Summary: Theme: worry as it relates to money. God wants us to trust Him and follow Him rather than trading the gift of relationship for what we can acquire on this earth. God wants us to discover the worry-free treasure of loving and trusting Him.
Two Masters, One Heart
Intro: “I have a mountain of credit card debt”, one man told another. “I have lost my job. My car is being repossessed and our house is in foreclosure, but I am not worried about it”, exclaimed his friend. “No, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all my worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to think about it.”
“That’s fantastic! How much does your professional worrier charge for his services?” “$50,000 a year”, he replied. “$50,000 a year? Where are you going to get that kind of money?” “I don’t know”, comes the reply. “That’s his worry.”
-A story is told about a man who came face to face with the dangers of worry:
Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked, "What are you going to do?"
"I’m going to take 100 people," Death replied.
"That’s horrible!" the man said.
"That’s the way it is," Death said. "That’s what I do."
The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death’s plan.
As evening fell, he met Death again.
"You told me you were going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000 die?"
"I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people. Worry took the others."
-One study claims that about half of all the people in America’s hospital beds are constant worriers. 43% of all adults suffer health effects due to worry and stress. 75% - 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are stress-related complaints or disorders. Worry has been linked to all the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis and suicide. An estimated 1 million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550 million workdays lost annually because of absenteeism. 43% of all employee turnover is related to job stress. Mental distress can even lead to death.
-Today we’ll be talking about worry as it relates to money. God wants us to trust Him and follow Him rather than trading the gift of relationship for what we can acquire on this earth. Here’s the main thought of the message:
Prop: God wants us to discover the worry-free treasure of loving and trusting Him.
Interrogative: What kind of payout can we expect when we give our love to God?
TS: Let’s look at the results of giving our love away to wealth, first of all, and then we’ll take a look at the real wealth that comes from loving God.
I. Loving money results in darkness (Matthew 6:22-23)
22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!
-Jesus uses the eye here to symbolize the heart or inner being of a person. If your heart is good, then it follows that you will do what is good. While some people in the first century may have believed that the human eye emitted light which enabled sight, Jesus gives the idea here that if your eye is healthy or good, then it will let light in. Light most often refers to truth, which Jesus said would make us free. In this context the amount of light that gets in affects the moral condition of a person.
-We could stop and talk about that for quite some time. How much light are you letting in? Are you open to truth? Do you welcome God’s truth and grace to come in and light up your soul? Or are you content to keep seeing things the way you’ve always seen them? Jesus said that if your eye doesn’t let the light in then your whole body will be full of darkness. Obviously, He isn’t talking about 20/20 vision here. He is talking about how willing we are to see things God’s way.
-More specifically, Jesus seems to be referring to whether a person is generous or not. A generous person was typically described as having a good eye. A stingy selfish person was described as having a bad or evil eye. From the preceding verses we can conclude that this is a person who has put all his eggs in his earthly basket and has not stored any treasure in heaven. We talked about this a couple weeks ago. One way we can store treasure in heaven is by giving to those who are in need. Whoever gives to the poor lends to the Lord and the Lord will repay. The stink-eyed person wants to hoard what he gets, keeping it all for himself. But the generous person with the good eye can clearly see that nothing in this world lasts except the good that God does through our lives.