Summary: What do you treasure? Who owns your heart?
Sermon on the Mount - # 9
We are studying the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5,6, and 7 about the values and choices of those who are His followers. Let me remind you that putting these words into practice is an impossibility apart from the life of the Holy Spirit, changing us from the inside out! These words do not just describe a system of ethics. They are about a way of life that results from becoming a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
My message today from Jesus’ sermon to His disciples will probably stir up more questions than it answers! And, that is as I intend. The subject is very personal and each serious follower of Christ needs to make decisions that reflect his own convictions and an obedient response to the Word and the Spirit.
Make no mistake about this, though Jesus addresses the subject of wealth and treasure, He is not just speaking to those we class as being ‘rich!’ The vast majority of those in his original audience were desperately poor, scratching out a living day by day, living in a small one or two room home! If He thought it was important to remind them about treasure, I would reason it is even more important for us to hear His words!
We enjoy a level of wealth envied by most of the world. Owning a late-model automobile, a large screen TV, a computer, a cell phone, and a closet full of clothing are not considered luxuries by most Americans. Very few of us are guided in our spending solely by what we need. This availability of goods and the ability to shape our existence with the wealth available to us has an impact on our spiritual perceptions.
Text: Matthew 6: 19-24
I read this bumper sticker on the back of a big, impressive pick up truck a few years ago...
He who dies with the most toys wins.
It doesn’t take much insight to figure out that person’s philosophy about his possessions, do you? He enjoyed the prestige that his money enabled him to purchase from this world. He was more honest than most of us about his aims and desires. We probably wouldn’t admit to that kind of materialism so openly but it is woven into the fabric of our society.
Believer, let me be direct.
∙ Where is your treasure stored?
∙ What do you value most?
∙ On what are you focusing your best efforts in life?
Those who consider themselves spiritual might now be thinking,
"Pastor, I am a simple person. I just don’t treasure much of anything but the Lord Himself."
If that is true, then you have a pass from listening in to rest of this sermon!
For most of us, collecting treasure is about as common among human beings as breathing.
Little boys collect rocks and bugs.
Little girls collect flowers.
My friend, Anthony, collects very old Bibles and has a beautiful display case to house his collection.
Jake accumulates guitars (which he uses to bless us)! He has an interesting explanation of the difference between collecting and accumulating. Just ask him!
I have seen vast and varied collections; model trains, classic cars, antique furniture, recorded music of various kinds, Elvis memorabilia, etc. Is this wrong? Is this what Jesus is addressing here?