The Perils of Being Rich
Topic: AM Service Passage: Luke 18:18–18:30
We are greatly blessed to live in the time and place that we do. Even the poorest among us have luxuries that others around the world long for and that the richest and most powerful throughout history could only have dreamed of. At the same time, these riches demand something back from us – our attention and focus. We are tempted to view life through the lens of what we have, what we need, and what we want. All this “success” also pushes us to believe that we are in charge and that we can do whatever we set our minds to. “Be all that you can be,” “you can be anything you want,” and “anything is possible” are the phrases of our age. But deep down, we realize that we are not masters of our circumstances; we are not able to control life; we are not even able to make ourselves who we want to be, no matter how many self-help books we read. Jesus met such a man, a man who thought he had everything all together, that he had done all that was needed to inherit eternal life. All he wanted was to be affirmed in his own goodness by the teacher. Instead, Jesus called upon the man to stop trusting in himself and to trust the only one who is good, God. In this, we see “The Perils of Being Rich” (Luke 18:18-30).
I. Thinking We Are Rich (18:18-23)
A. What Can I Do?
B. What Have I Done?
C. What I Don’t Want to Do
II. Knowing We Are Poor (18:24-30)
A. Mission Impossible
B. The God of the Impossible
C. Impossible Blessing
Questions for consideration: (1) Why do you think people start with what they can do to enter heaven, even when they are at a loss? (2) What is the danger of over interpreting Jesus’ statement in verse 25? (3) What things in your life are a peril to entering into the Kingdom?