Sermon: The Treasure Test Matthew 6:19-24

Truth Taught- Our treasure always reveals the location of our hearts. 

Introduction

In this passage, Jesus, in helping His disciples work through this issue of religious hypocrisy, from this part of the chapter, from verse 19 on, will tell His disciples that what they desire and what they fear tells them much about their hearts. Now we’re not going to get to the issue of what they fear–what they’re scared of. He deals with that later in the chapter. But we are going to focus in on His words to them about their desires, because our approach to our material possessions, our approach to the prosperity that we enjoy, is an indication of where our hearts truly are.

I want us to understand one main point here.  This is the point most who teach this passage miss.  Here’s what we have no doubt heard before.  Make sure your heart is fixed on heavenly treasure and not earthly treasure, or something to that effect.  Jesus is NOT saying make sure you fix your heart to the right treasure.  He’s saying make sure you treasure the right things because whatever you treasure there is where your heart is.  In other words you cannot move your heart’s allegiance to heavenly things when you treasure earthly things.  He is saying whatever you treasure is where your heart is found.  So, if we treasure earthly things like money and possessions then our heart is fixed upon them.  We cannot change that.  Only God can do that sort of work within us.

Prayer

Matthew 6:19–24 (ESV) 

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys 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. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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! 

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. 

1.  Your Heart Will Always Follow Your Treasure

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Our Lord begins with what we could call treasure logic.  Treasure logic means Jesus wants us to evaluate and reason through our treasure.  If you’re set on earthly treasure then you are going to make a horrible investment. No matter what it is it will not last.  Either it will be eventually destroyed or stolen or you will get tired of it.  The new bike you wanted as a kid and you received it on Christmas morning and then 6 months later you no longer cared much for it and left it out in the rain and eventually it rusted, tires went flat etc.  There is a far greater treasure that is eternal kept in heaven for you safely stored away and it is a treasure that you will never grow tired of.  Does it not make good logical sense to make that your treasure?  

            A.  An earthly treasure is always destroyed

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

Jesus declares a universal truth that all earthly treasures will be destroyed.  The new car in twenty-five years will be either rusting away or recycled into something else.  Your house will someday be torn down or burned down or left in ruins.  Money is not secure.  Thieves are always out to get it including our government.  Whatever possessions you value will one day succumb to the ravages of rain, rust, mice, moths, mold, or thieves.  Because earthly goods never last they are best used and given away.  

Jesus is not banning possessions or bank accounts.  Nowhere does Scripture forbid personal property.  Jesus is not saying that having a savings account is wrong.  There is nothing wrong with having money or saving for a rainy day so to speak.  The Bible, in fact praises, for example the ant in proverbs

Proverbs 6:6–8 (ESV) 

   Go to the ant, O sluggard; 

consider her ways, and be wise. 

   Without having any chief, 

officer, or ruler, 

   she prepares her bread in summer 

and gathers her food in harvest.

  Christians are called to have extra in order to share with others.  For example a father is to share an inheritance with his children.  A parent who has spent all their money on themselves and has nothing to give their children the Bible says is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV) 

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 

We are also to enjoy the provisions that God has blessed us with.  

None of these things are wrong and in fact they are good things.

The problem arises when people think that their provisions and money are their treasure.  The stuff we have is to be shared and used not hoarded. 

Parents, if you have older children, I pray you have made provisions to give your children an inheritance.  Sharing your material goods is a great way to make sure they are not your treasure.  Giving away wealth purifies our hearts and is a very good continual practice.  What is your attitude when giving here?  Is it an attitude of generosity because God has given you in abundance or is it a hoarder’s mentality that my money is mine?

Matthew 19:16–24 (ESV) 

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 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.” 18 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, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 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.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 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.” 

Jesus could see this man’s treasure because He could see his heart and your heart is always next to your treasure.  This man wanted treasure on earth and heaven at the same time.  Jesus knew that he had to release his earthly treasure to grab hold of heavenly treasure.  This man loved his earthly wealth too much.  

Jesus forbids the selfish accumulation of goods.  Your goods and your money are not yours but God’s and He has allowed you to manage it for a time. 

How are you doing with earthly goods/treasure?

            B.  A heavenly treasure is always secure

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

It is appropriate to have a treasure.  It is appropriate to stockpile treasure just not on earth.  How is it exactly that we accumulate a heavenly treasure?  We should also ask what is heavenly treasure?  I can’t throw money up in the air and have it reach heaven.  What is it and how do I make those heavenly deposits?

Heavenly treasure is something we do on earth that has eternal effects.  I am laying up treasure in heaven when I am growing in godliness.  I’m laying up treasure in heaven when I teach my children the Scriptures, when I share the Gospel with someone, when my faith is challenged and I grow, when I give, when I pray, when I worship, when I grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and when I serve Him by serving those in my church.  All these things are earthly activities with eternal effects.  This is how you lay up treasure in heaven.  What is the actual treasure?  It is a reward that God will give all who have laid treasure up in heaven.

The Bible mentions rewards that await the believer who serves the Lord faithfully in this world (Matthew 10:41). A “great” reward is promised to those who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Various crowns are mentioned (in 2 Timothy 4:8, e.g.). Jesus says that He will bring rewards with Him when He returns (Revelation 22:12).
We are to treasure the Lord Jesus most of all. When Jesus is our treasure, we will commit our resources—our money, our time, our talents—to His work in this world. Our motivation for what we do is important (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve Christ: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24).

When Jesus returns and brings our rewards with Him what will you receive?  Are you laying treasure up in heaven or is your focus only on this earth and it’s goods?  Are you serving Jesus in this church?  What ministry do you have?  If you don’t have a ministry in this church then what kind of treasure are you depositing in heaven?  I bring up serving those in this body because it is Jesus’ focus as well…

When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake and serve Him by serving the body of Christ, we store up treasure in heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

My fear is that there are many here who are not serving this body.  I ask myself what ministry to the body does so and so have and while I don’t know all that is done, I don’t have an answer.  I’m afraid that those who simply come here and sit but don’t do anything in serving others here are living in deception.  

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) 

10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. 

1 John 3:16–18 (ESV) 

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 

The ways we serve one another, no matter how big or small, are acts of Christian love in the family of God. They not only help and provide for another’s needs, but they speak to the watching world of Christ’s love for us in the gospel. How can you practically show love to your brothers and sisters in Christ today?

John 17:20–23 (ESV) 

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 

How are you doing with laying up treasure in heaven?     

            C.  Your heart always follows your treasure
 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

What our Lord’s main point here is this…where your treasure is there you will be.  Your heart is in essence you.  If your heart is evil, you are evil, if your heart is fixed on Christ; you are fixed on Christ etc.  

It isn’t possible to remove yourself from your treasure.  You can’t take your heart from your earthly treasure and place it in heaven or fix it to a heavenly treasure.  We are where our treasure is in this world or the world to come.  

1 Peter 1:3–7 (ESV) 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Here’s the bottom line…It takes the new birth to make our treasure a heavenly treasure.  It takes God renewing our heart so we will love and treasure Christ and eternal things over our love for the created world.  If you are not laying up treasure in heaven and if you don’t have an inheritance waiting for you then according to the Bible you are not a Christian. 

2.  Your Eyes Are Always Focused on Your Treasure  

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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! 

Here, using metaphor, Our Lord tells us that our eyes are either healthy or sick.  He says, it’s very easy to tell the difference.  If your eyes are focused on an earthly treasure then they are sick and cannot see reality and your whole existence is darkness.  If your eyes are healthy then they will be focused on a heavenly treasure and your entire life will be lit up and healthy.

Laying up treasure in heaven will give you more for eternity and it will allow you a wonderful life of walking in the light now rather than walking in darkness.  

When our treasure is in heaven we have a life free from many sins that an earthly treasure produces in us.  We are free from coveting, greed, idolatry, being deceptive etc.  A life focused on a heavenly treasure is a life lived to it’s fullest.

There is freedom when we release our grip on this world and grab Jesus.  The same truth holds here as well.  We cannot make our sight healthy.  If our eyes are sick being focused on worldly things we cannot change that.  God has to give us vision.  Our eyes have grown dull the Bible says.  We need God to give us spiritual sight.  

Where is your focus today?  Are you focused on Christ and His Kingdom?  Is He your treasure or have you settled on earthly things?  If your focus is on an earthly treasure then your whole life will be lived in darkness.  

3.  Your Worship is Always Focused on Your Treasure

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. 

Jesus speaks very plain and simple.  Whatever you treasure you will worship and be devoted to.  He really gives us two ways that our treasure has power over us…First, we will serve our treasure.  We could say we are in many ways enslaved to our treasure.  Your treasure calls the shots and you listen and obey.  

Titus 1:1 (ESV) 

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 

Paul’s treasure had shifted at his salvation from his status as a Pharisee to simply being a servant of God.  God was Paul’s treasure.  There was a time, however, when Paul treasured other things.  He had earthly treasure before he met Christ.

Philippians 3:3–9 (ESV) 

For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 

The second way your treasure has power over you is that it masters you.  You might be sitting here today thinking that you are in control of your life.  Jesus tells us that your treasure has control over your life.  You are never in charge.  Either your earthly treasure controls you or God controls you.  You are never in charge.  You are enslaved to your treasure.  So, the question goes something like this…Who or what are you serving?  Are you serving God, which is our eternal treasure, or are you serving an earthly treasure that will soon be destroyed?  According to Jesus you cannot serve both.  The reason is they are from two separate kingdoms and they stand in opposition to each other.

How do you know whether your treasure is earthly or in heaven?

Which one are you serving?  Which one are you devoted to?  Realize you cannot ever serve and be devoted to both.

Our treasure always reveals the location of our hearts.

*Resources Used:

Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary

A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles

A Gospel of Matthew by France

Matthew by Craig Bloomberg

Matthew by Doriani

Matthew by Charles Price

Matthew by Leon Morris

Matthew 6:19-24

Truth Taught- Our treasure always reveals the location of our hearts. 

Introduction

In this passage, Jesus, in helping His disciples work through this issue of religious hypocrisy, from this part of the chapter, from verse 19 on, will tell His disciples that what they desire and what they fear tells them much about their hearts. Now we’re not going to get to the issue of what they fear–what they’re scared of. He deals with that later in the chapter. But we are going to focus in on His words to them about their desires, because our approach to our material possessions, our approach to the prosperity that we enjoy, is an indication of where our hearts truly are.

I want us to understand one main point here.  This is the point most who teach this passage miss.  Here’s what we have no doubt heard before.  Make sure your heart is fixed on heavenly treasure and not earthly treasure, or something to that effect.  Jesus is NOT saying make sure you fix your heart to the right treasure.  He’s saying make sure you treasure the right things because whatever you treasure there is where your heart is.  In other words you cannot move your heart’s allegiance to heavenly things when you treasure earthly things.  He is saying whatever you treasure is where your heart is found.  So, if we treasure earthly things like money and possessions then our heart is fixed upon them.  We cannot change that.  Only God can do that sort of work within us.

Prayer

Matthew 6:19–24 (ESV) 

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys 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. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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! 

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. 

1.  Your Heart Will Always Follow Your Treasure

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Our Lord begins with what we could call treasure logic.  Treasure logic means Jesus wants us to evaluate and reason through our treasure.  If you’re set on earthly treasure then you are going to make a horrible investment. No matter what it is it will not last.  Either it will be eventually destroyed or stolen or you will get tired of it.  The new bike you wanted as a kid and you received it on Christmas morning and then 6 months later you no longer cared much for it and left it out in the rain and eventually it rusted, tires went flat etc.  There is a far greater treasure that is eternal kept in heaven for you safely stored away and it is a treasure that you will never grow tired of.  Does it not make good logical sense to make that your treasure?  

            A.  An earthly treasure is always destroyed

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

Jesus declares a universal truth that all earthly treasures will be destroyed.  The new car in twenty-five years will be either rusting away or recycled into something else.  Your house will someday be torn down or burned down or left in ruins.  Money is not secure.  Thieves are always out to get it including our government.  Whatever possessions you value will one day succumb to the ravages of rain, rust, mice, moths, mold, or thieves.  Because earthly goods never last they are best used and given away.  

Jesus is not banning possessions or bank accounts.  Nowhere does Scripture forbid personal property.  Jesus is not saying that having a savings account is wrong.  There is nothing wrong with having money or saving for a rainy day so to speak.  The Bible, in fact praises, for example the ant in proverbs

Proverbs 6:6–8 (ESV) 

   Go to the ant, O sluggard; 

consider her ways, and be wise. 

   Without having any chief, 

officer, or ruler, 

   she prepares her bread in summer 

and gathers her food in harvest.

  Christians are called to have extra in order to share with others.  For example a father is to share an inheritance with his children.  A parent who has spent all their money on themselves and has nothing to give their children the Bible says is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV) 

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 

We are also to enjoy the provisions that God has blessed us with.  

None of these things are wrong and in fact they are good things.

The problem arises when people think that their provisions and money are their treasure.  The stuff we have is to be shared and used not hoarded. 

Parents, if you have older children, I pray you have made provisions to give your children an inheritance.  Sharing your material goods is a great way to make sure they are not your treasure.  Giving away wealth purifies our hearts and is a very good continual practice.  What is your attitude when giving here?  Is it an attitude of generosity because God has given you in abundance or is it a hoarder’s mentality that my money is mine?

Matthew 19:16–24 (ESV) 

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 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.” 18 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, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 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.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 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.” 

Jesus could see this man’s treasure because He could see his heart and your heart is always next to your treasure.  This man wanted treasure on earth and heaven at the same time.  Jesus knew that he had to release his earthly treasure to grab hold of heavenly treasure.  This man loved his earthly wealth too much.  

Jesus forbids the selfish accumulation of goods.  Your goods and your money are not yours but God’s and He has allowed you to manage it for a time. 

How are you doing with earthly goods/treasure?

            B.  A heavenly treasure is always secure

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

It is appropriate to have a treasure.  It is appropriate to stockpile treasure just not on earth.  How is it exactly that we accumulate a heavenly treasure?  We should also ask what is heavenly treasure?  I can’t throw money up in the air and have it reach heaven.  What is it and how do I make those heavenly deposits?

Heavenly treasure is something we do on earth that has eternal effects.  I am laying up treasure in heaven when I am growing in godliness.  I’m laying up treasure in heaven when I teach my children the Scriptures, when I share the Gospel with someone, when my faith is challenged and I grow, when I give, when I pray, when I worship, when I grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and when I serve Him by serving those in my church.  All these things are earthly activities with eternal effects.  This is how you lay up treasure in heaven.  What is the actual treasure?  It is a reward that God will give all who have laid treasure up in heaven.

The Bible mentions rewards that await the believer who serves the Lord faithfully in this world (Matthew 10:41). A “great” reward is promised to those who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Various crowns are mentioned (in 2 Timothy 4:8, e.g.). Jesus says that He will bring rewards with Him when He returns (Revelation 22:12).
We are to treasure the Lord Jesus most of all. When Jesus is our treasure, we will commit our resources—our money, our time, our talents—to His work in this world. Our motivation for what we do is important (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve Christ: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24).

When Jesus returns and brings our rewards with Him what will you receive?  Are you laying treasure up in heaven or is your focus only on this earth and it’s goods?  Are you serving Jesus in this church?  What ministry do you have?  If you don’t have a ministry in this church then what kind of treasure are you depositing in heaven?  I bring up serving those in this body because it is Jesus’ focus as well…

When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake and serve Him by serving the body of Christ, we store up treasure in heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

My fear is that there are many here who are not serving this body.  I ask myself what ministry to the body does so and so have and while I don’t know all that is done, I don’t have an answer.  I’m afraid that those who simply come here and sit but don’t do anything in serving others here are living in deception.  

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) 

10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. 

1 John 3:16–18 (ESV) 

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 

The ways we serve one another, no matter how big or small, are acts of Christian love in the family of God. They not only help and provide for another’s needs, but they speak to the watching world of Christ’s love for us in the gospel. How can you practically show love to your brothers and sisters in Christ today?

John 17:20–23 (ESV) 

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 

How are you doing with laying up treasure in heaven?     

            C.  Your heart always follows your treasure
 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

What our Lord’s main point here is this…where your treasure is there you will be.  Your heart is in essence you.  If your heart is evil, you are evil, if your heart is fixed on Christ; you are fixed on Christ etc.  

It isn’t possible to remove yourself from your treasure.  You can’t take your heart from your earthly treasure and place it in heaven or fix it to a heavenly treasure.  We are where our treasure is in this world or the world to come.  

1 Peter 1:3–7 (ESV) 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Here’s the bottom line…It takes the new birth to make our treasure a heavenly treasure.  It takes God renewing our heart so we will love and treasure Christ and eternal things over our love for the created world.  If you are not laying up treasure in heaven and if you don’t have an inheritance waiting for you then according to the Bible you are not a Christian. 

2.  Your Eyes Are Always Focused on Your Treasure  

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 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! 

Here, using metaphor, Our Lord tells us that our eyes are either healthy or sick.  He says, it’s very easy to tell the difference.  If your eyes are focused on an earthly treasure then they are sick and cannot see reality and your whole existence is darkness.  If your eyes are healthy then they will be focused on a heavenly treasure and your entire life will be lit up and healthy.

Laying up treasure in heaven will give you more for eternity and it will allow you a wonderful life of walking in the light now rather than walking in darkness.  

When our treasure is in heaven we have a life free from many sins that an earthly treasure produces in us.  We are free from coveting, greed, idolatry, being deceptive etc.  A life focused on a heavenly treasure is a life lived to it’s fullest.

There is freedom when we release our grip on this world and grab Jesus.  The same truth holds here as well.  We cannot make our sight healthy.  If our eyes are sick being focused on worldly things we cannot change that.  God has to give us vision.  Our eyes have grown dull the Bible says.  We need God to give us spiritual sight.  

Where is your focus today?  Are you focused on Christ and His Kingdom?  Is He your treasure or have you settled on earthly things?  If your focus is on an earthly treasure then your whole life will be lived in darkness.  

3.  Your Worship is Always Focused on Your Treasure

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. 

Jesus speaks very plain and simple.  Whatever you treasure you will worship and be devoted to.  He really gives us two ways that our treasure has power over us…First, we will serve our treasure.  We could say we are in many ways enslaved to our treasure.  Your treasure calls the shots and you listen and obey.  

Titus 1:1 (ESV) 

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 

Paul’s treasure had shifted at his salvation from his status as a Pharisee to simply being a servant of God.  God was Paul’s treasure.  There was a time, however, when Paul treasured other things.  He had earthly treasure before he met Christ.

Philippians 3:3–9 (ESV) 

For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 

The second way your treasure has power over you is that it masters you.  You might be sitting here today thinking that you are in control of your life.  Jesus tells us that your treasure has control over your life.  You are never in charge.  Either your earthly treasure controls you or God controls you.  You are never in charge.  You are enslaved to your treasure.  So, the question goes something like this…Who or what are you serving?  Are you serving God, which is our eternal treasure, or are you serving an earthly treasure that will soon be destroyed?  According to Jesus you cannot serve both.  The reason is they are from two separate kingdoms and they stand in opposition to each other.

How do you know whether your treasure is earthly or in heaven?

Which one are you serving?  Which one are you devoted to?  Realize you cannot ever serve and be devoted to both.

Our treasure always reveals the location of our hearts.

*Resources Used:

Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary

A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles

A Gospel of Matthew by France

Matthew by Craig Bloomberg

Matthew by Doriani

Matthew by Charles Price

Matthew by Leon Morris

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