1. Today we’re in Matthew 6:19-24 where Jesus talks about our priorities. Specifically in regards to money. It’s always funny to me when people say churches shouldn’t talk about money. Have you heard that rule? I realize some churches abuse this teaching to take advantage of people. But to create this rule that b/c some people do the wrong thing that we can talk about something that’s both Biblical and relevant would be really stupid. And we’re trying not to do stupid here. Not always successful, but we’re trying. So, yes, we’ll be dealing with money issues today b/c that’s what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 6:19-24.
2. In the first part of this teaching, Jesus does some comparative valuation between two investments – storing up treasure down here and storing up treasure in heaven. Two contrasting investment strategies and Jesus breaks down the differences between the two. You can either invest in eternity and never have to worry about your investments or you can get your heart wrapped up down here, storing up stuff for yourself and it’s going to rust, and be eaten and destroyed and you’re going to be left with nothing. Jesus says make the better choice.
3. And he’s not just being figurative here. In the first century, that’s literally what would happen to people’s stuff. You didn’t have a lot of options for hiding or protecting your belongings, so what would you do? You’d put your jewels under your bed. W/out an alarm system or locking doors, it was pretty easy for a thief to break in and steal that. You could bury your precious metals, but they would rust. You have nice clothes or fine linens in the closet, the moths or rats would eat away at them.
4. Not just first century either. I remember at our old house we had a storage shed in our backyard. A permanent one, matched the house. Nice little shed. Well, I decided to use it and over time I moved more and more stuff out there. (You know “stuff” – we all have stuff. Usually so much we build houses for our stuff.) Mostly the stuff I didn’t need, but wanted to hold onto. Boxes of old High School / college memories, old papers, notes, books, pictures, trophies, my first teddy bear, that kind of stuff. Good stuff.
5. Well, about 5 years ago when we were moving I went to clean out the old shed and guess what had happened to all my precious memories? They were literally eaten by rodents and roaches. The most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen. They had eaten right through the cardboard boxes and had a party in my personal belonging box until they died. And the only thing they really left was lots and lots of poo. A couple carcasses, but mostly poo. They turned by teddy bear into poo. His name was teddy. He was a good bear. He never hurt anybody.
6. And it’s not just junk stuff. But what about our real treasure – our money? How’s the stock market doing? How’s your 401K? How’s your IRA? How’s that mutual fund doing? OUCH, right? I think Jesus’ point is being made all over our world right now. No investment down here is really safe. They’re only as safe as the conditions protecting them. And considering we live in a world that God’s already promised will be destroyed by fire, probably not a good long-term prospect.