Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Where Is Your Treasure?

“"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars.  Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars.  It's obvious, isn't it?  The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”                Matt. 6:19-21  MSG Bible

The big question from the Sermon on the Mount is the question of where my heart is.  In reading the Sermon on the Mount we should evaluate our heart to see if we are seeking after self or after a real, vibrant relationship with God.

In this passage, Jesus directly addresses the heart by asking the question, “Where is your treasure?”  He says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  There are a lot of things vying for your heart, as this is the control center for life.

Therefore, we must guard our hearts and watch over them so that our heart follows hard after the things of God and is not distracted by the things of this world.

 In this writing I want to ask three questions. The first question we must ask ourselves as we begin this passage of Scripture is: “Where is our treasure?”   In asking this, we will answer the question “Where is our heart?”  Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 The second question to ask ourselves is: “Where is our focus?”  What are our eyes and desires focused on?  Are they focused on the seen or the unseen?

The final question to be addressed is: “Who, or what, are you serving?”  Here Jesus is surrounded by religious people, Sadducees and Pharisees, men who look very religious on the outside, but who in their hearts are serving money and themselves rather than God.  Jesus is also surrounded by people who have never heard this kind of radical teaching.  Jesus is asking us to repent, to change our minds about these things, to live a life of faith, and to serve the one true God.

A few questions will help us determine where our heart is: What or who consumes your time? 

Do you use religion to justify your own ways or desires?

What is the last thing you do before going to sleep and the first thing you do when you wake up?  Usually the answer would be that which consumes most of your time…….T.V., video games, computer, sports, news, fb, texting……..

How much time do you spend in front of the T.V., computer, reading, sports or sleeping compared to the time you spend with the Holy Spirit?    Do you give Him 10% of the time you give to the thing that consumes your time?

Where is your treasure?  So many things come to mind when I think of what Jesus is saying in these three verses that begin our passage.  Are you earthly-minded or heavenly-minded?    

Now obviously all of these are asking the same thing, but it is very important that we fully grasp this thought.   Jesus uses the three examples below to show how the things we deem most important are only temporary.  He uses the moth, rust, and the thief.  We can all think of examples of these things in our lives.

What do you deem as valuable, because what you deem as valuable shows you where your heart is?  Maybe it is money and wealth; maybe it is power and the desire to be recognized as a leader; maybe it is looking spiritual on the outside so that people think you have it together.   Maybe it is popularity and acceptance.  Maybe you want everyone to think you are some super spiritual person who is wise, talented and very anointed.  

In a lot of ways, we can put on many masks and faces so people perceive us as spiritual or godly, when in reality, deep in our heart of hearts or in our private life, we struggle with fears, temptations, man’s approval, fleshly desires, addictions and desiring the things of the world by seeking man’s praise instead of glorifying God. 

In the final statement in verse 21, Jesus goes back to the heart: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  One of the Ten Commandments states: “You shall have no other gods before Me(Exodus 20:3).

 When we set our hearts on the things of this earth and fall to the temptation of being worldly in our ways, we are committing idolatry because we are no longer serving God.  Rather, we have put our riches and desires above God, and we are serving them.  They have become our god and our life.  Jesus challenges us, as He challenged those He was talking to that day in the crowd, to ask ourselves where our treasure is.

So the question arises, “How do we lay up treasures in heaven?”  The answer is by living the way God has asked us to live and following after Him in all that we do.

There are so many things which all come down to loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself.

 If your treasure is on earth and the things of this world, your heart will be there as well.  If your heart is focused on the Father and on laying up treasures in heaven, your heart will be there.

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