Derek Berry, pastor
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hiram
What do we think about the most? As you daydream, what are your thoughts? Are your thoughts on earth? Are they on heaven? Is your mind on earthly things or heaven things? Where is your heart? What are we seeking?
The concern of Jesus Christ in this passage is money, possessions, and material things. His concern is that we guard against centering our lives around things such as: houses, furnishings, cars, lands, buildings, and all the things that make up wealth on earth.
If you have true righteousness of Jesus Christ in your lives, then you will have a proper attitude toward material wealth. Jesus did not amplify poverty or condemn properly creating wealth. Is it wrong to possess things? No. Is it wrong for things to possess you? Yes.
Christ gives a contrast about two kinds of riches in these verses. There are earthly riches and there are heavenly riches.
Christ says three things about earthly riches: 1) Do not lay up for yourselves earthly riches. 2) Earthly riches are corruptible; they are only for a brief time and then they are no more. They age, decay, and die. 3) Earthly riches are insecure. A person cannot take anything with them when they leave this world and they can be stolen.
Christ says three things about heavenly riches: 1) Lay up for yourselves heavenly riches. 2) Heavenly riches are incorruptible (1 Peter 1:4 “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”). 3) Heavenly riches are secure; no one or nothing can take away a person's heavenly riches.
What does it mean to lay up treasures in heaven? It means that we should use all that we have to glorify God and we accomplish this by all acts of obedience to God.
God is using the eye to represent the attitudes of the mind.
How do we keep a clear focus? It would be very difficult to focus while trying to look in two different directions at the same time. I once read that being able to focus is the secret to power.
Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from His point of view. This spiritual insight can easily be dimmed by darkness. When your spiritual vision gets dim through neglect of prayer and the Word of God, you are very wide open to the tricks and traps of the enemy. It is impossible to have the victory over darkness when we neglect the very things that give us light!
We cannot serve two masters at the same time! Here is a quick test: between money and God, honestly, which one occupies more of your thoughts, time, and tasks?
This may mean you have some cutting back you need to do if your possessions are becoming too important to us. Jesus is telling us that we have some decisions that must be made. If we are going to stay totally committed to God, then we must live a life content with whatever we have.
I love how the apostle Paul put it in Philippians 4:12: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Paul was content because he could see life from the best viewpoint, God’s. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he should have. How can you find true contentment so you can stay committed? True contentment lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power.
Who are you serving? God or money?
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