Better Treasure

May 16 | Uncommon Kingdom| “Better Treasure” | Matthew 6:19-24

Pastor Daniel Norris 
Longview Campus Pastor

— This series is going to take us through the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, and as we go through it, Jesus is going to teach us what it looks like to make The Kingdom of God our greatest treasure.

Here are a few stats for your consideration:

  1. The average American home has 300,000 items. (LA Times)
  2. 23% of adults pay late fees on bills because they lose them. (Harris Interactive)
  3. 1 out of 4 houses with two-car garages keeps so much stuff in it they can’t even fit a car in the garage. (US Department of Energy)
  4. On average, every American throws away over 68 lbs of clothing. Per year! (The Huffington Post)
  5. Americans spend about $1.2 trillion a year on non-essential items. (The Wall Street Journal)

You can clearly see that in America we have more treasure than most, we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Yet we have the highest percentage of Anxiety and Depression in the world. We have the third-highest divorce rate in the world. In 2018, there were an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts and more than 48,000 deaths by suicide, in the U.S.!

Based on these statistics and when I look around at our culture, I would echo the words of the great Brooklyn Philosopher, Notorious B.I.G. when He said, “More Money… More Problems!”

Jesus talked about money more than any other topic throughout the Bible. Jesus talked about money all the time! Even more than faith and prayer combined. Money is mentioned over 2,000 times in the Bible!  Call me crazy but if somebody brings something up 2,000 times, I would say it’s pretty important, wouldn’t you?

Jesus didn’t talk about money because He needed it; He talked about it because He knew the power it had, and what it could do to us! He knew that it would try to lead our hearts astray!

So, in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus addresses this very thing.

Matthew 6:19-24 says:

“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.”

 Jesus is trying to help us see our money through kingdom eyes. He wants us to stop seeing it as THE THING in our lives (the thing that causes all the stress, all the worry, consumes all of our attention, and drives all the choices we make), and for us to Start Seeing it as A thing that God has given Us and wants to use to bless His Kingdom.

I want us to answer this question together:

“What does it look like to live with a Kingdom perspective when it comes to our “Treasure?”

Jesus shows us what happen when we have a Kingdom Perspective:

We Discover a Treasure that Truly Matters • 

“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 destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matt.6:19-20

Jesus is saying, “Don’t live with a scarcity mindset always striving and grasping for the things for the things of this world, only focused on the here and now, the “earthly treasure.” Those things are So fragile and temporary, they do not Last, and they will never satisfy. C.S. Lewis said, “Wealth has a way of knitting a man’s heart to this world!”

We came into this world with nothing, and we will take nothing with us, but don’t miss this: while we can’t take it with us, we can send it on ahead! We live generously. We live open-handed, We share and give to those in need! And yes, this even includes giving to the local church and other kingdom-focused nonprofits.

• We Discipline ourselves to guard the Treasure. 

Verses 22-23 say “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! 

Having a “good eye” is to look out for the needs of others and be generous in giving to the poor. To have a “bad eye” is to be greedy and self-centered, blind to the needs of those around you.

The point here is simple. As kingdom citizens, we must discipline ourselves to guard the treasure that we have been given. Stay focused on The Treasure of Heaven!

We display a devotion that Glorifies God.

Jesus teaches us that as we discover this better treasure, we will begin to glorify God with everything we have!

Look again at verse 24: “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.”

There is a difference between wealth and treasure. It’s when wealth becomes your treasure and money becomes your master that you’re in trouble! Ultimately, it’s about your allegiance. What is your heart devoted to?

Challenge for the week: Go home today and have a conversation with your spouse. Ask: Do our Money and possessions own us, or do we own them? How are we using or treasures?