Summary: This is part of the Sermon on the Mount series that ideals with the choices we make and how they affect not only our present but our future destiny.
Sermon on the Mount
“It’s a Matter of Choice”
We are all like a little child hovering over a box of candy. Our tongues are busy licking our lips over the choices before us. There’s chocolate covered cherry crème, chocolate peppermint, chocolate caramel, chocolate turtles, and the list goes on all containing the word chocolate.
But here’s the catch; we can only choose one. Should we choose the biggest, the longest lasting, or the one that says, “no calories?” (Kidding, there aren’t any with no calories)
In this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He’s telling us that we have choices to make, and these choices will affect our future. And while the choices we have as outlined here are not as trivial as to which chocolate candy to pick, the reality is that there are no trivial choices when it comes to our eternal destiny.
We all have choices, but they’re not always simple. They’re not between eating chocolate and death, but rather it’s between what’s important and what’s the most important. Is it the good life now, or the good life in the future?
A wealthy woman dies and went to heaven where she was escorted to her new home, a small plain house. Next door, however, was a huge mansion. When she asked if she could stay there she was told it was being built for her gardener.
Her guide said, “The houses are prepared from the materials sent up by a person’s faithfulness while on earth.”
The whole point is that the choices we make now have a direct affect on our future. Jesus is therefore letting us know that we have choices to make in this life that will affect our future life.
Earthy verses Heavenly Treasure
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)
When Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,” it’s important to understand what He wasn’t saying.
He wasn’t prohibiting possessions
Nowhere in the bible does it state we’re supposed to have nothing, nor does it ever forbid private property. It’s the love of money, the Bible says, not money itself that’s the root of all evil.
He wasn’t prohibiting savings
Solomon tells us to learn the lessons of the ants
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV)
Instead Jesus was warning us about is selfish accumulation, which is found in the wording, “for yourselves.” Jesus is telling us not to be covetous, or hording our possessions while others perish.
A rich man went to a rabbi because he felt miserable. The rabbi took him to a window and asked what he saw. He said, “People.” The rabbi then took him to a mirror and asked him what he saw, and he said, “Myself.”
The rabbi explained that both the window and the mirror were made of glass. The only difference is that the mirror was covered with a little silver. As soon as silver is added we cease to see others and we only see ourselves.
Jesus goes on to say these earthly treasures are only temporary and easily destroyed.
Nothing in this world is safe. There’s no real security.
A positive yield in the bond market means a deficit in the stock market.
We put Thompson Water Seal on our wood porches only to have the barbeque tip over and burn it down.
We arm our homes with electronic security only to have a power outage and our homes broken into anyway.
We put our money into banks only to lose it to inflation or monetary devaluation.
And even if we’re able to keep some of it, in the end we can’t take it with us. This was the mistaken thinking of ancient religions. When the tombs of the Pharaohs were unearthed, all they found were mummies and a lot of stuff gathering dust.
One woman had in her Will that when we died she was to be buried in her fur coat and behind the wheel of her Fiarri. Where did she think she was going, and did she really think a buried Fiarri would get her there?
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there.” (Job 1:21a NKJV)
Treasure in heaven, however, is a different story. These are secure and exempt from decay and theft.