Summary: Jesus calls us to look at our lives and choose which way we are going to travel. Will it be with Him, or in the opposite direction. We need to realise that all choices have consequences.
We have an army man who for some reason often comes and visits our house - probably because he is dating my daughter. Often we talk about army exercises; especially the firing of mortars – because that is Ben’s speciality. These mortars can travel a distance of 6 kilometres.
That means you could set up a mortar here and hit the Chermside shopping centre.
To give you an idea of the skill involved if the mortar base tube 5mm off line it will miss the target by 105 meters.
So there are all these adjustments that need to be made. A whole lot of choices here which will determine the outcome 6 kilometres away.
Life is like that as well.
The choices we make now will have an impact on the people that we are 1, 2, 5, 10 years from now.
The choices we made 1, 2, 5, 10 years ago have in impact on the people we are today.
And we are making choices all the time.
What are going to be our priorities.
How we spend our leisure time.
Our attitude to the work place.
The relationships we will form.
The sort of character we are going to have.
In all these, and many more areas, we make choices. Even if we say we are not going to make a choice – well that is still a choice isn’t it.
Choices and outcomes ... they are always with us. Which is why Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, has a section on making choices.
Read Matthew 6:19-24
Jesus can’t teach about every choice you need to make; but He does give us three specific examples which help us to understand how to make all kinds of everyday choices.
Two banks (Matthew 6:19-21)
One is the Bank of Earth and one is the Bank of Heaven. Both will take your treasure.
In one bank, the Bank of Earth, moth and rust will get to our treasures. All the stuff we put our energy into in this world:-
- our work and financial security.
- our study and our desire for status.
- our homes and material possessions.
All of that is going to be taken away at some point. It is like putting water into a bucket with holes in it. You keep pouring in the water but you have nothing to show for your effort. It just all runs away. Moth and rust.
We get a girlfriend then, once we are bored with her or find something more interesting, we move on to another girl. The relationship has rusted.
We find a job. It satisfies us for a while but then we are not treated as well as we would like. So we move on. The relationship has been eaten.
We get a new toy ... either a little person’s toy or a big boys toy. It excites us for a while and has our interest. But then it we move on. Rust.
There are all sorts of aspects of life that promise to give us so much. But it is all rusted and moth-eaten isn’t it. Even fame. Maybe one day you might be a bit famous. And they will put up a little plaque in your hometown:
Johnny was born here.
In 100 years time no-one will even know who Johnny is.
The pigeons will do what pigeons do to the plaque – and no one will care.
That’s what happens if all you do is store-up treasures in the Bank of Earth.
But you can also make a deposit in the Bank of Heaven. Which raises the obvious question. What are the treasures that are going to last which will not be destroyed by moth and rust? There are actually two.
All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.
We need to be investing time into God’s Word.
To allow it to direct and guide our actions.
To realise that it is practical and applicable to our everyday situation.
To use it to understand our culture and be relevant to the culture.
To be willing to be changed by it if that is what the Word calls us to do.
The Word is that which draws us closer to God and makes us more like Jesus. The Word helps us to understand the ultimate purpose of our lives. The Word which gives us peace and security in the middle of hopelessness and darkness. It is the treasure which is going to give us lasting credit in the Bank of Heaven.
The other treasure which is going to last is people.
Heaven is designed for no other reason than to have people experience the face-to-face presence of God. So your investments in this area are going to give quite different results.