Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Luke 12:16-21 -- On Souls and Treasure

"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:16-21

This is an interesting parable about the whole "whoever dies with the most toys wins" philosophy.  It makes a clear distinction between preparing for the future by gathering material goods and a different kind of preparation or wealth spiritually.

Christ isn't condemning self-reliance here, but rather the idea of dedicating ourselves to physical wealth rather than spiritual wealth.  Earlier in the chapter, Christ says "take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: / For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say" (verses 11-12).  I think part of the way that works is that we have to store up spiritual supplies / treasure so that the Holy Ghost can "bring all things to [our] remembrance" (John 14:26).  We do that by reading and studying the scriptures and the gospel, but also by learning about all of God's creation, and following in Christ path by helping others.  The more of the gospel we understand and integrate into our lives, the more the Holy Ghost has to work with to help inspire and help us in every moment, and incidentally the more we are protected from the influence of those things that can tear us away from God.

Where would we be if "this night" our souls were required of us?  Will the things that we have be worth anything compared to the knowledge that we have gained?  And as we think about that, perhaps we should also think about what we can do that will actually make a difference in that hopefully far future day when our souls do face a reckoning.  How can we feel comfortable with ourselves and have confidence before God in that day?  We all have to answer that for ourselves, but part of the answer, surely, is prayer, and developing that relationship with God in our lives so that he can help us get there.  Today, let's start there, and start working on collecting some spiritual treasure. :)

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