13 Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14 “Friend,” he said to him, “who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you? ” 15 He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? 18 I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ 21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
“The latest tests reveal that there are issues with your heart.” These are not the words you want to hear while sitting across the desk from your cardiologist. Issues of the heart can be life threatening or life altering, and they must be addressed. A healthy heart is vital to our survival and quality of life.
References to the heart are a common thread that weave throughout the Bible. In the All One’s Heart Bible Study, the heart is primarily referred to as “the ruling center of the whole person, the source of all desires. The heart is seen as the seat of the will, intellect, and feelings. The heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life.”
Some selected references to the heart include:
- Deuteronomy 6:5: Moses exhorts the people of Israel to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
- 1 Samuel 16:7: God tells Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
- Ezekiel 36:26: The prophet, relaying God’s message to the Jews in captivity in Babylonia says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’
- Matthew 6:21: Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In the today’s Scripture, the rich man has significant heart issues. His thoughts and actions are a perversion of God’s goodness and blessings.
How does this parable speak to us today?
- God delights in blessing His children with the abundance of His provisions. It is incumbent upon us to be stewards of God’s blessings in a manner that honors God.
- God sees and knows the attitudes of our heart. The rich man had a singular inward and selfish focus as evidenced by the multiple first-person pronouns used in his thought processes. For the rich man, it was all about me, myself, and I. He considered the abundance of the crop was of his own doing. Who comes first in your life?
- The rich man expressed no gratitude for the blessings he received. Most, if not all who read this devotional, live with an abundance of material goods. Does all that God provide humble our hearts?
- As it is with most of the parables of Jesus, you and I should insert our name in place of the rich man and reread the story to see if the parable would have a different ending.
As children of God, we need to search our own heart to know without a doubt where our treasure is found. I trust that you find that your treasure is based on your relationship and walk with Jesus.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do a word search of “heart” in the Bible. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you through a time of reading and studying references to the heart found throughout the Scriptures.
- Do you spend time focusing on the spiritual health of your heart?
- Read Luke 24:13–35. What causes your heart to be “ablaze” within you?