How Can We Be Rich Toward God?
The example given by Jesus Christ in Luke 12:16-21 is in the form of a parable, which is a mystery, a riddle or a dark saying (Matt. 13:34; John 16:25; Ezek. 17:2; Num. 12:8). The meaning of a parable is hidden from the wise and the intelligent, and understanding of its meaning must be granted by Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:25; 13:11, 13, 16-17). When you are given the ability by Jesus Christ to understand a parable, then the meaning is almost child-like. You can begin to understand why Christ said it is revealed to babes.
The man in the parable in Luke should have been rich in good works toward God. Paul told Timothy to warn those who were rich in this world to be rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Even the poor and the not-so-wealthy were expected to be zealous in doing good deeds to glorify God (Titus 2:14; Matt. 5:16). It is a most crucial part of the conversion process. You do the practicing so you learn how to be righteous (John 3:21).
Often, people write out checks to worthy organizations, but this does not excuse them from physically getting involved with acts of righteousness (James 1:22). Job knew how the Lord wanted to be worshiped and although he was rich, he personally got involved in serving the needy (Job 29:12-17).
We are to use our bodies as living and holy sacrifices for God on a daily basis, and this is how God wants to be worshiped (Rom. 12:1-2; 6:13, 18-22). God wants us to learn to be servants of others, as Jesus Christ was (John 21:25; 1 John 2:6). Christ even said some of us would do greater good works than He did, for He had to return to the Father (John 14:12).
This man described in Luke was only thinking of himself. He was inward, grasping and greedy. Jesus Christ was giving this example to expose every form of greed (Luke 12:15). A man’s life should not and does not consist of his possessions. A man’s relationship to God is what matters. God is the one we serve, the one we live to please and the one to whom we must answer in the day of judgment (Mal. 3:16-18). We must serve Him alone, on a daily basis (Matt. 4:10; Rom. 6:17-18). We must do the Will of God. What is God’s Will? It is the good works we do from the heart as happy, contented slaves of Jesus Christ (Eph. 6:6; Matt. 5:16, 20; 6:1).
Practicing righteousness daily is easy and pleasant (Matt. 11:30; 25:33-40). It makes us beautiful people and allows Christ to be formed in us (Acts 9:36; Gal. 3:27; 4:19). So, if we are rich toward God in good works, we will not be harmed (1 Peter 3:13). God will protect us daily because now we are the apple of His eye.