TEXT: Matthew 6:16-33 W. Max Alderman
INTRODUCTION: By examining the gospels, we learn that the secret to success is threefold: (1) if we want to be successful in the eyes of God, we must first answer Christ’s call for our lives. (2) Because of what God has given us, He holds us accountable for how we use our success. As part of God’s kingdom, we need to store our treasures in heaven, for “For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he passeth.” (Luke 12:15). (3) Even amidst success, we must realize that we are not self-sufficient; we need a relationship with our Lord.
With these thoughts in mind, may we consider the concept of TREASURE GIVING…
I. WE SHOULD PATTERN OUR GIVING… (Matt. 6:33)
A. God Certainly Has A Plan For Our Giving…
This verse gives us a wonderful pattern for all of our giving. If we really understand God’s concept of stewardship, it is only because we would first understand the truth of this great verse. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you, (V. 33).
Everything that we do ought to be with the kingdom of God in mind. For our dispensation, or the economy that we live, this is performed through the local New Testament Church. Therefore, we pattern not our giving worship after the heathen but after heaven, This entire 6th chapter insists that everything that we do is to be done with the motive of being seen by God, and not to be seen by men.
This chapter begins with this command: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them… then in verse number 5, the Scriptures read: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Verse 16 continues this warning in regards to fasting, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
B. God Certainly Has A Purpose For Our Giving…
First, we should give, but actually before we even give, we should question our motives for giving. One may be obedient in the fact that he gives, but does not do so with the proper motive. Some think that by giving, that it is like an insurance policy in that one’s giving is protecting that one from any negative events taking place in his life. Another may think that 8it is a sure way to increase his or her standard of living. Someone rightfully said, “God prospers me not raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving”.
C. God Certainly Has Provisions For Our Giving…
Next, we should give of the Lord, and to the Lord. Even our capacity to give is of the Lord. Verse 25 through verse number 32 proves this truth. Verse 32 ends this way: “for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. For this reason, we do not need to be over anxious for anything. When the Scriptures say, “Take no thought for your life” that is exactly what the Scriptures mean…
II. WE SHOULD PLACE OUR GIVING… (Vv. 19, 20).
A. The Place of Healthy Giving…
The place of our kingdom giving is the local church. Our government is from above, but has the far-reaching effects of touching us all; God’s government originates in the throne room See Romans 13:1. The way that His government is implemented for today’s Christian is either through the local Church, or in respect to the local Church. For this reason, the Christian does not make a distinction between the secular and the sacred in regards to his personal stewardship. To the believer, he reckons all things to be accounted for unto the Lord. This is especially true in regards to his giving. The handling of God’s money is a sacred trust, and the truth of it is, that everything belongs to Him. There is a no more protected and proper giving than that which is given through the local church. God will see that such giving is protected by him. We should never have the attitude which says, “This money is mine, and this money is God’s” It all belongs to Him.
We are instructed in Matthew 6:19, and 20 to, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where nether moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through not steal.”
B. The Place of Heathen Giving…
There are two particular places of giving that are referred to in our Text. One place, I will call your attention to is the place of heathen giving. The other place is the place of heaven giving. Both terms are mentioned in our Text. The place of heathen giving has as its emphasis, the earth and all that is in association with the earth. A person gives indication of being in this state when he is constantly focusing upon the earthly, rather than upon the heavenly, His priorities in life reflect this. It shows up in his church attendance, and also in the ways that he spends his money.
C. The Place of Heaven Giving…
When one is giving with heaven in mind, he is making deposits that are eternal in value. When we give God’s way, we are actually investing in our own eternity. I must say that I find enormous comfort in this. Just knowing that the dividends will be calculated for all eternity nearly blows my mind. There is no such program here upon the earth that is found among the heathen. You chose to either lay your treasures upon the earth or in heaven. Which will it be?
III. WE SHOULD PERFORM OUR GIVING…Vv20-31)
A. The Responsibility Of Our Performance…
Giving God’s way is an absolutely wonderful way in that it has such lasting results. This does not mean that you cannot make investments here upon the earth. There are Bible principles that allow for this and even encourages this. Yet, the overwhelming emphasis for a Christian’s giving or investing should not be here upon this earth. When you notice our text verse, it says: But lay for yourselves treasures in heaven. Notice, that it said, lay for yourselves. The Lord allows us to invest eternally for ourselves. This means. That our giving ought to be done obediently, by faith; with great hope and anticipation of the way God will bless such giving. The very “lay” indicates that there is a performance on our part. Too often Christians take a position that is reactive rather than proactive. We should give with both purpose, and with direction.
B. The Rewards Of Our Performance…
This means that God certainly should be consulted as we give our money to His work. He, who blesses us to give, should be consulted as we give. Remember that he owns it anyway; we are simply His money managers. The term steward means just that. We should be constantly investing wisely. When you give to the local church, you are actually giving through the local church. Bible Baptist, as it imports nearly 180 missionaries has been doing so because there are those of you who understand the concept of both helping our missionaries down here, and investing for all eternity up there. Every soul that is saved, you are having a part in it. When you give God’s way, you are actually having a part in keeping souls out of hell. That is a wonderful example of proactive giving. This kind of giving is to be cheerful giving rather than fearful giving. It is to be glad giving rather than mad, or sad giving. If you do not lay up your treasures in heaven, what will that mean both personally and eternally for you when you stand at the judgment seat? That is certainly something to think about.
IV. WE SHOULD PROTECT OUR GIVING…(Vv. 19, 20).
A. Notice The Protection Of The Investment.
There is no better protection for your investments than when you invest in heaven. Unless you really believe the Bible to be the Word of God you will find what I am saying difficult to believe. This entire concept is based upon faith. For this reason, and also for the reason that so many people are looking for instant gratification, they are unwilling to put this plan into effect. Even saved people can develop an epicurean philosophy that says, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for we shall soon die”.
When the Scriptures say, “where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt”, it is describing the way your investments are protected when it is given God’s way, The word “treasure” is used to describe the quality of the gift. God will protect the treasure for what it really is, a treasure,,, For this reason one does not have to worry whether or not inflation will erode away the value of the treasure that is regularly being deposited into heaven, nor does one need to worry about the market crashing.
B. Notice The Protection of The Investor…
There is not only the protection that comes to our eternal investments, but there is the daily protection that comes to the investor. This is what the Scriptures mean when it says: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink…” Read verses 25 through verses 34 and see how well God takes care of the wise investor. I learned many years ago that giving God’s way is a “no-lose” plan, and that I need not to worry.
CONCLUSION: This study should cause each of us to realize what true riches are, and to realize where true riches come from. It should cause us to trust in the Lord rather than in the riches. May I conclude this study with these verses for your consideration:
1 Timothy 6:9 (KJV) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:17 (KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1 Timothy 6:18 (KJV) That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;