Treasure in Heaven
Each week we will be sharing a post from a staff member in response to the most recent sermon in our “Reset” series. Click to watch, listen, or read the sermon shared by Senior Pastor Roger Patterson on November 15, 2020.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, 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. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 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!
“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. – Matthew 6:19-24
Another challenging week in our current sermon series, “Reset.” Each week as we look at the words of Jesus in His “Sermon on the Mount,” He challenges His hearers (us!) to not live this life for this age, but to RESET our focus and live this life for the coming age. We have been looking each week at how we can hit the reset button in our lives. This week’s topic is about our money and resources.
The main idea Jesus tells us here in Matthew 6:19-24 is that we are to “lay up treasure in heaven,” because it can keep us free from the reign and control money can have on our lives here on earth. Pastor Roger reminded us that “money is not neutral – you can possess it or it can possess you.” That is exactly why Jesus later adds in v24 that we “cannot serve two masters… both God and Money.”
The false god of wealth, materialism and prosperity is one of the more popular counterfeit gods in our American culture. The thing about counterfeit gods in our lives is that they always leave you wanting more, never satisfying our hearts, especially the god of money. Early on in my faith I would always catch myself thinking, “if only I could have ______, then I’d be happy… then I’d truly be satisfied.” The thing I have learned over the years is that all of our “if only” statements are like ladders. The tricky part is that once we climb the ladder and get to the top, we realize that at the top of that ladder is just the bottom of another. We always want more.
“If only I can get a good job out of college” turns into “if only I could get that promotion.” None of these aspirations are bad by any means, but when you serve counterfeit gods… it is never enough. It sends you in a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
So how can normal aspirations for one’s life, the essentials, end up being so destructive?
Pastor Roger reminded us that “when we build our lives, if we aren’t wise and careful, other necessities like money, love and careers can corrode what we are trying to build if we don’t build with the right materials.”
So as we get ready to carry on with our lives, let’s end with this self-reflecting question: are you using earthly principles or heavenly principles to build essential areas of your life?
Am I building my life/job/relationships on the principles to get all I can or am I building it for the joy of creating a context where God’s purposes and glory are demonstrated and cultivated?
Jesus said, “He who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on the rock.”
The best way to live, and the challenge for us today from the words of Jesus is to use our worldly wealth in such a way as to build His kingdom. To be a blessing to His people. To be a blessing to our neighbor. That is the beginning of laying up treasures in heaven.
Tim Yeager is the Student Pastor for the CityRise Network, helping those in 6th-12th grade connect to God through small groups, teaching, and events geared toward their spiritual development. Tim lives in Sugar Land, TX with his wife, Sydney, and their three children.