Foundation Scriptures: Matthew 6:19-24
Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal. 20 But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal; 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in). Matthew 6:19-24 AMP
1. Jesus speaks about the believer’s proper conduct in relationship to money and possessions.
Martin Luther said: I have held many things in my hand and I have lost them all. But whatever I placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
A. W. Tozer posed four questions we should all ask ourselves:
What do we value most?
What would we most hate to lose?
What do our thoughts turn to most frequently when we are free to think of what we will?
What affords us the greatest pleasure?
Earthly or Heavenly treasure:
When spent on earthly treasure, money is only of temporary value.
When spent on heavenly treasure, money takes on eternal value.
2. Jesus wants us to choose our treasury – where we make our deposits.
If it is an earthly treasury, it will be lost when we die.
If it is a heavenly treasury, it will be ours for eternity.
3. Jesus is saying that amassing wealth isn’t morally wrong – it’s just a poor investment.
Moths, rust and thieves imperil your earthly treasure and in the end, everything will be consumed by fire anyway. (2 Peter 3:7)
John Wesley said: I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.
David Livingstone said: I place no value on anything I possess, except in relation to the Kingdom of God.
4. Discovering true wealth.
Matthew 13:44 AMP – The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
What we keep, we lose. What we give up and share and do, in Christ’s Name, will ultimately come back to us in heaven.
If we store up heavenly treasures, they will never stop paying dividends!
Ecclesiastes 5:15 AMP – As [the man] came forth from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; and he will take away nothing for all his labor which he can carry in his hand.
Psalms 49:16-20 NAS – Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him. 18 Though while he lives he congratulates himself–And though men praise you when you do well for yourself–19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see the light. 20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.
5. What is your treasure?
House; car; boat; library; gun collection; art; coins; gold; jewels?
Savings; retirement program; insurance policies; annuities; real estate; commodities; shares?
1 Timothy 6:18-19 AMP – [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], 19 In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.
Philippians 4:17 AMP – Not that I seek or am eager for [your] gift, but I do seek and am eager for the fruit which increases to your credit [the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account].
6. Where is your heart?
Show me your check book, your credit card statements, your cash receipts and I will show you where your heart is!
You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve both God AND mammon. It is impossible. Loving and being devoted to one means that you automatically hate and despise the other.
NB. Will you choose a life wasted in pursuit of wealth on earth, or a life invested in the pursuit of wealth in heaven?