This past Sunday we took some time at our gathering at City View to walk through Matthew 6 and what Jesus has to say about Kingdom and Treasure.
It’s true that Jesus had a lot to say (1/4 of his teaching) about treasure, money and generosity. Here are a few things we learned:
Everything is God’s and I get to steward what he has given me.
My finance always goes where my heart is.
If we love the gospel we will give to see it advance throughout the earth.
An implication of following Jesus is that we are people who are generous.
This is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-24:
19 “DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH, WHERE MOTHS AND VERMIN DESTROY, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK IN AND STEAL. 20 BUT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE MOTHS AND VERMIN DO NOT DESTROY, 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. IF YOUR EYES ARE HEALTHY, YOUR WHOLE BODY WILL BE FULL OF LIGHT. 23 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!
24 “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.”
There is a lot to unpack here, but I do think it leaves every Jesus follower three major questions to ask about what they do with their stuff.
1. Are You Storing Up Treasure In God?
When you hear the phrase “store up your treasures in Heaven” what comes to mind?
I’m assuming that most think of Heaven as some far off place you go when you die. The problem is that when we think like this we completely miss what Jesus is saying.
Many Jews in the first century were so devout that they wouldn’t write the name God. Most would write G-d for fear of someone destroying the page.
What Matthew did in his gospel is he interchanged the word Heaven for the word God in attempts to not offend his audience. So the “Kingdom of Heaven” could be translated “Kingdom of God”. The problem is that when people think of Heaven they often think of investing way into the future.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that when you give financially to God’s work it will affect the future. The problem is that what Jesus is saying in Matthew 6:19 is actually a call for us to store up our treasure in God.
It has very little to do with storing up treasure in a far off place in the future and has a lot to do with storing up treasure in the present!
The question we are all faced with is this: Are we storing up treasure in Earth now? Or are we storing up treasure in God now?
You have to decide that for yourself.
2. Do You Have A Healthy Eye?
What is random is that in verse 22 Jesus begins to talk about the “eye”. Now the eye may not mean a lot to us today but in the ancient world the eye was a Jewish euphemism for how people handled money.
Jesus goes on to say, “If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light”.
The reality is that when you handle money well and exercise generosity it brings health to your entire life.
This has nothing to do with prosperity and everything to do with being under the rule and reign of Jesus.
It’s simple. Jesus followers should be the best at handling resource. They should be the most generous people on the planet!
How is your eye?
3. Who Is Your Master?
Verse 24 is the only place in the gospels where Jesus actually names a rival god. He takes this serious and says you cannot serve God and mammon (the god of money).
Most statistics show that the average person both inside and outside the church spends 97% of their money on themselves. It’s not a money issue as much as it is a master issue. Who rules your life?
Money is not inherently bad yet Jesus sets the stage for all of us. Who are you going to serve? Are you going to be under the rule and reign of Jesus or are you going to be under the rule and reign of money?