Summary: What is the treasure of your heart? What is the object of your affection? You say it is Jesus? Is it reallY?
Treasures and Hearts Sermon
1. What would you do for ten million dollars? I’m not giving it out, you understand, but there was a recent poll of Americans that asked them that question. I won’t share all the results with you, but some of them are interesting.
a. Twenty-five percent of us say we would abandon our church for ten million dollars. I suppose I should feel good that 75% of you would stay put. Sixteen percent of Americans say they would give up their American citizenship for ten million dollars. Seven percent say they would kill a stranger. That’s a little frightening. And 3% claim they would put their children up for adoption for ten million dollars. That’s just sad.
b. Well, like I said, we’re not giving out ten million dollars, but I do want us to spend a little time this morning reflecting on the role of money and possessions in our lives, the third week of my series on “Living for Giving”
2. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
3. Where (and what) is my treasure?”
a. A treasure is something I value.
i. It is something I hold valuable and dear.
ii. It could be a thing, a person, a job, the opinions of others.
iii. It could be my reputation, my home, my car, my time.
b. Some things are treasures because of their sentimental value.
i. Photo albums – people have been known to re-enter burning homes to retrieve their photos.
ii. A family heirloom. A piece of jewelry. The letters of our spouse when we were dating.
c. We treasure other things because of their beauty.
i. A painting or sculpture, or even a print.
d. Treasures express what we deem most valuable.
e. Treasures mirror the affections of the heart.
i. A treasure tattles on what we are attached to.
ii. Jesus said that where our treasure is, our heart will be also.
iii. Find where your treasure is and you will find your heart there.
f. If you really want to know where someone’s heart is, just see where they spend their time, and see where they spend their money. That is their treasure.
i. We may say that we treasure God’s values and the eternal kingdom, but our lives spell another story. Audit our check books and our daytimers and you can see the truth.
g. Every Person listening to Jesus speak knew what Jesus meant by treasures:
i. It was certainly not that his first audience had much of this world’s goods.
ii. Many of them were so impoverished that they barely had the clothes on their backs and wondered where their next meal might be found. Poverty was endemic to the first century.
iii. Yet Jesus spoke of treasures to his audience because everyone has his own treasures – even the poor.
iv. Our Lord was excluding no one from the matter of treasures.
v. Treasures consist more in the affections of the heart than in what one can hold in his hands.
vi. Jesus isn’t talking about what you have-He is talking about what you treasure. There is a difference.
vii. The question isn’t how much do you own. It is what (or who) owns you?
h. Have you ever known anyone who comes to the end of their life, lying on their deathbed, taking their last breaths of life and says, ’Man, I wish I had spent more time at the office?’
4. What is Jesus saying – about the Nature of Treasures
a. Today’s text doesn¹t tell us to give up our treasures.
i. t tells us to stop holding them and to allow God to hold them.
ii. That is when the miracles can start.
iii. In the hands of God, when all our earthly treasures are transformed into eternal testimonies to the power of faith, hope, and love.
b. It may help us here if we begin by listing what he was (and is) not forbidding.
i. First, there is no ban on possessions in themselves; Scripture nowhere forbids private property.
ii. Secondly, ’saving for a rainy day’ is not forbidden to Christians, or for that matter a life insurance policy which is only a kind of saving by self-imposed compulsion.
1. On the contrary, Scripture praises the any for storing in the summer the food it will need in the winter, and declares that the believer who makes no provision for his family is worse than an unbeliever. (Prov.6:6ff; 1 Tim.5:8).