Summary: Treasure God, not temporary things! We’ve already talked about prayer in this chapter. Well, fasting goes along with prayer and is an investment that brings spiritual dividends. Let’s look at some thoughts on hunger, reward, and treasure.
Rewards and Treasures
Matthew 6:19-21 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Intro: Some of you have heard about Aunt "Emma." She was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. (The man didn’t trust banks.) The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.
When "Uncle Ollie" was 60, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Em promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to.
They all knew he was a little odd, but this was clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie’s brothers that she was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.
The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later.
-Uncle Ollie couldn’t take it with him- check, cash, or coin. Neither can we. In light of that, let me give you one simple truth to hold onto today.
Prop: Treasure God, not temporary things!
TS: We’ve already talked about prayer in this chapter. Well, fasting goes along with prayer and is an investment that brings spiritual dividends. Let’s look at some thoughts on hunger, reward, and treasure.
I. The Quest for Temporary Treasures
Matthew 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
(Stop treasuring earthly treasures. They won’t last.)
-What is your treasure? These verses do not mean that we cannot have earthly possessions. The main concern is to be certain that our possessions do not have us. Earthly treasures are not forbidden, but must not consume our time and energy. What are you laboring for? More food, clothing? A nicer house? A larger bank account? The comforts and luxuries of life? Security? Admiration? These are all fleeting treasures that will leave you bankrupt in heaven. Jesus is saying, “Don’t treasure these things. Treasure the things that last forever.”
-As I consider what is really valuable in life, naturally I think of my family as one of the first things. That is an acceptable value in our society today. Family first! And yet as much as I love my family and am pro-family to the core, we need to understand that our love and devotion to family should not even come close to our love and devotion for the Lord! When Jesus spoke of commitment to His disciples, He told them that anyone who loved even one’s own family more than Him could not be His disciple. Whatever you invest in your relationship with Jesus will not be lost. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part, (spending time with Him) and that it would not be taken away from her.
-You can’t take it with you! We’ve all heard that, but do we really believe it? What do we spend most of our life capital doing? Working, making money, buying stuff, wishing we had more, working more to pay for what we bought on credit. We are consumed with the desire to accumulate more and more, but it never really satisfies. Work is good. Making a living is good. But when we pursue wealth or anything this world has to offer, as our primary treasure, we will come up empty, disappointed, and poverty-stricken in our ability to love and be loved.
1 Timothy 6:7-10 … we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
-Let’s not go down that dead-end road. Let’s seek what is worth giving our lives for!
II. The Quest for Lasting Treasure
Matthew 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.