As a believer of God, we should consider what is the reason and the purpose of our lives. Over four centuries ago, the Westminster Shorter Catechism which instructs us, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” This means that the ultimate purpose of believers is to live and work for God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
The whole sentence can be translated, “for even if a man has an abundance, his life does not come from his possessions.” Abundance is περισσεύω (perisseuó), which means, “to exceed a fixed number or measure; to be over and above a certain number or measure.” It simply means, ‘over the average.’ The rich man had much possession which led him to be proud of himself. However, our God allows his people to have different kinds of possessions; money, wealth, personal intelligence, and spiritual gifts. These are to be wisely used for God and others. This is God’s purpose.
Jesus continued to address the purpose of our lives through the parable of the Rich Fool. Jesus said in Luke 12:16-18, “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops... I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” The rich man must have earned much money and wanted to use it for his own purpose. The Romans had a proverb which said, “money was like sea-water.” The more a man drank the thirstier he became. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, ”the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Here the lover of money is the person, who is self-centred, not God-centred. So, the man works for himself, not others.
Let us look at the rich man in the bible. The rich man said to himself in Look 12:19, “You(I) have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.” The man had worked hard and earned much money. He could choose to use all of it for himself, because it was all his own property. I wonder through this if this helped him to gain a real happiness.
The rich man had many crops and wanted to build a great barn to keep his profits. Jesus said to the man in Luke 12:20, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” The man had a lot of things in this world, but he was very wealthy, but he was not given to spend his wealth and he could not take anything with him when he died.
Let us look at this last verse. Jesus said in Luke 12:21, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” We are told that we may not have time to enjoy our wealth and our lives, however hard we work for them. We learned from his sermon about the Rich Fool. Jesus expects believers to use all of our gifts, money, and belongings for God and others, because our God wants more people to come to accept Jesus Lord and Saviour. He also wants us to live and work for him and others.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook