What Is Your Life?

Luke 12:15-32


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

14 Feb, 2010  AM



Song: It is well with my soul!

Props: Dust, Dry Grass, Iron for vapour steam


I.       Introduction (James 4:14)


A.     Jesus Teaches a Lot About Life

B.     Asks all of us some very important questions about life

C.     One of them is amazing – What IS your life?

D.     Compares our life to a load of different things:


1.      Vapour – like steam (James 4:14)

2.      Grass (James 1:9,10) – Rich people are not compared to mountains, or gold, but GRASS “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”

3.      A Weaver’s Shuttle (Job 7:6) "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle."

4.      A Breath of Wind (Job 6:7) "O remember that my life is wind."

5.      A Flower (Job 14:1-2) "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not."

6.      Dust (Ps 103:14-16) "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."

7.      A Passing Shadow (Ps 144:4) "Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away."


E.      Well, the Western world  has definitely a lot to learn about life! Oh yes, we have gadgets, and cars, and millions of miles of roads, and cookers, and washing machines, and the internet

F.      But how many people have a life?


1.      Did you know, that most people by the time they are 35, have given up on living. They live simply because they have to. They have bills to pay, they have people needing them; they have places to go, but they don’t enjoy it.

2.      I want to fix that for some of you this morning!


II.    Message


A.     The Contradiction (Luke 12:15)


1.      Jesus explains what Life is NOT

2.      Starts off by saying life is NOT what you normally think it is – “a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

3.      Isn’t that what everyone is learning these days?


a.       That what we hold onto, disappears, fades, rusts, is washed away, crumbles

b.      Everything can be going just fine and dandy, and then BAM, an earthquake hits and 110,000 people die in Haiti

c.       Then, when nobody is noticing, an 8.8 earthquake hits Chile and a tsunami spreads out across the entire pacific ocean, and people in Hawaii and Japan are put on full alert

d.      People are driving their BMW’s down a highway, and next thing they know, they are being pulled out of the car in pieces

e.       Children as young as 2 years old are contracting cancer, and normal looking people are walking around with a time-bomb that could go off at any moment – a heart attack

f.       Hey! Life has to be more than what man is living and experiencing today!


B.     The Lesson – Jesus uses a Parable (Lk 12:16-21)


1.      A Prosperous Man (Lk 12:16)


a.       A farmer

b.      A Blessed Farmer – no real troubles or problems to speak of

c.       Things were working out very well for him

d.      He had never had so much in all his life – such an enviable situation

e.       He is happy!

f.       Isn’t it true that, We all normally consider a good life to be when we are happy


1)      If we are not happy, then we feel that we do not have life – not one worth living

2)      We only gauge our life by what we have, own, control, can show off, boast about


a)      If we don’t have people around us adoring us…

b)      If we don’t have a wife or a husband to show off (many a person has rushed off to get a partner, a wife a husband thinking NOW, I will have a life, be happy)

c)      If you don’t have a child

d)      If we don’t have a thing that we can call our own

e)      Then we usually don’t think we have much of a life!


3)      To us in the western world, life consists of things, of our dreams, our expectations

4)      And as long as those things and desires are being met, then we think we have a life - We think we have a good life. And we can show it off, and hold our head high


2.      A Pondering Man (Lk 12:17) – thought about things hard


a.       So this man has dilemma.

b.      He had reached his limit – he is concerned about the future


1)      Not of family

2)      Not of his health

3)      Not of heaven

4)      But about where to store more THINGS!


c.       Ran out of room to store all his crops and his money and his investments

d.      He had to do something or his financial growth would stop

e.       So he sat and pondered, and thought, and researched, and wrestled with this dilema


3.      A Purposeful Man (Luk 12:18) – decided what he had to do


a.       He decides exactly what to do – nothing wishy-washy about this man

b.      He said, “Pull down my barns, and build greater”

c.       He decided to prepare for greater things – an optimist

d.      Planned on things just getting better and better, and bigger and bigger

e.       Did you ever notice that people don’t normally prepare for things getting worse?


4.      A Philosophical Man (Lk 12:19)


a.       Oh, he was such a philosopher

b.      Saw things deeper than the normal Joe – saw things at the level of the soul, and yet no further

c.       Talked to himself quite a lot - his best friend seemed to be himself

d.      Very proud of himself – actually applauds himself! Pats himself on the back. Congratulates himself on his awesome wisdom!

e.       Here is a man who now is…


1)      Very happy

2)      Very content

3)      Very blessed – “much goods”

4)      Very confident- things were going to stay this way for a very long time

5)      Very relaxed – “take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry”


5.      A Foolish Man (Lk 12:20; Ps 14:1)


a.       But while he was applauding his own wisdom, "God said unto him, Thou fool!”

b.      What was this wealthy, successful man’s problem?


1)      No thought of God

2)      No thankfulness towards God

3)      No time or effort seeking God’s will, or seeking His pleasure

4)      Only thought that his life was made up of the things that HE wanted, and that HE possessed. All he talked about was:


a)      My fruits, my barns, my goods, my soul, my ease

b)      My decision, my plans, my dreams, my future, my life!


5)      But there was Someone he completely forgot about – GOD!


a)      Oh yeah, He is still around!

b)      No, He didn’t disappear with the dark ages

c)      He is still the Creator and Sustainer of all life


c.       So, God shows up!


1)      Time’s up!

2)      Your soul is sought now (Heb 9:27)

3)      All the things you possess, and all the life you have lived matters nothing at that moment (Ps 73:18,19)

4)      ALL that we own is going to someone else at our death!


d.      Folks, you had better learn this lesson - Only your SOUL matters!


1)      This rich, famous, prosperous man died a poor man (Luk e12:21) – not rich toward God!  “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

2)      You had better make sure it is right with God – forgiven and owned by Jesus!

3)      Your soul is priceless

4)      All of the accumulation of wealth, of lands, of things in this world can’t match the worth of your soul (Matthew 16:26)


6.      Who do you think Jesus just described?


a.       Marilyn Monroe – 36 years old drug overdose

b.      Kurt Corbain – 27 years old, blew his head off with a shotgun

c.       Judas Iscariot – had the money, had the power – jumped off a cliff at 30 yrs old

d.      Jimi Hendrix – 28 years old, peak of his career - drug overdose

e.       And absolutely every person who has ever lived, or ever will live!


C.     The Challenge (Luke 12:22-32)


1.      Luke 12:22  And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

2.      Take no thought - Speaking of worry, becoming consumed with the affairs of this life


a.       This is going to be THE struggle in your life!

b.      To NOT worry about what to eat - About what to drink

c.       Life is about more than food and clothes. More than friends and family. More than money and possessions! More than children or friends!

d.      It’s strange that we haven’t changed in 2,000 years


3.      Study the Ravens (12:24) – Yucky, scavenger black birds are pretty well taken cared of


a.       Can’t plant, harvest, store up their crops

b.      GOD takes care of them

c.       Aren’t you more important than them?


4.      Study Natural Growth (12:25,26)


a.       Worry never helped anyone grow one inch

b.      As a matter of fact, mankind is shrinking, not growing taller

c.       Before the dark ages, people were taller and healthier

d.      Worry and stress, anxiety, pressures haven’t helped anyone one bit!

e.       If you can’t help yourself grow by worry, which is least important, why worry about all the rest of your life?


5.      Study the Lilies (12:27,28)


a.       Study HOW they grow

b.      Lilies grow and are so beautiful without any fuss at all

c.       No toiling, no sweat, no stress

d.      Yet, king Solomon was not clothed as beautifully as just one of them!

e.       A Lilly is nothing more than pretty grass – something that grows out of the ground, and is cut down, and withers, and is burned

f.       Aren’t human souls of much more value than they?


6.      Then, Start Living by Faith in God (Lk 12:29-32)


a.       Look at the words in 12:28, “O ye of little FAITH!

b.      Look down at the end of 12:29, “neither be ye of doubtful mind” – worrisome

c.       The temptation has always been the same – to get our eyes off of Jesus, and to start thinking about THINGS, about the LACK of things, about the problems, the pressures, the dilemmas, the obstacles

d.      It all begins when we think we can do better than God can


1)      We can build better, bigger

2)      We can plan and prepare, and work harder

3)      But then we forget to pray

4)      We don’t wait on God, and do things God’s way

5)      And we forget to say, “Not my will, but thy will be done”

6)      And our world is none the better for all our independence!


e.       God knows what you need, and He is constantly supplying what you need – in the good times and bad

f.       Everybody is focused on finding “life” (Luk 12:30)  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

g.       The one thing we must do is seek God’s kingdom (12:31). Luk 12:31  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.


1)      Don’t get your eyes off that

2)      Don’t forget that God is still in control

3)      Don’t forget that He is working out His plan

4)      Don’t forget that He has a kingdom coming

5)      And He offers it to anyone who will just simply follow His Son (12:32)

6)      Get back to believing that God will take good care of you if you just obey Him!


D.     The Point (John 10:10; 1John 5:12)


1.      Jesus said “I am come that you might have life and that more abundant.” Now, THAT is life!


a.       More abundant than what?


1)      He did not promise us things

2)      He did not promise a wife

3)      He did not promise us children

4)      He did not promise us a husband

5)      He did not promise us riches

6)      He did not promise us health

7)      He didn’t even promise us good weather!


b.      What He did promise us was…


1)      A sound mind (2Ti 1:7)  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

2)      The peace of God (Joh 14:27)  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

3)      A home in heaven (Joh 14:1,2)  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

4)      A holding hand (Heb 13:5) “he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” and,  (Deu 33:27)  “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”

5)      He promised us HIMSELF

6)      These are the things that matter!


2.      Where we have gone wrong, is we have decided that the things that everybody else has is what we have to have, to have life!


a.       But, He that hath the Son hath LIFE (1st John 5:12)

b.      And he that hath NOT the Son of God, HATH NOT LIFE!

c.       That’s the truth!

d.      Without the Son of God in your life you HAVE NO LIFE!

e.       If you have the Son of God in your life YOU HAVE LIFE – YOU’VE GOT IT!


3.      Anything else that you think you need, or that you think that you have to have more than Jesus is covetousness!


a.       You and I have been lied to and deceived by the devil (the god of THIS world)

b.      And it has crippled your Christianity, and you have grieved and quenched the Spirit of God


1)      Who wanted to reveal to you HIMSELF in the lack of things;

2)      His POWER in the lack of strength;

3)      His GLORY when things are dark!

4)      In the trials, heartaches He wanted to be so real to you

5)      Not that you should lash out, and fight back, and get depressed and get defeated, get upset

6)      He wanted to make somebody sweet, soft, yielded, firm in their faith in God


c.       Shame on you Christian!


1)      When you let the lack of things, and the lack of worldly peace

2)      When you look at the missing and the lack of unfulfilled dreams cause you to give up on God


d.      You ought to thank God that He cannot change, that He cannot deny His character

e.       If He was anything like you and me, He would have abandoned us 6,000 years ago

f.       It is time that we got on our face before God and said we are sorry, so stinking sorry that we are addicted to things

g.       Hey!


1)      It may not be well with my flesh, my body

2)      My flesh is as grass

3)      My body is as a vapour, as a smoke in the wind

4)      And just as quickly as it appears, it disappears

5)      It may be two week’s, two years, twenty years and a hundred years, and it is just snuffed out, wiped out before people’s eyes!

6)      But because of Jesus Christ, it is well with MY SOUL!


III. Conclusion


A.     I said earlier that,


1.      We all normally consider a good life to be when we are happy. If we are not happy, then we feel that we do not have life. We only gauge our life by what we have, own, control, can show off, boast about. If we don’t have people around us adoring us, if we don’t have a wife or a husband, if we don’t have a child, If we don’t have a thing that we can call our own, THEN we usually don’t think we have much of a life!

2.      And as long as those things are desires are being met


a.       then we think we have a life - We think we have a good life

b.      And we can show it off, and hold our head high


B.     BUT… if Jesus Christ is ALL you have, then you truly ARE RICH towards God!


1.      There is no Christian in this room who shouldn’t hold their head high because they have Christ in them, Jesus as their eternal God and Saviour and Friend! If that is all you have!

2.      Job teaches us this!


a.       Job knew that his redeemer liveth

b.      His wife wasn’t beside him, or behind him in his trial – he was alone!

c.       His wife didn’t care about the heartache he was experiencing

d.      She didn’t care about praising God

e.       And yet he said, I will not turn away from my God! I will not stop trusting Him

f.       Now, he found it hard, and wished he had never been born

g.       But Job did not consider that the things that he had the reason for him to say that he had LIFE

h.      When everything was gone, he still had GOD!

i.        AND ever better, God still had Job!


C.     Ps 39:4-7 "LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee."

D.     Search your heart – where have you focused your energies? Where are all your investments? How is your dependence on God? When was the last time you cried out to Him and admitted you have been seeking to live JUST LIKE THIS MAN in Luke 12?

E.      Don’t be so careful about outward things, diligent in doing good, and exact in outward duties – some of you are so concerned about all of those but have no continuing relationship with God in heaven, and especially with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

F.      A few days from now, a few weeks, a few years, you WILL step into eternity; where earthly things will be of no avail What benefit will you get from all that you have laid up in this world? What satisfaction will you have in all that you have treasured up -- all that you have left behind?