Summary: We need to heed Jesus’ cautions and steer clear of the traps of life.
A Messiah Who Gives Caution
Text: Matt. 6:19-24
1. Illustration: Several years ago at a Promise Keepers conference, Dennis Rainey placed animal traps on stage. They were big ones too. Bear traps and even an African safari large animal trap that took two men to open. There were a dozen or so traps, and he set or opened them all. Then Dennis Rainey had a father blindfold his teen-age son, the father then walked to the other side of the stage and called his son to come to him. The boy took one step and the Father called out, “Wait! I’ll keep you from stepping in the traps.” So this Dad went back across the stage, took his son’s hand and “leads” him through the difficult maze of traps.
2. This is what Jesus is trying to do for us in today’s text. He is cautioning us to stay clear of some of the traps of life.
a. He cautions us about value.
b. He cautions us about vision.
c. He cautions us about veneration.
3. Read Matt. 6:19-24
Proposition: We need to heed Jesus’ cautions and steer clear of the traps of life.
Transition: The first caution is a...
I. Caution About Value (19-21)
A. Store Treasures In Heaven
1. Jesus warns us about putting our hope in earthly treasures. He reminds us of the temporary and fleeting nature of earthly treasures when he says, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal."
a. The phrase "don’t store up treasures" might better be rendered "stop storing up treasures." It is a call to change! (France, 258).
b. Remember that the society that Jesus lived in didn’t have banks and so people would store their treasures at home in a safe place.
c. However, no matter how safe the place may have seemed, the treasure would still be susceptible to robbers and decay due to weather.
2. Jesus did not here forbid owning material possessions. Rather, He was admonishing His followers not to make them an object of their affections (Horton, 115).
a. His definition of treasure was anything that could be considered extremely valuable in itself (Horton, 115).
b. This could mean could mean money, cars, boats, stereos, tv’s, or even relationships.
3. The danger in these things is we can allow these temporary objects that are subject to decay to take God’s place in our hearts.
a. "Rust" comes from a Greek word which means "to eat or consume."
b. The phrase "break in" is literally "to dig through," and considering that most of their houses were made of mud and straw this was a real concern.
c. They were storing treasures on earth because they were not trusting God.
d. Psalm 25:5
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
4. On the contrary, Jesus tells us, Heavenly treasure is not subject to decay like earthly treasure. He says, "Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."
a. Rather than storing up things on earth which can decay or be stolen, Jesus counseled His listeners to find a better kind of treasure and a safer place to store it (Horton, 115).