Summary: what Jesus says about laying up treasure
"Setting Up Your Retirement Plan"
Intro: When people choose a job these days, one of the most important questions is "What kind of pension plan is included?" Americans have devoted great energy to planning ahead so we can enjoy all of the benefits of retirement. A number of years ago, that concept was radically different. People would work hard all their lives and hope they had enough to get by on. These days, we calculate just how much we want each year after retiring, and when we reach that figure, we decide it is time to retire.
Jesus has a lot to say about how we view things. Let’s look in Matthew 6:19-34.
Jesus tells us here that we need to make a change in our directions.
Many times we think God needs to join us because we have such a good plan worked out for our lives. Rather, we will surely make a shipwreck of our lives unless we change the course of our life to follow God.
Jesus starts by telling the people to
I. Stop building Earthly treasures - 19-24
The real sense of the language used here is "Stop storing up for yourselves treasures . . . "
They were doing it, and they needed to stop.
A. Why stop - It is foolish to build earthly treasures, when you can build heavenly treasures.
**Why buy disposable plates every day, when you can buy dishes you can keep.
**why rent furniture for your house when you can buy furniture to own.
Why sacrifice the eternal for the temporary?
What happens to earthly treasures? They are consumed, corrupted, and stolen. We are a people who focus on material things. We are that way because we have materialistic hearts.
Our eyes determine what we dwell upon. Many times we see the idea that it is what we focus upon that consumes us. They things we read, watch, "eye up" and dwell upon--these are the things that will become our treasure. Why are rubies and sapphires precious gemstones? Not because they are rare, but because they are beautiful to look on. People love that which is pleasing to their eyes.
Jesus says, what we focus on is what we will treasure. But the choice of a master will direct that focus. Will you choose to serve God or wealth. We are a slave: that is the wording here. Our choice is simply to determine whose slave we will be. If God is truly our master, then our focus and our lives should be different. Stop seeking earthly treasure. Rather seek heavenly treasure.
Did you ever see the bumper sticker that says "Christians retirement benefits are out of this world!"
What do you treasure? Proverbs 2 has some good wisdom for us.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The second area we need to change direction in our life is seen in the next verses. We need to
II. Stop worrying About Our Lives - 25-34
We have become a generation that values life too dearly. In many ways we dishonor life. We see some moothers choose to kill unborn children. We see pre-teens kill another youth for his sneakers. We do not value life. But we are also a generation that chooses to take any steps to avoid pain or displeasure. We want a comfortable life at all costs.
Once again here Jesus tells the people to stop doing something they were already doing.
Stop worrying about your life . . . Jesus tells us that if we have made the right choice of treasure, we won’t have to worry about the everyday details of our lives. What were the people worrying about in Jesus’ day? What they would eat and drink, and the clothes they would wear. What do people worry about today? The same thing. Why has McDonalds almost sold 1 trillion hamburgers? Because people love to eat out. Why are the malls doing such incredible business? Because people love to buy clothes. Remember Amelda Marcos? The wife of the Phillipines dictator--she had hundreds of pairs of shoes in her closet.
Jesus sent his disciples out on a training mission: They only took one pair of sandals and one coat. Today we need color coordinated outfits that are different for every day. When I was in high school I remember one girl complaining in the winter that she had to start rewearing outfits that she had already worn to school once that year.