Your Heart's Treasure


When John D. Rockefeller died, one man was curious about how much he left behind. Determined to find out, he set up an appointment with one of Rockefeller’s highest aides and asked, “How much did Rockefeller leave behind.”

The aide answered, “All of it.”

We may amass earthly treasures and they may leave us while we are still here but for sure, when we die, all of our earthly treasures will stay and be lost to death.
Today as we dive back into the Greatest. Sermon. Ever., our journey through the Sermon on the Mount, we come to the topic of money. One author reckons that 15 percent of everything Christ said relates to the topic of money. That’s more than His teachings on both heaven and hell combined. Over the years, pastors have sweated over preaching about money because there’s this perception that the church just wants your money. I’m not scared of it. But, with this great concern comes the first fallacy that we believe when it comes to money. And that is the belief that any of our money is actually ours. In reality, it’s all God’s and we have been given a stewardship, a trust, of using it her and now for His glory.
Matthew 6:19–24 ESV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Pray for the sermon and for the Lord’s help.
Verses 19-21 is a hinge passage. It acts as both an illustration of the previous passage by explicitly stating the priorities that the disciple’s model prayer that Jesus had just taught contained.
It’s the wisdom of pursuing the treasure of the Father in heaven rather than the foolishness of storing up temporal riches/treasure on earth. It both illustrates this and in the same passage transitions to Jesus’s next topic as He teaches about whole-person righteousness. He transitions to talking about our relationship with money and our possessions. It’s a question of allegiance. Where is our allegiance?
Money and possessions have a crazy amount of power over our hearts. Trying to serve both God and money will split you and you will not be wholly serving both. You can’t serve both.You can not serve money and still be holy serving the Lord.
The danger of prosperity is simple: it binds us to the world. Prosperity leads us to think that we have found our place in the world. Of course, the reality is that the world has found its place in us.
As followers of Christ, we live in this world but our eyes are to be set higher, on the world to come.
Our priorities are to be in line with Jesus’s priorities. We are to treasure what He treasures.
So we are going to break up this passage into three imperatives that we can walk away and put into practice in our lives. Store up better treasure, pursue the better way of life, and serve the better master.

I. Store up better treasure.

In life we are constantly confronted with choices. As soon as we walk down the road we find a fork in it and we have to make a decision about which way to go. This is an important point to understand. You can store up treasures on earth as your focus or you can store up treasures in heaven. You don’t get both. These are the options.
When Jesus says not to store up for yourselves treasures on earth, the verb He uses is in the present imperative tense. In this command, He is telling us to be constantly vigilant. We should keep on not storing up these things. It’s easy to get off track and Jesus knows this. Earthly treasures lack any kind of staying power. They can be destroyed by moth and rust and we can not protect them from thieves who break in and steal.
Charles Albertson once interviewed Cecil Rhodes, who built a vast empire in South Africa. In congratulating Rhodes he said: “You ought to be happy.”
Rhodes replied:
Happy! No! I spent my life amassing a fortune only to find that I have spent half of it on doctors to keep me out of the grave, and the other half on lawyers to keep me out of jail
Engagement ring story???
The precious...

A. What you treasure shows what you place value on.

Charles Quarles said,
Exalting Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount The Imperishable Riches of the Kingdom of God 6:19-24

In the Sermon on the Mount the actions that are specifically described as accumulating rewards include suffering persecution for Jesus’ sake (Matt. 5:12), loving one’s enemies (5:46), generous gifts to the poor (6:2-4), fervent and sincere prayer (6:5-6), and humble fasting (6:16-18). (Sermon, 234)

Jesus says these are things worth treasuring. These are things of real and lasting value. So we must ask ourselves where our treasure is located. We must ask whether our treasure is safely secure in heaven or unsecure on earth, where it will never last.

B. That which you treasure reveals what is truly in your heart.

Rich Young Ruler
Matthew 19:16–30 ESV
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
A basic truth of Christianity is that our heart or who we really are on the inside… the seat of everything we are, should belong to God. He created us in His image. He redeemed us in Christ on the cross, with the shedding of his blood in our place, for our sin, and He was raised from the dead for our justification. Here’s the thing: when you or I love anything more or put anything over and above Jesus in our heart it is adultery of the heart. It is idolatry. John Calvin said the human heart was a factory of idols. We keep coming up with things to worship.
Don Carson said that, “it is a poor bargain which exchanges the eternal for the temporal.” And yet, we do it all of the time.
300 Quotations for Preachers from the Medieval Church “Use Temporal Things but Desire Eternal Things”

Use temporal things but desire eternal things. You cannot be satisfied with any temporal goods because you were not created to enjoy them. Even if you possessed all created things you could not be happy and blessed; for in God, Who created all these things, your whole blessedness and happiness consists.


Our next main point to put into practice is:

II. Pursue the better way of life

Just to be clear, sometimes Jesus’s teachings can be hard to understand. Sometimes they are vague on purpose to make the hearers, and us, think. Sometimes it’s because of the whole gap of living in an entirely different century and culture. The section in verses 22-23 can be like this. I want us to understand though, that light represents good and darkness represents evil. So we want to pursue the better way of life, the light. Jesus does this elsewhere, using light and darkness to go after what we love.
John 3:19–21 ESV
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

A. Be singly devoted.

Have your eye fixed on Jesus, the true light and be devoted only to Him. Don’t get blurry vision by trying to focus on two things at one time. The good eye is fixed on God and fixated on Him. This kind of person doesn’t get distracted by everything else the world has to offer them. This person is generous with their treasure because they are not storing them up here but in heaven.

B. Guard against self deception.

Then here in verse 23 you find the opposite scenario of that in verse 22. Instead of the good and healthy eye we fine the bad eye. If you’re attracted to and looking at the wrong things you’ve got the bad eye. Quarles again notes,
When greed forces out any trace of inner good and only evil remains, the inner person is indescribably evil. The greedy person’s corruption is complete. No room remains for God or pursuit of the kingdom and its righteousness
If your eye is bad, you’re going be be full of darkness because you are focusing on the wrong things. James Boice stated it very simply. “If you are absorbed with money, you will miss everything else in life that matters.”
You only have room in your life for one master. So:

III. Serve the better master.

A mark of a disciple of Jesus is that their eyes are fixed on heaven and not earth. It’s single spiritual vision. It’s also serving the right master.
In “Don’t Be Anxious”, John Piper says this so beautifully:
Exalting Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount The Imperishable Riches of the Kingdom of God 6:19-24

There is something about God and money that makes them tend to mastery. Either you are mastered by money and therefore ignore God or make him a bellhop for your business, or you are mastered by God and make money a servant of the kingdom. But if either tries to master you while you are mastered by the other you will hate and despise it. This is why Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Much money makes a cruel master.

A. You can only serve one master.

God and the world are never going to agree. And it doesn’t matter how much we try and negotiate our lives, you can not serve both masters. A divided allegiance can not be in the kingdom of God. It’s just not possible. You can not to submit to two kings. You can’t obey two presidents. You can not worship two Gods. You will serve one and hate the other.

B. You will only satisfy one master.

The issue isn’t on a dollar figure. It’s not about what you have or don’t have. It’s about what controls you. What or who do you live for? If your obsession with money increases then your passion for God will decrease. Worshipping the God of money will only take you down. Here’s the thing, most of us would say out loud that we do not worship money. But when we crack open the checkbook registry and look at what we spend most of our money on and what our giving to the work of the gospel and the needy looks like, we may find a different story is told. When we look at our motivations for the way we work and how we spend our money and our time, we may find a different story. Let us not be self deceived friends and family.
We do what we do,
because we want what we want,
because we worship what we worship...
What does a life more concerned with God’s glory and the gospel than money look like?
D.L. Moody told the following story:
New Sermons, Addresses, and Prayers Sermon XI: Laying up Treasures in Heaven

I remember before the Chicago fire, hearing of a minister coming up to see his son. He found him completely absorbed in real estate You remember before the fire how every one was mad about real estate. It was a mania with all of us. If we could get a corner lot, no matter whether we threw ourselves in debt or smothered it with mortgages, we were confident that in time when prices went up, we would make our fortune. This minister came up, and when he saw his son he tried to talk about his soul, but it was no use. Real estate was there. He talked about real estate in the morning, in the afternoon, and night. No use of trying to talk of Heaven to him. His only Heaven was real estate. The son had a boy in his store, but he being absent, the father was left to mind the business one day. When a customer came in and started upon the subject of real estate, it was not long before the minister slipped off and was speaking to the customer about his soul, and telling him he would rather have a corner lot in the New Jerusalem than all the corner lots in Chicago. And the people used to say that no real estate could be sold when the father was around. The trouble was, that the son had real estate in his heart—that was his god; he lived to pile up earthly treasures, while his father lived as a pilgrim and a stranger here, with a knowledge of his treasures in Heaven. If we have anything in our hearts which we put up as our god, let us ask Him to come to us and take it away from us.

We must participate in a painful but necessary practice:
Examine your own heart and your spending to see what you are truly treasuring.
Repent of trying to live a double life, serving both God and money.
The bible is always the best commentary on itself. And the Apostle Paul writes in I Timothy about the issue of riches and I want to end with this.
1 Timothy 6:17–19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
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