, 2020
First Reading – Isaiah 45:1-7
“This is what the LORD says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before Him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before Him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, Who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged Me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our LORD Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the LORD, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The LORD’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead-Jesus, Who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And He told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 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 my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain 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 whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
“How to Be Rich toward God”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our text for today is taken from the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21 and in particular verse 21 which reads, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Jack Benny, a comedian from the past, used to joke about his stinginess. In one of his routines a mugger holds him up, shoves the cold steel of a gun barrel into his back, and commands with a shrill voice: “Your money or your life!” Silence. The mugger repeats his line. Silence. Repeats again! Jack finally blurts out: “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” This line is funny because it contains so much truth. We can become so attached to money and material things…wanting more…bigger…fancier…that it seems as important as our very lives!
In our text, a man asks Jesus to command his brother to divide the family inheritance with him. Jesus ignores the argument, and, instead uses this situation to teach a vital lesson on the subject of greed. “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Jesus goes on to tell the story of an extremely successful and wealthy farmer. His fields produce abundant crops; he knows how to strike the most lucrative deals with the produce brokers. He loves his work; he is energized by it; everything he does seems to turn to gold! I don’t know what opportunities he had to develop his spiritual life, but apparently he considered doing bigger and bigger deals a more valuable use of his time and energy than seeking God! This is an easy pattern to fall into, is it not?
The farmer’s fields continue to produce spectacularly! His operation grows beyond his wildest dreams. Eventually, he has to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to hold all his grain and goods! Bursting with satisfaction, he exclaims, “I’ve got tons of money in the bank; my future is secure; now I’ll eat, drink and be merry!”
Then God said, “You fool!” This is shocking! A fool? At his funeral, everyone said, “He was a genius, a shrewd business man, a wise investor!”
Notice that the world looks at things in a much different way than God does. Our Lord goes on to say, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you!”
The question, then, is what good did his barn full of grains and goods do him then? What good did all his business deals do? He invested prime time and energy in storing up mountains of riches, but he had invested nothing in what mattered the most, and he stood before God empty-handed.
Jesus concludes, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
So here is what is important: we need to be RICH TOWARD GOD! What does that mean? It simply means to invest our lives into a relationship with God! We spend so much time and money investing in education, work, friends, families, pleasures, and we may be rich in these things, but are we rich toward God? Jesus taught, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . .” (Matthew 6:20). A disciple, one who is learning to be more like Jesus, needs to learn to invest his life in loving God and meeting the needs of others. Then he truly can live “life at its best.”
Let me offer three principles of financial giving guaranteed to make you rich toward God:
- We are rich toward God when we give to God first.In a non-agricultural society, rather than bringing in our crops, we give from the firstfruits of our income. We are to honor our commitment to God before buying the things we desire. Our great God does not value leftovers.How much should be budgeted?So, again we ask how much should be budgeted?Luke 12:48: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.”
- *The greater the income you have, the more you are expected to give!
- *It has something to do with your income! I Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income . . .”
- *Is our goal to tithe? The Old Testament community of believers were commanded to tithe (Malachi 3:10). Though tithing is not commanded in the New Testament, many Christians see tithing as a healthy goal,
- Our greediness can cause us to spend everything and be rich in possessions, but not have any left over to give. Budget the money to give to extend God’s Kingdom FIRST. That is not to be touched!
- Exodus 23:19: “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
- We are rich toward God when we give generously. You might reason: “I’ve worked up to tithing, and now I can coast!” Not really! Ten percent is not the goal. Giving generously is the goal!
- 2 Corinthians 9:11: “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
SHOCKING: Ephesians 4:28: “He . . . must work, doing something useful with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with those in need!”
The reason you have what you have is not to experience a higher standard of living, not to buy a bigger house and bigger cars, but to give generously! So that you can have a greater impact on spreading the Gospel!
When we get a raise, we normally think, “Now I can afford that 50” TV.” We ought to think differently! A raise, now I can give more! We need to think as disciples and ask ourselves, “How do I honor God by my lifestyle and my giving? How can I be rich toward God?”
What is a generous percentage of your income? If you live in poverty, three percent may be generous; if you are wealthy, 30 percent may not be generous. If our mortgage payments, or any other payments, are so high we cannot afford to give generously, we may need to downsize!
Now you should know that the Bible is not teaching us not to invest or prepare for emergencies and retirement, etc. We are to plan wisely for the future. Nor is the Bible teaching that we can’t have luxuries. I Timothy 6:17, 18: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, Who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
We need to keep a balance. We are to enjoy the pleasures of life as gifts from God and to be generous in giving.
we will try to keep you updated as we go along during this time of Covid 19.