Summary: Exposition of Matt. 6:19-24
Where’s Your Treasure?
A while back, Fortune magazine did their cover story on Mr. Warren Buffet, who in June was the world’s 2nd richest man. It was then he announced he will donate 85% of his $44 billion fortune to 5 charity foundations. Commenting on his generosity, Buffet said: "There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way."
Mr. Buffet may know a lot about making money, but if he really means what he says, he knows absolutely nothing about how to get to heaven. The Bible says salvation doesn’t depend on our generosity, but on God’s generosity. You don’t get to heaven by what you give to God, but by what God through Christ gives to you.
Many Christians make the opposite error of Mr. Buffet. They assume because you can’t buy your way into heaven, God doesn’t care about your money or your possessions. We think God is concerned about our prayers, our Bible reading, and our church attendance, but not about what’s in our wallet, our bank account, or our investments. But is that true?
Howard Dayton, Jr. writes 16 of [Jesus’] 38 parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing 1 out of 10 verses deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.
Jesus says a lot of important things about your money and possessions- maybe a lot more than you and I would like for Him to say. You can’t buy your way into heaven, but Jesus says your attitude towards money and possessions has a lot to do with your relationship with God. This morning, I want to look at some very familiar, very important words of Christ about your wealth. Look with me at 3 things Jesus says about your wealth in Matt. 6:19-24
I. YOUR HEART IS WHERE YOUR WEALTH IS. (v. 19-21)
Our culture is in love with wealth. We are glued to gossip about the lives of the wealthy. We envy them. We dream about what we’ d do if we had what they had. We dream of more.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The problem is not with wealth itself; it’s with the love of wealth. It’s not wrong to have money or own things; but there’s a big difference between using wealth as a tool or hoarding it as your treasure. But how do you know whether you’re using wealth or loving wealth? Jesus says if you want to know where your heart truly is, follow the money. He mentions two options:
You can choose to store up earthly wealth. (v. 19) Lay up= store, as in a warehouse. It means to accumulate, to collect, to store up something. Treasure on earth is simply earthly wealth—your money and material possessions.
Jesus says you can focus your life on accumulating money and stuff. He’s not saying it’s wrong to make a living, or sinful to buy things you use or need. He’s not saying it’s wrong to save money. He’s talking about accumulating more and more just because you want it--what the Bible calls covetousness- wanting more of what you have enough of already. Jesus says laying up earthly treasures is a bad investment. Why? Because no matter how much earthly wealth you accumulate, you can’t hold on to it. Moth, rust, thieves represent all the forces that take away what we try so hard to hold on to. Things wear out, they break down, somebody steals them. Sooner or later, you lose every earthly possession. On the other hand, Jesus presents another option:
You can choose to store up heavenly wealth. (v. 20) What does Jesus mean by storing up treasures in heaven? How do you accumulate wealth in heaven while you’re still living here?
Luke 12:33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
Jesus told the rich young ruler:
Matthew 19:21 …sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven….
The main verb in these two statements is not sell; the main verb is give. Jesus is not commanding all of His followers to sell everything they have; what He is saying you store up treasure in heaven by giving. This our Lord says is a wise investment. Why? Because no matter how much heavenly wealth you accumulate, you can’t lose it. Heavenly wealth cannot be touched by moth, rust, or thieves; the treasures of heaven never wear out, break down, or lost. They are eternally lasting. But Jesus says one more thing about these two options: