Introduction: It may seem jarring to go from studying righteousness
by faith in Galatians and Romans to studying stewardship! Stewardship
is not my favorite topic, but I cannot recall ever teaching the
subject in any detail. It is, however, an important issue and a study
in which we can all learn more about God’s will for us. Let’s dig
into the Bible for our first lesson in our new series on stewardship!

  1. Dead, Rich and Worry Free

    1. Read Luke 12:13-14. Jesus says that no one made Him a
      judge in this dispute over an inheritance. Why do you
      think this fellow asked for Jesus’ help? (Jesus was an
      authority figure. If you truly understood Jesus’ message,
      He was God.)

      1. Jesus essentially says, “I’m not going to intervene.”
        Do any of your prayers seem to ask Jesus to do
        something like this?

    2. Read Luke 12:15. Instead of trying to solve this dispute,
      Jesus talks about greed. Why is greed relevant? (An
      inheritance generally involves family. Jesus apparently
      thinks that this kind of dispute between family members
      reflects more concern about money than concern about
      family relationships.)

      1. Is Jesus calling the man greedy? (No. Jesus just says
        “watch out!” Perhaps this is a call for the man to
        consider whether he is putting money ahead of family

      2. What lesson is Jesus teaching? (The matter of
        possessions and greed is something that we should
        carefully consider.)

    3. Read Luke 12:16-18. Does this seem like a reasonable
      business decision to you?

      1. If you are a Christian, and you follow God’s leading
        in your life, should you expect to be successful?
        (Read Deuteronomy 28:1-4. If you follow God’s
        commands, you can expect to be blessed in “the crops
        of your land,” like this farmer.)

    4. Read Luke 12:19. Is this a reasonable reaction for a
      successful farmer? If you make enough money that you no
      longer need to work, is it appropriate to retire?

    5. Read Luke 12:20. Why is the farmer a fool? No one knows
      when they will die. This fellow was hoping to live for
      some time on what he had saved, but now someone will
      inherit his money. Perhaps the fellow who asked Jesus for
      help with an inheritance problem will inherit from this

      1. As you consider all of the elements of this story, do
        any of them strike you as being improper? Are there
        any sinful decisions that you can spot?

    6. Read Luke 12:21. What does Jesus say is the moral problem
      with this farmer? (He was not rich towards God. He was
      only thinking of himself.)

      1. Why is this story the logical result of the fellow
        asking Jesus for help with his inheritance problem?
        (That fellow was not thinking about his relationship
        with the other family members (a priority for
        Christians) and the retired farmer was not
        considering anything other than preserving his

    7. Read Luke 12:22-24. If I were to ask you to compare the
      farmer to an old person who had made no provision for
      retirement other than being like a raven, who would you
      say is the fool?

    8. There is no doubt in my mind that God intends for us to
      consider these three stories all together. So, let’s
      finish what Jesus has to say about worry. Read Luke 12:25-26. Was the farmer worried about dying? (Jesus seems to
      say that he should have been more worried.)

      1. What was worrying the farmer?

    9. Read Luke 12:27-31. Did the farmer seek the kingdom of
      God? (That was Jesus’ specific criticism of the farmer –
      he was not rich towards God.)

    10. With regard to the flowers and birds story, what is Jesus’
      main point? (Not to worry. God will take care of our
      needs. Worry does not cure any problem.)

    11. Let’s see if we can find a common thread or teaching that
      goes through these three stories. First, think about how
      would you connect the story about the inheritance to the
      story of the farmer. What common teaching do you find
      between those two? (Both the inheritance fellow and the
      farmer should have been more concerned about promoting the
      will of God. Both were focused on the financial side of

    12. How would you connect the farmer’s story to the story of
      the birds and flowers? (The farmer should have been more
      concerned about not being “rich” towards God. Since the
      bird and flowers story is about not worrying about
      financial things, these people are also more worried about
      finances and not trusting God.)

      1. Would it be fair to look at the farmer’s story and
        the birds and flowers story and conclude that we
        should not save for retirement?

      2. Is there a difference between being prudent and
        worrying? (Read Proverbs 6:6-11. God is not the
        author of laziness or poor planning. The farmer’s
        problem was not earning and saving, it was doing this
        without being “rich” towards God. Recall that Luke
        12:16 says “the ground” produced the abundant crop,
        not the skill of the farmer. The farmer was looking
        at his future in this world only and not his future
        in the next world.)

    13. How would you connect the farmer’s story with the birds
      and flowers story when it comes to putting God in the
      picture? (They both had this in common: worry comes from
      not considering what God is doing for us. The farmer’s
      greed came from not considering what God required of him.
      Both failed to adequately consider God’s role in life.)

  2. Your Treasure

    1. Read Luke 12:32-34. How does this relate to the three
      stories we just studied? (I think it is Jesus’ summary of
      the three stories.)

      1. Is Jesus telling us to sell all our possessions? (No.
        He does not say sell “all” of your possessions.)

      2. How much of our possessions are we to sell and give
        to the poor? (Jesus does not say.)

      3. If Jesus does not say, then what are we to do? How
        should we understand this? (Notice that Luke 12:32
        tells us not to be afraid. This is the point of the
        birds and flowers story. Luke 12:33 tells us that we
        can transfer money to our account in heaven by giving
        to the poor. This is the point of the farmer’s story
        – he was getting ready for retirement on earth, when
        in fact he was headed (we trust) to heaven. He failed
        to put his money in the right place.)

      4. Focus on Luke 12:34. What does this mean? (It seems
        to me that all three stories are about our focus in
        life. Our heart, in Jesus’ statement, is the seat of
        our being. What we do with our assets reflects who we

        1. What does your asset allocation say about you?

    2. Read Luke 12:35-37. In the previous stories Jesus seems to
      be talking about money and wealth. What asset is Jesus
      addressing in this fourth story? (What we do with our

      1. Do you think that when Jesus was talking about
        inheritance, the results of farming, and the flowers
        and birds story, that His conclusion also covered how
        we use our time? (They say that “time is money.” If
        this is true, and I think it is, then the use of our
        time also reflects our focus in life, the true
        priority of our heart.)

    3. Re-read Luke 12:31 and Luke 12:37. Our study is about
      materialism. Is poverty our goal? (Hardly. Both of these
      texts say that God will give us the things that the
      materialists pursue.)

      1. If you agree with this conclusion, what is the point
        of our four stories in Luke 12? (God wants our heart
        and our minds focused on Him and advancing His

      2. Remember in the introduction I suggested it was
        “jarring” to go from our studies on grace to a study
        on stewardship. Is that really true? (No! Grace is
        being focused on our relationship with God rather
        than our works. Turns out that stewardship is the
        same – putting our focus on God!)

    4. Friend, will you put your focus on advancing the Kingdom
      of God? What not ask the Holy Spirit today to help you
      with your focus?

  3. Next week: “I See, I Want, I Take.”