Read Matthew 6:19-24
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, 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 that is 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 one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
For many of us, we have grown up in a world where we have been told a true sign of success is owning a home, a nice car, and enjoying the luxuries that materialism has to offer. It’s kind of the goal or point of life, to finish school, get a mortgage, and work the rest of your life to pay off the mortgage so you can retire and travel.
Okay, maybe I’m trivializing here, or over simplifying, but really, what were you told as a child? What is this “American Dream”?
I used to teach 3rd grade and I remember telling my students over and over how important it was to get an education. One day, one of them asked me “Why? Why do we need to learn to read?” To which I replied, “So you can go to college and get a good job.” They asked, “Why do I need a good job?” My response: “So you can buy a house and pay your bills!”
And that didn’t suffice. I mean, really? Am I really telling kids they need to learn so they can to college, to get a good job, to pay their bills and buy all the things.
Is that really it? Is that life and life abundant?
Now, I know there’s more to learning and getting an education than just finding a good job, but this was the best response I could come up with. And it stopped me dead in my tracks.
That is NOT what life is all about. A job, a house, a car, and designer handbags. But for many of us, that’s why we get up and go to work every day.
Someone said: “We work jobs we hate, to buy things we can’t afford, to impress people we don’t even like.”
I don’t want to work at a job just so I can build a home.
I want to work at a job and build the kingdom.
Jesus is telling us here to lift our perspective a bit. To lift our eyes from the temporal, earthly treasures, and begin to envision building the kingdom and investing in heavenly treasures.
Our time, talent, and treasures aren’t meant for us to hoard and build our own kingdom. Our time, talent, and treasures are meant to be stewarded and used to build God’s kingdom.
Just last week my seminary professor was teaching us about giving. We asked, “How much should we give, what percent of our income?” He responded, “you know some people say 10%, but I don’t see an exact percent in the New Testament. I see the principle that it’s not about how much you give, it’s about how much you keep.”
It’s not about building our earthly kingdom and giving God just enough. It’s about building a heavenly kingdom because God has given us more than enough.
- What does Jesus compare/contrast in verses 19-21?
- List some “earthly treasures” and “heavenly treasures” below.
- What is the greatest treasure in your life? Do you invest more in earthly things or heavenly things?