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Reset // Matthew 6:19-24 // Week 7

CityRise November 16, 2020 sermons, finances, matthew, Roger Patterson, sermon, sermon on the mount, treasure,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Roger Patterson on Sunday November 15, 2020 at our West U Baptist Church Campus and in our Online Experience on youtube.com/cityriseorg. To view the sermon in full, please visit our YouTube page.

Good morning. It’s great to be with you today. As we begin, let’s turn to Matthew 6.

We are in week 7 of the series called Reset: Lessons from the Mount. As we are studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, it appears that Jesus is leaving no stone unturned. 

Now, 2020 has been a fascinating year. It’s a fascinating time to be alive, isn’t it?

And many say that we are learning to adjust to two wars this year. The first war being the Covid-19 Pandemic. The second war is a monetary war, as the Central Banks seem to want to continue to print more and more money.  Now, I am no economist, but many feel that the FIAT Currency system is doomed to fail and that has caused many to look at Gold, Silver and other currency as a means of securing their wealth.

I was on a call recently where one of the guys started talking about Bitcoin and how he has moved a percentage of his investment portfolio to Bitcoin.  As a follow up, this guy sent me a two hour YouTube video with Michael Saylor and Raoul Paul.  Michael Saylor is the CEO of MicroStrategy, who has recently invested $250 million of his company’s assets into Bitcoin.

Listen to what Saylor says of this Crypto-Currency as he compares it to Gold.

“(Bitcoin) is harder than gold because it goes 100 years without losing its value. It’s harder than gold because it’s an organic nest of cybernetic hornets feeding off of encrypted energy. It’s a living thing which means the miners are going to keep upgrading their equipment. The developers are going to keep upgrading their development. The nodes are going to change. Everybody in the eco-system is going to change. And they are changing in this terrifying Darwinian, Capitalistic, libertarian, aggressive, winner-take-all, no-hold-barred environment…No one company and country is holding control…This entire thing is its own eco-system…Bitcoin is an anti-fragile evolving thing…It’s the hardest currency because it is getting exponentially harder. But it is also stronger, faster and smarter than gold.”

Saylor’s conviction is that we have finally found a currency that:

  1. Won’t lose its value over time.
  2. Can’t be snatched up by others.
  3. Must be invested in if you are going to be relevant in the future.

It was a fascinating video.  And Saylor also talked about how many hedge fund managers are invested in Bitcoin and some funds are emerging just focused on Crypto-Currency.

Now, do what you will with that information. But the thing that stood out to me significantly, was Saylor’s impression of how indestructible Bitcoin is.  Multiple times he said, “…it’s an organic nest of cybernetic hornets feeding off of encrypted energy.” And one time he added, “…and you can’t reach in and just take it.”

Throughout the years, Money, pursuing it and possessing it, has been a significant downfall of many.

Someone asked John D. Rockefeller “How much wealth does it take to satisfy a person?” He replied, “Just a little bit more.”

The Romans had a proverb: “money is like sea water; the more you drink, the thirstier you become.”

Today, I want to share just a few words from Jesus as He talks about money, possessions and eternity.

Now, as we talk about money, possessions and eternity, I want to begin with 3 Qualifiers.

3 Qualifiers Today:

  1. As we come to this passage, I want you to know that we are not hurting financially.
  2. God does not need your money. He wants your heart.
  3. When it comes to giving, we want you to think about now what God wants from you, but the fact that it is through your money that God invites us into what He is doing.

3 Qualifiers Today:
1. As we come to this passage today, I want you to know that we are not hurting financially.

Over the past 10 years, you have been incredibly generous. We have always had more than we have needed and we have led with generous hearts. Further, over the time that I’ve been your pastor, whenever teaching on money, I have always approached the subject matter from the perspective of what I want for you, not what I want from you.

This has been a challenging year financially, but we have cut expenses tremendously to ensure we would be able to endure this storm. Our finance committee, executive council, business office and staff have done an outstanding job of navigating this season to position us well for the future.

2. God does not need your money. He wants your heart.  Psalm 50 declares that He owns the cattle on 1,000 hills.  He doesn’t need anything!

3. When it comes to giving, we want you to think about not what God wants from you, but the fact that it is through your money that God invites us in to what He is doing.

Stop and think of that for a moment. The God of all creation, of all the universe issues an invitation to us to come and participate in what He is doing in the earth.  Taking the journey towards generosity is our responding to this invitation and experiencing the Life that is Truly Life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Do you want the life that is truly life?  Let’s look closely at our Lord’s invitation into this life.  Today we will be in Matthew 6:19-24.

Once again, I want you to keep in mind that the God of the universe invites you and me into what He is doing in the earth.  In this text, we will see the struggle of two kingdoms and we will be called to consider the investments we are making!

Matthew 6:19-24

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

As Jesus is giving His “Sermon on the Mount,” (BTW, 1/6th of the SoTM is about money) He challenges His hearers to not live this life for this age, but to live this life for the coming age.

•You see for Jesus, living for the coming age is the most excellent way to live in this age.
•Living for the coming kingdom in the midst of this earthly kingdom is brilliant. It is genius.

As we consider these two kingdoms, the first thing we need to do is:

I. Understand the Struggle – We must define Reality.

Understand the Struggle

Foundational to the invitation to participate in what God is doing is the competition, the struggle, or the pull on our hearts that money has. For us to respond to God’s invitation to get in on what He is doing, we must first understand the struggle and competition for our hearts.

Look at verse 24

Matthew 6:24

24 “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

What does this verse say?

•You can only have one Master.

•Responding to God’s invitation in verse 19-20 to lay up treasure in heaven, can keep you free from the reign money can have on your life.
Money is not neutralYou can possess it or it can possess you. – see the “Capital M” in the NIV.

Look with me again at verse 24, but this time in the New JKV.

Matthew 6:24 NKJV

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

You cannot serve God and mammon.

•Mammon was the Aramaic word for money.

•When the Gospel writer, Matthew wrote his gospel, he penned it in Greek. He simply brought the Aramaic forward to the Greek and the translators of the New King James version have chosen to do the same.  It was that significant a word. 

The word has greater significance than just saying it stands for money.  Mammon is an ancient Chaldee, Syria and Punic word for the money – god.  That is why the NIV capitalizes the “M” in Money when it says, “you cannot serve God and Money.”

Mammon is the false god of wealth, materialism and prosperity.

And the false god of wealth is worshipped when we place money and its possession, its products, and its power is in the first place in our lives.

You see, we must understand the struggle – the false god of materialism, wealth and prosperity places on our hearts.

Did you know that Mammon makes promises to you?

Mammon makes promises that only God can keep!

A. Mammon makes promises that only God can keep

            •Mammon promises you success

            •Mammon promises you a certain status

            •It promises security, control, and whatever you want to buy

Mammon says, “You can have it all and you can have it now, if you bow down to me.”

The invitation of Mammon says, “Come after me, bow down to me, and worship at my altar and I will give you all of the prosperity you can handle.”

But when we serve the false – god of mammon, it is never enough.

Let’s learn from those who have bowed down to the false god of wealth.  Listen to what the wealthy think about money.

·      What the wealthy think about money:

  • “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” — John D. Rockefeller.
  • “The care of $200,000,000 is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it.” — W.H. Vanderbilt.
  • “I am the most miserable man on earth.” John Jacob Astor.
  • “I was happier when doing a mechanic’s job.” Henry Ford.
  • “Millionaires seldom smile.” Andrew Carnegie.

When we bow down to the quest to possess wealth, we fail to recognize it demands sacrifices.  Let me highlight a few of those sacrifices:

Mammon Demands Sacrifice

1. The sacrifice of your family.

(1) Many people sacrifice their families to have wealth.

They will work 12-15 hours a day, 7 days a week and not see their wives or children for days on end. They justify this pursuit with the, “Someday, myth.” They say, “I am working for that pay day, someday – that day when my company is so built up, it runs itself and I can spend great amounts of time with family.”

Mammon Demands Sacrifice

1. The sacrifice of your family.

2. The Shrine of Security

(2) Many people bow down to the Shrine of Security. If they hoard enough, they believe they will be safe.

When you speak about giving around people who bow down to the shrine of security, they become very uncomfortable.

The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12 show us this one who has such an abundant harvest he has to build bigger barns to store his grain.  He takes the approach to sit back and enjoy life, not realizing his very life would be demanded of him.

This Rich Fool placed his hope in this age, and the uncertainty of this age!  Mammon calls you to put your security in this age and your possessions.

Application: But our security is in the one who has numbered our days.  Our security is in the one who has secured our eternal life for us.

Mammon Demands Sacrifice

1. The sacrifice of your family.

2. The Shrine of Security

3. The Quest of Comparison

(3) Many people bow down to the quest of Comparison — keeping up with the Joneses

Their shallow waters are stirred by comparison – by having the biggest, most extravagant, and impressive…

It is the sacrifice to the never-ending comparison and they are never happy, never secure, and never satisfied.

Application:  When we bow down to the quest of comparison we are giving up contentment in our lives. 

Application:  Friends, we must understand that mammon – the false god of wealth and materialism will never bring the fulfillment it promises.

The god of Mammon is never satisfied with your sacrifices!

In verse 24, Jesus makes it very clear.

(1) You can only have one master. And we must be wise and recognize that the best master we can have; the most brilliant way to live would be living for the one who made us and created us in His image.

So how can we know that we are not bowing to and serving mammon? How can we know that we are living the most excellent way with our money?

Jesus gives us 3 barometers

3 Barometers to Know which Kingdom we are Investing in

II. 3 Barometers to know which kingdom we are investing in.

Let’s look at verse 19

Matthew 6:19

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

Verse 19 Describes earthly investments. They always start big, but it is always shrinking, constricting, and decaying. The earthly investment gives its best the very 1st day.

There are 3 barometers

3 Barometers to Know which Kingdom we are Investing in

1. Moth

1. Moth – The moth leads us to ask the question: “Can this investment be devoured?”

When you think about it, what does the moth eat?

Our Clothes!

Go to Grandma’s house, and you walk in and you smell that pungent smell. 

As a kid in grandma’s house, you go playing hide-n-seek and you go to hide in grandma’s closet and the smell overwhelms you.  What is in the closet?   Moth Balls!

Why? To prevent moths from eating the clothes.

  • Our clothing is often our personality statement.
    Our clothing projects the image that we want people to see of us – in other words how we want others to perceive us.
  • Our Cars, our homes – our outward appearance is often for the approval of others!

If we are using our money so that we might portray certain images to others, so that we might get their approval, we are investing in something that will fade away – and like the moth, this eats away at our true identity in Jesus Christ. 

Use the moth as a barometer

Ask: When it comes to how I use my money, which image am I seeking to cultivate? Christ or the World?

The Second barometer that Jesus gives us is rust

3 Barometers to Know which Kingdom we are Investing in

  1. Moth
  2. Rust

2. Rust – rust forces me to ask the questions “Can this investment deteriorate?” – or – “Will this investment last?”

What causes something to rust?

The process of oxidation:

Oxidation is a combination of a substance with oxygen. Rust is commonly caused when water and oxygen combine on a metal and cause it to have pits in the metal. Overtime the oxidation on this metal causes flaking and a weakening of the metal so that it can completely ruin and deteriorate the metal.

Landscaping boundary – long metal strips with stakes every few feet create a boundary for the flower beds.

Set by a sprinkler – they will deteriorate and rust through – Step on it without shoes, causes cuts in your feet.  Try to pull it up, and at points you struggle.  At other points, it just breaks right off because it has weakened and rusted through.  It’s strength is gone. 

But notice – that which causes rust are essential to life. We must have water and oxygen to live.

Q: So, here is a question: How can the essentials end up being so destructive?

Listen, when we build our lives, if we aren’t wise and careful, other necessities like –

  • money
  •  love
  • careers

can corrode what we are trying to build if we don’t build with the right materials.

Are you using earthly principles or heavenly principles to build these areas of your life?

You see, as necessary as these things are, like water and oxygen, they can destroy the strongest life if it is not built with the eternal metals, the eternal principles.

So, let’s examine what we are building and with what materials we are using! Let us examine our foundation.

Jesus said, “He who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Are you putting the words of Christ into practice in your:

•Work and work ethic?

•Marriage      

•In caring for your body

•In caring for your aging parents

Are the investments you are making with your wealth going to deteriorate? 

  • Their best days are fading. 
  • They will ultimately rot out. 

In other words, am I living for myself, my glory and to build my comfort and kingdom or am I building my life to bring glory to God in every way possible?

Am I building my business on the principles to get all I can or on the joy of creating a context where God’s purposes and glory are demonstrated and cultivated? 

Do I see my school as my social circle as a place just to take from it what I want, or do I see these relationships as a place where God allows me to show His love and grace in the context of a relationship?

From what place and perspective am I building my life?  How am I building my life?

3 Barometers to Know which Kingdom we are Investing in

  1. Moth
  2. Rust
  3. Thieves

3. The third barometer is thieves: Ask this question: “Can this investment be stolen?”

Now let me say a quick word here about material things.

I am not saying that material things in and of themselves are bad. Having a nice home is not immoral. Having a nice car is not a sin.

The question here is not whether we will possess things, because we must interface with material possessions.

Do my possessions possess me?

The question is do my possessions possess me?

Do the things I am striving and reaching for financially own me, possess me?

Can I live without them or must I have them?

Sometimes when our kids were little and had a little bit of money, they got determined that they just had to make a purchase. They had to get something.

You can see it would pain them to not make a purchase, to not spend the money.

I tell them, “It is okay to save it. It is okay to hang on to it.”

But it seemed that they were going to burn a hole in their pockets if they didn’t spend their money as quickly as possible.

The quest to get possessed them!

How about you? Does the quest to get have you?

Or, do you grasp the reality that it is stuff? It can be eaten, can be rotten, can be taken?

Jesus knew that we would have to interface with the material world.

Look with me in verses 31-33 of this chapter

Matthew 6:31-33

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

What is Jesus’ admonition?

            Don’t spend your life pursuing the earthly stuff!

            Don’t be captured by capturing earthly stuff!  He knows you need it. 

Be captured by God and by building His kingdom.

            Seek His kingdom and His righteousness and all this stuff, He will provide for you.

You see, this is the invitation to build and invest into God’s kingdom

Remember, we are talking about responding to God’s invitation. 

Look again at verse 20 with me.

Matthew 6:20

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

The genius way to live, the challenge from Christ is to use our worldly wealth in such a way as to build his kingdom.

We are to lay up treasures in heaven.

Application:  We have two financial goals between now and the end of the year.  

  1. The Annual Global Missions Offering: Our goal is that everyone participate. In past years we have given from $275k to $375k to fund our missionaries all over the globe.  Whatever we give, we want to give with extravagant generosity.
  2. The second goal is to position ourselves for the launch of our new campus and begin to open up our ministries more and more.  We are holding our expenses back and we anticipate having an overage beyond expenses for the 11th straight year.  What I want you to know is that we have a track-record of excellent stewardship. Whatever the resources available to us, you can know that we will steward them with excellence in order to reach more and more people for Christ and build up the body of Christ.

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