Summary: What are you living for? Wealth and comfort or the purposes of God? Most of us have the desire to live a significant life. Jesus shows us how.
Where is your heart?
When you’re 95 years old and looking back on your life, what will you say? Will you be happy with the way you have lived?
A survey taken a number of years ago of those aged 95 and above asked this question; what changes would you make if you could live your life over again. The top three changes they would make were:
1. They’d take more time to think and reflect on what they were doing and the meaning of life.
2. They’d risk more. In other words they would be more willing to step out of their comfort zones and be more courageous.
3. They’d do more things that outlive them; things that would have a positive effect on people and the world, even after they had died.
The question God has for us today is this: What are you investing in my friend? And where is your heart?
Jesus has been teaching his followers not to be like the either the religious or the pagans; in their giving of money, don’t be like them; in their praying, don’t be like them; and in their fasting, don’t be like them. He’s been saying to them don’t be like others; I’m calling you to be different. And here in verses 19-24 he’s saying, be different in your general outlook on life.
In vv19-21, Jesus is saying, there are two treasures you can have in this life: earthly and heavenly.
In vv22-23, Jesus is saying, there are two ways of looking at life: with good eyes or bad eyes. You either have eyes for God and his ways, and your life is full of spiritual light, or you have eyes for yourself and this world, and your life is full of spiritual darkness.
In v24, Jesus is saying, there are two masters you can serve: either God or money. There is no sitting on the fence; there is no neutrality. We all choose either one or the other. What have you chosen? Where is your treasure? What is your vision? Who is your Master? Where is your heart?
(I) What are you investing your life in?
The way to tell what you’re investing your life in is quite simple. You just make a list of the things you spend your time doing:
How much time and money do I spend on the things of this world?
How much time and money do I spend on the things of God?
If we turn to Luke 12:15-21 we read these words...
We must be clear about one thing. Are we investing all our time, talents, money and dreams in this world and for our own sake? Or are we investing in the things of God? Are we aiming for comfort or for God’s glory? What are you investing in? Where is your heart?
(II) Realise three things:
1. Realize Jesus wasn’t saying we can’t own things/have investments.
The Bible nowhere says we can’t own things. We condemn prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians are supposed to be wealthy. But we also condemn poverty gospel, which says Christians are supposed to be poor and destitute. The Bible does not say it is wrong to own things.
And the Bible praises those who save up and invest for a rainy day. Proverbs 6:6-8 says this: “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise... it stores up provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Pensions, mortgages & savings can be a good thing.
What’s more, the Bible tells us that God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment! So homes and food and CD players and electricity, etc, are from God, for us to enjoy! (1 Tim 6:17).
So the Bible doesn’t say it’s unspiritual to own things, to invest sensibly for the future, or to enjoy the things that money can buy! But...
2. Realize Jesus was saying that earthly things are only temporary and not worth the effort.
Read Matthew 6:19
Moths will eat your expensive curtains; rust will corrode your lovely car; thieves may break in to your home and steal your lovely things.
The current credit crunch, housing slump, and stagflation just shows us how fragile are the things in which we trust!
Jesus is saying, The things of this world may be good, but they don’t last forever. He’s saying, Your Blood-bought life is so precious that these earthly things are not worth it! They are just not worth spending your whole precious life on!
Bill Hybels tells of the time when he was 19 years old and sitting in a posh restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. He could hear the retired American couple sat nearby. The man was saying something like, “Well here we are honey! This is what we’ve worked and saved for all our lives! It was worth it, wasn’t it.” And young Bill Hybel thought to himself, What?! Is that it then? Is that the purpose of life? To someday be sat in a posh restaurant? Is that the meaning of life and all the struggle of the years? He said it was then that he decided that he wanted more out of life. It was then that he saw that a life given over to God’s purposes was where he would find the true meaning of life. (from his ‘Contagious Christian’ book)