Read - Luke 12:13-21 and 1 John 2:17
Message - Alan Burke
Thirty two years, that’s how long I have to work before I will reach retirement as the state pension age is set to increase to 68 sometime between 2044 and 2046. Who knows what will happen in the years in-between. Have you thought about your retirement, maybe you are reading this and you are already retired and you wonder where the time has gone and for others you long for the day to put your feet up, when you don’t have to worry about having to work anymore. Jesus tells a parable about a rich fool who’s land produced plenty, having no where to store his crops he though tear down his barns build larger ones, with ample goods laid up to enjoy his retirement, to eat drink and be merry, and what did God say, Fool, this night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared whose all will they be? (Paraphrased Lk 12:13-21). The rich fool was focused on the here and now but as John continues he reminds us that this world is perishing (17). Many people are so focused on living for the now, planing for their retirement, looking for the easy life, that they fail to see the temporal character of this material life. In the midst of it all what is your focus, the now or what is to come? Do you love God or love this world?
This theme is echoed throughout scripture, the first commandment is you shall have no other gods before me, Joshua command the children of Israel to choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, Jesus warned no one can serve two masters either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other, you cannot serve both God and money (Mt 6:24). Now John here makes the same point that there can only be one allegiance, one loyalty, there is no way to have a foot in each camp, we cannot have a divided allegiance we will either hate one and love the other, devoted to one and despise the other. Indulgence never satisfies, it only wets the appetite for more. The one who does the will of God 17b, is that they abide forever, doing the will of God is loving the Father. This world attracts and ensnares so many people, they love it, they follow it’s ways, they are seduced by it, they indulge themselves, they listen to its message, but they will pass away but for those who show their love of the Father in their obedience to his will, will live forever. Loving the Father (v15) and doing the will of God (v17) are not separate things. This world is perishing, it is passing away, is it what you or living for or is it God?
What are the decrees of God?
The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. (Eph. 1:4,11, Rom. 9:22–23)