Jump Start # 3172
Luke 12:18 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’”
The great commentator Paul Harvey used to have a segment on his radio program that he called, “The rest of the story.” What he did was find the follow up details after a major story broke. What happened next? And, in many ways we wish the Bible did that for us.
For instance, what was life like for Adam and Eve after they left the garden? Did Jonah ever get what God was trying to show him? And, that older brother of the prodigal, did he ever get over his pouting and hard heart? What happened to Jairus’ twelve year old daughter that Jesus raised from the dead? Did she become a disciple? How about Naaman, what was the rest of his story after he was cleansed from leprosy?
So many fascinating stories. The Bible isn’t a human interest book that details the biographies of all these people. The Bible points us to Jesus and through Jesus to the Father. There are many stories, lives and histories wrapped around and intertwined with the revealing of Jesus Christ. The central picture is Jesus.
Our verse today is one of those stories that we could file in “The rest of the story” folder and just wonder about. First, it’s a parable and it’s not about real people, even though many have lived this very story. The wealthy farmer had grand dreams and plans. He was mapping out a retirement. Tear down his existing barns and build larger ones. Store his crop and take it easy. It looked good on paper. He had thought it all out. He was set. The future was bright. He left out one detail, a big one. All of his plans were based upon his staying here. He had not planned to die. He had no thought of God in his plans, his life, nor his future. He never thanked the Lord for sending the rains that made his crops grow. He never thanked the Lord for the fertile soil that gave him an abundance. It was all about himself. He had no room for God. There was room being made for more crops. There was room for taking it easy. But for God, simply nothing. And, that night, that very night, his life here ended.
The rest of the story for that man would have paralleled the rich man in Luke 16. A life of wealth without God is an eternity of sorrow, regret and agony. That’s how the farmer’s story would have played out.
But don’t just leave that thought there. Build a bridge to your life. What if you had died last night? What if you were not here to read this Jump Start today? What if last night was your last time here? What if you walked through that door of death last night?
Here are some thoughts:
First, there would have been a lot of phone calls being made last night. Word would have spread. You passed away. Shocked, stunned, hard to believe, would have been the comments. Your children would have traveled through the night to come home. Tears would have flowed from those who loved you.
Second, quick decisions would have to be made. What funeral home? Where are the insurance papers? Is there a will? What cemetery to use? Whatever was planned for today would have to be cancelled. Appointments. Yard to mow. So many things that you were going to do today, now, won’t get done. Last night, you passed away.
Third, I expect some from the church would gather. Tears and hugs would be common. Offers of help would be extended. Some would bring food.
Fourth, your family would make preparations for your funeral. An obituary would be written detailing your life. And, quickly the family would realize what an absence they feel by your death. Pictures would be collected to use in your service. And, in a short time your family would have to go through your closet, dresser drawers and desk. Some things would be thrown away. Some would be scattered to the family.
And, slowly, your dear family would start to recover. They would smile and laugh again. They would talk fondly of you. Your absence would be missed at holidays and family gatherings. And, while all of these things are going on, you are on the other side. Your faith and love for the Lord would make all the difference and be a great comfort for your family.
This very night your soul is required of you. That will be spoken of us someday. Two things ought to come from thoughts like this:
First, walk so close to the Lord that you can reach out and touch Him. Don’t worry about what others think. Don’t get caught up with this and that. This ole’ world just doesn’t sparkle much these days. Read God’s word. Talk deeply to the Lord. Soon you will be seeing Him.
Second, love those dearly who mean so much to you. A day is coming and you won’t be here. You won’t get the chance to tell them what a difference they made in your life. Argue less and smile more. Don’t get upset so quickly about things that do not matter.
This very night your soul is required of you…what a statement! Sure is something to think about.
What if I died last night…are you ready? Are you ready to see the Lord?