Faithlife Sermons

Where Your Treasure Is...

Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:18
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Introduction: (10 Minutes)
Discussion Starters:
What do you treasure most in the world?
If you had to give that treasure up, what would it do to your life?
Remember, how we are warned in the previous three sections about where we seek our rewards. Jesus called us to reflect on our motives.
Why do you give to the needy? Is it because that is what the father calls us to do or because we want the praise of other humans?
Why do we pray? Is it because we want to talk to the father or because we want people to be impressed with our big vocabulary. Maybe, our chance to be in the limelight?
Why do we fast? Do we do it to grow closer to our father or is it because we want people to see us in a different light than who we really are?
Today, we are going to look at three compact teachings. These are three teachings here find parallels both in the gospel of Luke and the extra-biblical material known as the gospel of Thomas. Thes three teachings are a continuation of Jesus calling us to reflect on why we do the things we do. Beginning in Matthew 6, verse 19:
Where your Treasure is...
Matthew 6:19–21 NIV
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This section has no unique words to analyze, there are no catchy Greek phrases to put back to impress others later. Jesus speaks plainly.
Why spend all your time trying to accumulate things that will eventually disintegrate, rust, or fall out of use. Why fill your homes with things that someone can come and simply take.
Why do we allow these things to matter so much to us that they impact our identity? they allow us to begin to place status on ourselves and others.
Jesus calls us to spend our time investing in things that matter. We will continue to emphasize this throughout the series but Jesus places relationships above things. Relationship with God first, but with people second and how do we honor God more than by loving and caring for others.
So, Jesus in this first teaching ends with a simple, but a very complex statement that can bring us to our knees when we come to fully look within ourselves
Matthew 6:21 NIV
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This point is emphasized even further in a parable recorded in the gospel of Luke.
Luke 12:16–21 NIV
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
How are we rich towards God, I will posit it is when we love others. When instead of piling up things we do not need, we give to those who have a need?
Does this mean we should not have nice things? Not if they fill you with a feeling of superiority or fill a selfishness in you? But when we share our possessions with others, shows where our treasures really lie.
God’s desire is for you to store up your treasure in heaven, by not hoarding what He has given you, but using it for the good of others.
The Eye Is A Lamp.
The second teaching.
Matthew 6:22–23 NIV
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Again, no difficult ideas here, just a need to understand the beliefs of the time.
Today, we know that receptors in the eye convert light into electrical signals that our brain then interprets: the light goes in.
In Jesus' time, people believed the light went out from people, a fire burning inside of you. Now Jesus knew better, but you work with what you have and this was the understanding of the time, hence “the eye is the lamp of the body.”
Now even if their conceptualization was wrong, the principle holds true. Healthy eyes lead to bodies that are pure or full of light.
In antiquity, when people spoke of the “evil eye,” they imagined that the evil eye would shoot out beams of malice. They believed the “old, stink eye” could actually cause people harm. Now we know that concept, not to be true, but we also realize that the eyes can tell us a lot about a person.
For example, If the eye is cloudy, there’s likely to be something wrong with the rest of the system; if we are happy, we tend to raise our eyebrows and so our eyes look bigger (hence the expression “bright-eyed”); when we smile, our eyes crinkle at the corners; our pupils respond by dilating or contracting in anticipation of a change in light or when we feel strong emotion.
So we understand then that our eyes can tell us and others a lot about our soul. What do we spend our time looking at? Our we using our eyes to covet what others have? Where does our glance go?
What should our eyes focus on? This is what is answered in the next section that will be addressed next week.
Serving Two Masters...
Matthew 6:24 NIV
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus points here to a truth we rarely want to admit, we cannot serve two masters. In fact, I will posit that we are creatures of both light and dark because of sin in the world. We covet, we glance, we make “mean eyes.” But again, this should bring us into a time of reflection and action. Paul summarizes this tension best in Romans 7.
Romans 7:14–25 NIV
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Ultimately, we must reflect on the question, who am I serving today, at this moment, and act upon our answer. Is God my master right now. If he is not, then what will it take, what action must I commit to in order to make Him my Lord this very moment?
We sometimes allow sin to win out, but our desire should be to live in contentment with the good things God has given us, and when we recognize we are following sin, commit to turning our lives around. That is why I believe Jesus mentions money here. It is one of the things we serve, instead of letting it serve us.
Next week we will discuss worry, something I believe to be a by-product of this tension between our desire to trust God, but placing our trust in money.
Discussion Questions:
How do you store up treasures in heaven?
what are unhealthy and healthy ways to store up earthly treasures?
How do your eyes get you into trouble?
In what ways can you keep your eyes healthy?
What are masters you can serve besides God?
Why do you think money causes people so much trouble in life and relationships?
Why do you think it is easier to trust money than to trust God?
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