Sermon on the Mount
Where Do You Bank?
July 10, 2011
Matthew 6:19-24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
The verses in this passage are interconnected. These passages teach us about what our priorities in life might be and what our focus in life might be. We begin here today looking at the thought of where is our treasure? Next week, we will look at Christ’s command of being anxious for nothing and the effects of worry upon our lives.
Jesus in this passage before us today makes the following statements:
- Do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth…
- But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven
- For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…
- Values resonate from within…
- No one can serve two masters…
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures one earth … but in heaven.
- This is not about being rich or poor; it is about one’s attitude, focus and values.
Too often we make any discussion about finances into one about being rich or poor but in reality it is a matter of stewardship and trust with our finances. You can be poor or you can be rich and still have an unhealthy attitude toward finances and one’s possessions.
You see one’s attitude, focus and values will direct how one lives their life. I could tell you many stories about people that I have encountered who were poor financially but were rich in eternal riches because of their heart for eternal things. Their perspective was one of eternity and recognizing that this is not their home. I have also witnessed those who had wealth beyond anyone’s imagination and who were miserable and discontent.
The idea expressed through this passage is that where your focus and values steer and guide your decisions in life. Is your focus on accumulating earthly wealth or is it in making deposits in heaven? He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life filled with worry and concern and despair (cf Mt 6:25f). He who lays up treasures in heaven spends his life filled with and anticipating joy.
There is a popular saying that goes something like this: “We’ve Only One Life ~ It Soon Will Be Past ~ Only What’s Done For Christ Will Last. How true this is.
Where your treasure is; there your heart will be…
- The heart is the seat of all emotion but our emotions can be deceptive and misleading.
- We choose to serve God and invest in the things that have eternal value.
It is difficult to trust our heart as it is above all deceitful (Jer. 17:9). Trusting our heart alone is not enough we must make the decision to follow after Christ with our whole hearts. Your emotions follow your treasure. When we chose to do the right thing our emotions will follow. We are living in an emotionally driven society. So much of what is done is to solicit an emotion. But God’s helps us understand that emotion alone will not get us to where we need to be. People say trust your heart. In essence what that are saying has some validity to it but the heart can deceive and distract us from God’s perfect will.
The eye is the lamp of the body…
- What are the thoughts and attitudes that direct or misdirect you?
- What ideas and concepts about your possessions need to change?
No man can serve two masters…
- Too often we are duplicitous in our thinking; we battle the pull of the world’s ideologies and God’s truth.
- To be effective we must focus on God’s plan and His will.
- To do so is to learn to trust Him to provide all that we need.
The story of the rich man in the New Testament relates this issue to us. The rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked Him about what good deed must be accomplished to inherit eternal life. Jesus stated that he should obey the commandments. Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matt. 19:16-22). Please note that Jesus is not calling us to go and sell everything but he is referring to the rich young ruler’s heart that he was unwilling to let go of Hi possessions.
The more sacrificial you are on earth, the greater will be your enjoyment of heaven. Therefore, since Jesus loves us and summons us to maximize our eternal joy in heaven, he demands radical freedom from the love of money and radical generosity, especially to the poor. The value of a gift is not measured by its size but by its sacrifice. The reason for this is that the sacrifice is a greater measure of one’s heart.
The love of money is the root of all evil… It is not evil but it is the root or foundation of all evil. Look at the mess that our country is in… Almost every problem is moral as it is founded in greed and selfishness. It has often been said that
Are you despairing or rejoicing? Are you making regular deposits in heaven or are all your deposits here on earth?
Points to ponder:
Where is your focus? What are your priorities? What do you value? What you focus on, you will support. What you treasure will guide your heart to action. Do you value wealth, success, fame, and fortune?
- What is most important to you?
- What do you stand for? What is the principle of your life?
- What are the things that you are willing to pay the price for?
- Do these things line up with God’s desires?
Are you a giver or a taker? Giving people are the happiest people on earth. Do you find yourself on the receiving end of things or are you on the giving end. Too many in life are in the taking mode where as God calls us to be in the giving mode. We are living in an entitlement age where we believe that we do not have to work for anything or pay our dues so to speak.
A true giver is one who gives without any expectation of anything in return. We give freely because it is the way that God would have us do that.
It is more blessed to give that receive.
An unconditional giver is someone who gives from the heart because they want to, not because they have to, or because they feel obligated to do so. Whatever you sow (meaning whatever you plant, disseminates, scatter, disperse, or put out), you will also reap (meaning you will also receive, gain, harvest, accumulate, or get back). —Galatians 6:7
For every action (meaning for everything you do, every act, effort, or transaction), there will always be an equal or even opposite reaction (meaning there will be consequences and/or repercussions). —Isaac Newton’s Law of Motion.
A right attitude of giving releases an avalanche of mercy, missions and financial means.