Summary: The Command: Invest in Heaven 5 Tests to Guide Our Investments in a Heavenly Direction: 1. Durability Test 2. Bank Test 3. Heart Test 4. Eye Test 5. Master Test
Message: Testing Your Investment Strategy
Topics: Money, Investments, Masters, Heart
Text: Matthew 6:19-24
Date: Nov. 27, 2011
Pastor: David McBeath
(A portion of this sermon is based on an outline by Brian Bill of Pontiac Bible Church)
A recent survey suggests Americans are more cynical today than ever before. We don’t trust politicians or the economy and most are suspicious of the church. One of the bad raps that churches have today is people have the impression that they’re always asking for money. I know this survey rings true because as I am sitting at Karma Café working on my message, I overhear a lady talking about her church. She is complaining, complaining about her church always asking for money!
All of this reminds me of a story about a Mom who was hysterical because her son, Jimmy, had swallowed a quarter. As soon as she saw what happened, she turned to her husband and screamed for him to call a doctor. He picked up the phone, but instead of calling the doctor, he decided to call his pastor. Needless to say, the wife was upset and said, “We don’t need the pastor! We need some medical help!” To which the husband replied, “Hey, our pastor can get money out of anyone!”
Again, I want to put you at ease. My goal is not to try to pry money out of you this morning. You can breathe a sigh of relief and quit looking for the exits because we’ve already taken the offering! If anyone is uncomfortable about a sermon on money and stewardship, it is definitely me. The last thing I want to do is contribute to the impression many have that the church is primarily concerned with money. I know it may look self-serving for a pastor to talk about stewardship and giving that is why I am so uncomfortable with the topic. But money is a spiritual issue and needs to be addressed first and foremost because the Bible has more to say about money that almost anything else.
This is the third in our series on Stewardship. Two weeks ago we learned that God wants us to view our work as worship, and last week we learned that we can be thankful that God provides everything we need to accomplish his purposes. This week we are going to look at Matthew 6:19-24 and discuss principles for making the best investments possible. We will learn about God’s command for investment and 5 Tests that will guide us as we invest in what He has commanded.
With this concept in mind, let me read our text for this morning. Please turn to Matthew 6:19-24. Follow along as I read:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
If you will look at the first half of verse 19 and the first half of verse 20. Here is what they say: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… …But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” These phrases are both imperative. That means they are a command. What we learn about investing is this: God commands us to invest in heavenly things not earthly things.
It’s interesting to think about these verses and the command contained in them right after Black Friday isn’t it? Recently, I watched a man on the street interview with people standing in line on Thanksgiving Day waiting to be the first into the stores. You know what surprised me? People were giving up Thanksgiving with family, sleep, comfort…etc to get things! As I listened to the interview most of them were not getting gifts to give away at Christmas but treasures to store in their homes immediately. Now, I am not saying Black Friday is bad. We bought our kids presents on a pre-Black Friday Target Internet deal. Jesus isn’t saying that we can’t have material possession, own property, get a good deal on Black Friday, or save for the future. However, Jesus is forbidding the selfish, self-centered accumulation of goods as the major end of life. The ultimate question is this, what is your primary investment strategy? Do you primarily invest in earthly things or heavenly things?