Summary: In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus looks at materialism-particularly in regard to luxuries-from the three perspectives of 1) Treasure, 2) Vision, and 3) Master.
There is a new problem reported this week that you may not be familiar with. In one situation, farmer Lawrence Penner. Mr. Penner ran short of storage space and loaded his canary seed, due to be delivered to a buyer the following week, into his truck ahead of time. He and his partners left it there a few days, unattended. When they returned, they discovered the truck and its cargo had been stolen. Whoever did it had brought back the truck. The grain was gone. "It’s somebody that knew what they were doing," Mr. Penner says, adding that he suspects the $10,000 load of seed, the price of which has tripled in 12 months, "probably isn’t too far from here." He is just one of a growing number of farmers victimized by grain rustlers: As the price of commodities has soared, so has the incidence of agricultural thefts. Marquis, Sask., farmer Doug Froehlich had 1,200 bushels of canola snatched from his grain bins last month - a booty worth roughly $16,000. Producers are getting nervous. Lynn McLean, who farms near Rosetown, Sask., says he has been ploughing large mounds of snow across his driveway to stop, or at least slow down, any would-be thief. Some farmers have already ordered surveillance cameras for his bins and no longer leaves the keys in the truck. "It’s a new wake-up call," . "Nobody ever locked up their bins before. I’m sure there are a lot of guys locking them up now." (Kevin Libin, National Post Published: Friday, March 28, 2008) http://www.nationalpost.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=401673
Human beings are naturally thing-oriented. We are strongly inclined to be wrapped up in seeking, acquiring, enjoying, and protecting material possessions. In prosperous cultures such as those in which most Westerners live, the propensity to build our lives around things is especially great.
Economic problems such as inflation, recessions, and depressions involve many complex factors-monetary, political, military, social, climatic, and so on. But with the exception of the climatic, over which men have little control, the root cause behind most economic difficulty is greed. The problems are brought about in the first place because of greed, and they are often seemingly impossible to solve for the same reason.
When you consider your wealth of time, talents and treasures, do you see yourself in giving a portion to God or laying all at God’s feet and saying use me for your service. This means asking God: How do you want me to use the time, talents, and treasures that you have given me for your Glory? It makes all the difference in both your daily worship as well as how you will be used by God for His Glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus looks at materialism-particularly in regard to luxuries-from the three perspectives of 1) Treasure, 2) Vision, and 3) Master.
We are to have:
1) A SINGLE TREASURE Matthew 6:19-21
Matthew 6:19-21 "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. (ESV)
Please turn to Luke 12
Lay up (thçsaurizô) and treasures (thçsauros) come from the same basic Greek term, which is also the source of our English thesaurus, a treasury of words. A literal translation of this phrase would therefore be, “do not treasure up treasures for yourselves.”
• Jesus gives an injunction and follows with a reason and explanation for His exhortation.
• The Greek also carries the connotation of stacking or laying out horizontally, as one stacks coins. In the context of this passage the idea is that of stockpiling or hoarding, and therefore pictures wealth that is not being used. The money or other wealth is simply stored for safekeeping; it is kept for the keeping’s sake to make a show of wealth or to create an environment of lazy overindulgence
Jesus instructed on the folly of this elsewhere:
Luke 12:15-21 And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ’What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ’I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ’Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (ESV)