Where is your treasure?
Outline for a children's talk
Discuss with the children (and the adults):
- What would you like to do when you grow up?
- What is your ideal job?
- What sort of car would you like to drive?
- What would your dream holiday be?
This morning, we will be thinking about what we spend our time and energy on. What is really important in life and what we should be doing to get it? In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus tells his disciples a story.
Leader: Tell the story in an interesting way (v16-21) with pictures/puppets or act it out.
- In what way was the man in the story rich?
- Why did the story end badly for him?
- What do we have to do to be rich towards God or be in a good relationship with him?
As you plan out your career path or have dreams for the future, consider whether your plans will bring you closer to God. Do your plans involve helping others or looking out for yourself? Do your ideas help others to learn about Jesus?
You might want to be a doctor or a nurse. Perhaps you could take your skills to a country where poor people need good healthcare? Would you like to be an engineer? Engineers are needed in the developing world for many projects. Or, as you're working towards your dreams, perhaps you can spend your school days being a good friend to others and sharing with others?
Let us invest our lives in becoming rich towards God.
Reading Luke 12:22-34
Investments: What do we look for? Good returns on our money so that our future will be secure.
Nowadays, we are encouraged to look at ethical investments. Are the companies investing money in things we would not be happy with; arms trade, tobacco industry etc? Increasingly, we are also encouraged to look at the 'green' or environmental credentials of the companies.
As you consider your investments, have you considered whether they are good eternal investments?
In the parable, Jesus introduces the idea of being rich before God. He goes on to explain to his disciples what he is means in more detail.
Jesus exhorts his disciples not to worry about their lives, their food, drink and clothing. As God provides for the things he has created he will provide for them. To worry about all those things is not trusting God for them (v28).
God knows our needs.
Jesus tells his disciples to seek God's kingdom - in doing this we will see God provide for us.
Here, he speaks specifically of giving money to the poor. Investing in helping others is a way of storing up 'heavenly treasures'.
What resources do we have to invest?
Money: In what ways can we use our money to invest in God's kingdom? How can we live more simply so we can increase our giving? Are there things we are buying that we could happily do without? Do you Gift Aid? It's a great way of adding to your financial gift -at no cost to you. You can find out more on the Gift Aid webpage.
Time: How can we invest our time in God's kingdom? Perhaps you feel that mission work is not for you at the moment but we all have time to pray and support others in that work. You could use your time to write letters lobbying home or international governments on issues of concern on a variety of issues. Perhaps you need to invite your lonely neighbour around for a cup of tea.
Skills: How can we change the ways we use our skills and talents for God's kingdom? Do we need to change some of our priorities? Are we too concerned about having enough pension to take a job that will lead us to people who are more needy but who can't pay as well?
Are we going to put our faith in God and trust that he will provide for our needs? The farmer in the parable was very concerned about storing up for his future but God called him a fool. Everyday, we make choices with our money, time and skills. Will we invest them in ourselves and our future comfort or, invest ethically? Better still, will we choose to make eternal investments?
If we work for God…the retirement benefits are out of this world!
Suggestions for hymns and songs
Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Songs of Fellowship 493) (H&P 138)
Take my life and let it be (Songs of Fellowship 519) (H&P 705)
Be thou my vision (Songs of Fellowship (42) (H&P 378)
Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us (Songs of Fellowship 357)
Make me a channel of your peace (Songs of Fellowship 381) (H&P 776)
Here I am wholly available (Songs of Fellowship 167)
I want to serve the purpose of God (Songs of Fellowship 260)
World Church Songs
Send me Lord (Sing Glory 694), Freedom in Coming, Wild Goose Publications, 1990
You can't take it with you, Paul Field, 1993, Burning Questions, Kingsway Music Ltd
It would be an extra if you could get music... Fun for the kids!