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Pursuing the right "X"

What You talkin' bout, Jesus?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Pirates pursuing for treasure. “X” marks the spot.
What You talkin’ bout, Jesus? (Treasures in Heaven not Earth.)
Matthew 6:19–24 ESV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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! 24 “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.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine B. The Doctrine of the New Creation Provides a Great Motivation for Storing up Treasures in Heaven rather than on Earth

When we consider the fact that this present creation is a temporary one and that our life in the new creation will last for eternity, we have a strong motivation for godly living and for living in such a way as to store up treasures in heaven.

Pursue Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth.
Matthew 6:24 ESV
24 “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.
(Explain the difference between pursue making a living that needs money and pursuit of wealth as an obsession.)
Draw on the example
God wants us to serve him. We each have a choice to make in what we will follow. If we are trying to pursue earthly treasure while still trying to Pursue Heavenly wealth, we will be living a double life. We will be so scattered in our thoughts, in our life, in our goals. We can become a hot and cold “Christian.” Or so we think.
Revelation 3:15–16 ESV
15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
(Relate this Scripture to what we pursue.)
Pursue Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth.
1. Work for eternal rewards not earthly rewards.
Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:
(Define what is what is not eternal. Also, go through examples.)
God will use what we
David Platt Sermon Archive Jesus Does Not Want to Strip Us of Our Pleasure; He Wants to Satisfy Us with His Treasure

Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

David Platt Sermon Archive Jesus Does Not Want to Strip Us of Our Pleasure; He Wants to Satisfy Us with His Treasure

The reality is what Jesus is saying there is that our use of money is a sure barometer of our present spiritual condition.

(Explain how Jim Elliot is describing Gospel Truth.)
David Platt Sermon Archive Jesus Does Not Want to Strip Us of Our Pleasure; He Wants to Satisfy Us with His Treasure

And it’s not just our present spiritual condition; our use of money is a sure indicator of our future eternal destination. There’s a radical reward to be had in heaven, Jesus says, and it begs the question: Are you going to live for treasure on earth or are you going to live for treasure in heaven?

Ken Hemphill correctly defines what is eternal.

The only thing that’s truly eternal around you and me today is people—human beings whose souls will live on after they die. Some will be redeemed and will live forever. Some will be lost and will face God’s righteous judgment. But putting our energies into serving, helping, loving, encouraging, and supporting other people is how kingdom people invest in eternity.

— by Ken Hemphill.
1. Work for eternal rewards not earthly rewards.
2. Keep our focus on the Light.
Matthew 6:22–23 ESV
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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!
Matthew 6:
John 14:
(Relate previous Scripture to a flashlight that is usable and one that is not. Yet, it does not do us any good if we are looking away from light to areas that are dark. For the light to be helpful, we must be focused on the light.)
Yet, Jesus reveals the correlation of the influence between the light and darkness is a reflection of the core of us. If our focus is on the pursuit of money, if our focus is on the pursuit of the wealth, it is not focused on God. It is not focused on what is pure and right. It is not focused on the Light. It is focused on darkness that will only get darker and darker. It is a cause and effect that leads to more of a separation from God.
John 8:12 ESV
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Pursue Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth.
1. Work for eternal rewards not earthly rewards.
2. Keep our focus on the Light.
“Retirement doesn’t have to be a red light. It can be a green light. Othmar Ammann would agree. After he “retired” at age 60, he designed, among other things, the Connecticut and New Jersey Turnpikes; the Pittsburgh Civic Arena; Dulles Airport; the Throgs Neck Bridge; and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Paul Gauguin “retired” as a successful stockbroker and became a world-famous artist. Heinrich Schliemann “retired” from business to look for Homer’s legendary city of Troy. He found it. After Churchill made his mark as a world statesman, he picked up his pen and won the Nobel Prize for Literature at age seventy-nine. Don’t just go fishing when you retire. Go hunting. Hunt for the chance to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Then go do it!” (Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (pp. 217–218). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)
(Relate the above to Pursuing Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth.)
If you are retired, God does not call you to retire from Pursuing Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth. If you are not retired and still working, start now to Pursue Heavenly wealth not earthly wealth.
Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (pp. 217–218). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Retirement

doesn’t have to be

a red light.

It can be

a green light.

Othmar Ammann

would agree.

After he “retired”

at age 60,

he designed,

among other things,

the Connecticut and

New Jersey Turnpikes;

the Pittsburgh Civic Arena;

Dulles Airport;

the Throgs Neck Bridge;

and the

Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

Paul Gauguin “retired”

as a successful stockbroker

and became

a world-famous artist.

Heinrich Schliemann

“retired” from business

to look for Homer’s

legendary city of

Troy.

He found it.

After Churchill made his

mark as a world statesman,

he picked up

his pen and won the

Nobel Prize for Literature

at age seventy-nine.

Don’t just go fishing

when you retire.

Go hunting.

Hunt for the chance

to do what

you’ve always

wanted to do.

Then go do it!

Luke 12:33 ESV
33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
“…moneybags that do not grow old,...”?
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