Over the next two sermons we are going to look at treasure and trust. If God is your treasure you can trust him. This flows nicely from the Lords prayer. The first three petitions we pray that we would treasure him, and his kingdom above all and his will above all, and the next three petitions speak about trusting him to protect us, forgive us, and feed us. So here we are encouraged to treasure God above all verse 19-24. Trust is then a natural outflow of that treasuring which Jesus tells us about in ver. 25-34.
The affection of your heart sets the direction of your life
Where are you investing?
Are your eyes healthy?
Who is your master?
Where are you investing?
Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” What does he mean? The verb to lay up for yourself speaks of an ongoing process here. He is saying stop doing what you are doing. Your heart needs to be reoriented to focus on lasting priorities, on an investment that will reap reward. Jesus has told us what the things the father in heaven will reward. It is the one who does not do things to be seen by men, but by their father in heaven. Who or what are you ultimately living for? We all have goals, and ultimate goals. Our goals usually serve the ultimate goal. You have a goal of passing a test. But that is not ultimate. You have that goal so that you might pass the class, so that you might find work. So that you might support a family. So that… What is the last so that? Is it your own happiness? Is it so that you can retire happy? For the Christian it is glorify God. That is the ultimate goal. In all we do. That is the ultimate treasures, and all our treasures are nothing in comparison with him.
Where are you investing? What is real treasure for you? This is about where your ultimate trust lies.
We all have treasures. This is essential to being human. Even our young son has treasures. He treasures his lamby. A little stuffed lamb that he has had since he has been an infant. He uses it to sleep every night. If its lost he can’t sleep. You can imagine what that looks like. And you can imagine how it begins to look over time. It’s not moth or rust, but little dirty hands, always holding it. Now there is nothing wrong with this. But if he attaches all his personal happiness to that, then one day it will be taken from him. A stuffed toy does not last forever. And neither does anything in this world. Only God does.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth. One day all that you have here, your house, your car, your health. Everything will begin to deteriorate like my son’s lamb. If you find your ultimate identity in them then you will begin to deteriorate just like the things you hold onto.
I want to tell you all something. And this may sound crude. But we need to get this reality if we really want to live. And I want to live. I want to know what is important in life. And the only way we do that is to put it into perspective. You and I are going to die. Anytime. For some the day is closer than for others. But the day is coming nearer. And I am not saying this to discourage you. It is just a brute fact. Are you living in light of that day or living to avoid that day? You see God is everything or nothing. Death strips us of everything. Every relationship every penny, every promotion, every future vacation, and plan. So that you are either forced to make God all or reject him completely.
In death we come to the realization of the glorious reality of dying to ourselves to live in Christ. If there is one thing that COVID has again taught us is that death seems to place everything in perspective. It sets eternity starkly before us. And if we are not in Christ, then we will do everything to hold onto this life. But for the Christian we do not even treasure our own life more then God.
Notice I did not say your earthly live must not be treasured. But it must not be treasured above God. Only when we treasure God above all, does all other treasures, of which life is greatest, gain their true value.
The question is, “are you bringing eternity into the present, or are you simply living for the present?” Are you simply living for this little moment in time? Where are you investing? The affection of your heart will set the direction of your live.
So as the text tells us, “store up for yourself Treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves of not reach in and steal.”
I want to present you today with a treasure that is worth more than anything and everything that you have ever held onto or will hold onto combined. Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of God. Indeed, God himself in the Flesh! He is yours. He is our portion and our very great reward. And this is not only a future reward but a present reality.
This is why we preach Christ here every week, so that your love and affection for him may grow. So that in Him you may live and move and have your being. If your hearts greatest affection or treasure is God, then he will set the whole course of your live. You life will be full of kingdom virtues. Abounding in fruit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. Self-control. Then there will be present rewards like peace and contentment.
You see Jesus is very practical. He is a wise investor. The wisest that ever lived. No financial advisor will advise you to put your money where he knows it will disappear. So, Jesus says don’t hoard all kinds of wealth here on earth. Where things can perish. It’s not worth it. Don’t make your live about the breath of live that we enjoy here when all eternity lies before!
Instead direct your actions towards making a difference in the realm of Gods kingdom, where God rules. Invest your live in God and what he is doing. This gives what you do eternal worth. Whether you are changing a diaper, building a bridge, fixing a road, preaching, or perserving the planet. If we treasure Him above all we will also have appropriate appreciation for things on earth because we realize that the one we treasure has made them for us. And we can also use these things in service to him. And so, we treasure them not for their own sake, but for his sake.
Jesus says, “where you treasure there your heart will be also. As Calvin said, “If honor is rated the highest good, then ambition must take complete charge of a man; if money, then greed takes over the kingdom; if pleasure then men will certainly degenerate to sheer self-indulgence.”
He then goes on and gives a further example
Are your eyes healthy?
The eyes I the lamp of the body. 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?
Do you see the light? “The light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light for their deeds were evil,” says the apostle John. “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it might be seen plainly that what he has done as been done through God.”
Where are your minds eyes focused. On the light? Is the light of God entering in? Or on the kingdom of Darkness? It is not for nothing that Paul prays in Ephesians, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”
This is something that God must do in you, so that you see clearly what is important. Ifthe only thing that you stare at all day is garbage, it won’t take long for your heart to rot. If what you are looking at every day is beautiful, good, true, and holy your heart will start to become transformed. Your heart is shaped by what you see.
What are you gluing your eyes to? What lives in you came in through the eyes. Are your eyes glued to the movies, shows, or social media? Are your eyes glued to the news, the newest – the latest and greatest – from science and the great progress of the human experiment. What are your eyes glued to? Are your minds eyes constantly thinking about the next drink, the next drug or porn induced dopamine hit?
Or are you looking forward to hearing the word preached, reading the word. Keeping Christ in your minds eye as you go through each day. Are you holding onto all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, as Paul commands the Philippian Church? Are you looking to what all that is excellent and praiseworthy? What are you holding before your minds eye? Job says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes.”
If your eye is healthy you whole body will be full of light. Then you belong to the community of light and are the light of the world. The person who sees things through the eyes of the kingdom of heaven, sees everything else in its true worth and relationship.
But he goes on If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness? If you are walking in the darkness. And the you turn on flashlight it gives direction to your life. You see where you are going. You know the way. If the flashlight is dim, or goes out, then you are in deep trouble. If they eye is dim or is blind to the things eternal, then you are in deep trouble my friend. You have become short sighted.
Some even fail to realize the darkness in them. This is challenge of religious leaders of Jesus day. Because they were not letting light in, they were taking pride in their own self-righteousness. They thought they had light inside them! But it was darkness! You see this the light of God must come into the body. It is not naturally there! If the light in you is darkness how great is that darkness
When you are walking in darkness, you can easily self-deceive yourself into thinking you are better than you are because its all dark and you cannot see who you are. That is when you are in real trouble my friend. When you have been lying to yourself. The charge of being a hypocrite is a heavy one.
So Ask God , “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Who is your master?We are all laying down our live for something. All of us from the day we are born begin to die. We are using our time and energy and resources in service to something or someone. In the end you will serve whatever you treasure most.
No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and money.
What are you living for? Jesus or stuff. If its Jesus, you will use stuff to serve Jesus. If its stuff you will use Jesus to get stuff. Money is particularly always on Jesus radar. The greatest temptation of wealth is that it makes us feel secure. It makes us feel safe. The issue is do you trust money more than God? Or maybe you are the type to say, I trust God when it comes to the Spiritual, and money when it comes to the physical. Money makes us feel like we have a few tomorrows left in our account. Now Jesus is not saying we should not make sensible provision for the future, but he is telling us not to put our hope in it.
Stott comments, “Behind the choice between two treasures, and two visions, there lies the still more basic choice of two masters.” Is God master and the money slave, or is the slave master and God just a means. One of the most evil false teaching of the modern church is the prosperity Gospel. Here is the basic line: God will do ____ (You fill in the blank) for you, if only you do this for him.”
It uses God to get what we want. And it is wicked. EVIL. And a false gospel. God will not take away troubles. No he will show himself faithful through them! He will not always take away pain or sickness, but he glorious grace will enable you to carry them! He is in the business of making people holy. Not rich. Not comfortable.
You see if God is master everything falls under his lordship, and stands in service to that. And that is where ultimate life is. For in the end one master gives life, the other leads to death. One is a slave driver that will kill you,the other is a honorable master that will cause you to flourish.
And notice the text does not say is not talking about employers (You can have two jobs) but about slave owners. You see all these examples show there is an antithesis here. They are opposites. It’s like sin or righteousness. Good or evil. You can’t be Hitler and Mother Theresa at the same time. You cannot be a Marxist and a capitalist. It is silly to think so. You cannot be a kingdom citizen and a citizen of the world.
We simply cannot have two ultimate goals or points of references through which we see the world. We cannot live in two worldviews. This is how life is. Of course, you can use material good, value them, use them well – for the sake of God. But then you will not be controlled by them. You will not be anxious about them.
At the end of the road one master will say, “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master!” At the end of the road there is as Peter says, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” If you serve money you will hold onto everything here and lose it all in the end. If you serve the other you will lose everything here, and gain infinitely more in the end. Jesus cannot give us a more stark choice.
This is not only a future promise, but those blessing overflow into the present for as Hebrews says already today we have come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Already today we drink from the spring of living what which is Christ. Now you are setting your course for eternity.
Ultimately it comes down to single-mindedness. In fact, that is what the Greek word for “devoted” means. It is not about thinking so much about heaven you are no earthly good. No the opposite! When you treasure God above all and fear him as master you will become of far more use to this earth! You are a slave of no one but Christ so you do not fear the future, you do not fear man, you do not fear not having enough to eat. You become fearless. And this world needs a people that have the courage that is otherworldly. To allow the fear of displeasing their one master God to conquer every other fear!
In this way you will have a far greater impact on the world around you because you are not only living for yourself but for something far greater. You are not raising children to be good citizens only. You are raising them to be kingdom citizens. Prophets priest and kings unto God almighty. We in this church are not about ourselves we are about others. We are about storing treasure in heaven. And so we submit all we have to him and his kingdom. In doing so we become a difference maker, a cultural shaper, a leader in society as a citizen of the kingdom of God, because you demolish every argument and idea that sets itself up against God.
Dear Church God in Christ has given us all! That is the gospel! There is nothing left nothing more valuable for God to give! You need not hold onto to anything but him, and if you have him you have everything! O God open our eyes to see this!
In Conclusion I was thinking here are few questions you might ask yourself and each other later to diagnose your heart. Ask the Spirit to convict you and enlighten the eyes of your heart as you ask yourself and each other these questions.
- Do you enjoy showing off your car, house, toys, watch, clothes, body, family more then you like to show off Jesus Christ, and boast in him?
- What are your protecting and keeping secure? We reveal our treasure by what we protect secure and keep. Are you able to let go of your money? Or your time? Are you able and desirous to take a day or moments throughout the week to stop doing work even though it may cost you to worship him – to pray, read, and sing? Is family time more important to you then worshipping God on Sunday?
- Is most of what you do in life to enrich yourself or those you love, or are you consciously thinking about how to enrich those around you as well?
May the affection of your heart, the light of the world, and your master, Jesus Christ, set the direction of your life.
Riches I heed not, nor mans empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High king of heaven, my treasure thou are.