Summary: Studies in the Sermon on the Mount about our treasure
Title: Treasure and the Heart
Text: Matthew 6:19-24
Open: John 3:30
“He must increase, I must decrease”
“He must become greater, I must become lesser” NIV
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Introduction: Jesus deals with money, again
Isn’t it as much hypocrisy to say that we trust Christ and not give him our treasure as it is for any of the acts in the previous passage? Is it any difference than praying, fasting, and giving for the attention of others?
One-sixth of what Jesus preached about dealt with money. If I were to chose my sermon topics by these Biblical proportions, you would hear about 25 sermons a year on money. Although I do mention this issue in other sermons you don’t hear near as much as what Jesus gives in proportion to his teaching.
You have to remember that we do know that Jesus taught more that is written in scripture but in scripture we seem to find a summary of what is truly important in the Christian life.
The question we must ask ourselves is Why? Why talk so much about money and possessions. Why is God so concerned with how we spend our money? I was discussing the issue of tithes with a fellow who was considering taking a position in the church. I asked him did he paid his tithes? I also asked him is what he gave his actual tithes? He looked at me squarely and told me, “That is none of your business.” I would agree that I did get a little personal. But with this person it was more hitting a nerve than revealing personal information.
You see as we learn from scripture if you can commit your money to God then you are committed to God but until that time you will have a hard time talking about commitment. How can you talk about commitment in all areas when you can’t commit to the one that controls you the most.
Maybe this is what Jesus was trying to say when he said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So in other words where ever you want your heart to be place your treasure there. If you want your heart to be in the Lord then place your treasure in him. Now I understand this is all in due proportion.
Do I pay on gross or net?
One of the things I have pondered since becoming a Christian is the great theological question about how to pay my tithes. Many people battle this. Do I pay on gross or net. Do I pay on what I make or what I bring home. I think there is a legitimate argument.
Before I give you my opinion let me give you some advice, “When it comes to God don’t short change him.” You can’t out give him. So if you are asking this question because you are afraid that you will give God too much then you have a deeper problem than tithes and that is dependence.
Lately I have been giving this some deep thought. I have some friends and fellow Christians who pay tithe both ways. I battled this same area myself when I became a pastor and began to report my income as salary and expense. Do I have to pay tithes on my expense. I had people tell me differently.
So what is my conclusion. As I pondered this I thought to myself that if I pay tithes on my net (what I actually bring home) then I felt I was missing two vital principles in my life. 1) I want God to always get what is first in my finances. The first thing we do when I get paid is to write out our tithe check. This is before savings, bills, car payments, groceries. God gets his money first. I felt that if I did it any other way then God would not get his first.