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Summary: Ever wonder what should be your primary concern in life? Why does Jesus mix money/treasure/materialism with spiritual things like good deeds & prayer? Find out . . .

Making the Kingdom your Primary Concern

Matthew 6: 19-34

Background info: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom.”

Jesus speaks of good deeds, prayer, and then as one preacher called it “The sermon on amount.”

What does money/treasure/materialism have to do with spiritual things like good deeds & prayer?

Money and material things are such important issues b/c they can sidetrack us from what ought to be our primary concern in life-our spiritual health.

It is so easy for us to change our focus from day to day and week to week.

Discipleship Journal Magazine: everyday Christians said their #1 greatest spiritual challenge was materialism.

I hear Jesus saying to us: “If you want to live a kingdom of God kind of life here and in the hereafter, you better listen to what I have to say about money/possessions.”

I believe Jesus is saying that you ought to make the kingdom of God your primary concern.

Why should you make the kingdom your primary concern?

v.19 because nothing else matters (moths eat, thieves steal). Anything that isn’t part of the kingdom of God will be gone someday.

There is a contrast between storage options.

Do you want to know whether or not you are on track using the proper storage option?

Take the storage test.

* Store treasure in heaven v.20 (Storage Test)

v.21 it is a safe investment; can’t rusted or be stolen

How do I store up treasures in heaven?

Jesus says, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

Are you storing up treasure here on earth, or are you using what you have to further the kingdom?

How can your job, home, car, marriage, your money impact the kingdom?

* Purify your eyes (Vision Test) v.22

v.22 how you view life either brings sunshine into your life or plunges you into darkness

Psychologists asked “What makes people happy?” Them came to the conclusion that materialism is toxic for happiness. Even rich materialist aren’t as happy as those who care less about getting and spending.

Toxicity: just watch a reality show with $ as the primary concern of the game and you will see how toxic materialism can be.

*Choose your master (Control Test) God or money v.24

v.24 there is no middle ground

It is really a question of whether you think you own your own stuff or whether you think God owns it.

If you own the stuff, then you have to worry about it all the time and accumulate more.

If God owns it then you can put it in His hands and let Him worry about it. You can see yourself as less of an owner and more of a steward.

Choose your master well. Money is a tough task master.

Example: Jesus & the rich CEO (You cannot serve God and money)

*Have more faith (Faith Test) v.25

How can I have faith?

v.25 life consists of more than food & clothing

It is when we get beyond the materialism of life that God can begin to make a difference with us.

Worried about groceries this week?

You heavenly Father feeds the birds.

Can worry add a single moment to your life?

Worried about what to wear this week?

The Lilies: they rival Solomon in his most glorious moment.

You have so little faith.

Did you know that Christians ought to worry less than unbelievers worry?

Did you know that faith is the thing that separates believers and unbelievers? . . .

v.32 Faith is what distinguishes you from pagans

When you worry, you are acting more like an unbeliever than you are a believer. They (unbelievers) are deeply concerned about these things, but we shouldn’t be.

We are not supposed to be concerned or worried.

You say, “Why shouldn’t I worry?”

v.32 your Father knows what your needs are

When it comes to wise investment of our money, we often worry that our basic needs will not be met. They will; we just have to trust in God.

I can’t save for retirement…

I can’t save to buy a house…

I can’t tithe/give more

v.33 He will give you all you need from day to day

All you need; did you hear that? He said need not want.

He gives it from day to day; we have to be patient. We have to concern ourselves with the kingdom first.

Review: So if you want to know whether or not you are making the kingdom of God your primary concern, you need to take four tests.

Storage test: Where are you storing treasures?

Vision test: How do you view what you have?

Control test: Is it God or money?

Faith test: Will you worry or have more faith?

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