Where should we store up treasure? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
The next passage I want to touch on in looking at the Sermon on the Mount and its relation to Kingdom People is Matthew 6:19-24.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin 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 healthy,your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,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 you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Money is really a means to power for many people. If you have the money, you have the power. You can do what you want and buy what you want. It makes sense that you would want to hold on to all the money that you can. Jesus, however, condemns that attitude.
Now not storing up though doesn’t mean for us not using a bank account or something of that sort. That wasn’t as much of an option in the ancient world, especially for most of Jesus’s audience who would have been day-wage earners. Today, it can make sense for us to plan ahead, especially for financial emergencies that will come up.
Today, we could say that it’s not good to hoard. It’s not good to be the rich man while Lazarus sits outside of your gate begging for food. If you have money, you should strive to be generous with it. I don’t think that means throw it away at anyone who says they need something, but it means to be a generous steward.
This is one area where we can definitely improve on. Churches should be some of the most generous places of all and Christians should be people of generosity. A Christian can certainly be rich, but if they are not giving money to those truly in need, then they are not storing up treasures in heaven.
It’s worth noting also that Jesus tells us that this will actually work for our benefit. It’s in our best interests to give away. If you give away your money then you will get true riches that will not last. Jesus is not opposed to our benefit. If anything, He is telling us how we can better benefit.
As someone in the church who is poor, this kind of generosity is greatly appreciated as well. I remember a post I made years ago on the Tekton Ticker ran by my ministry partner, J.P. Holding, about a hard time where my wife and I didn’t receive proper care from the church. To this day, we have not returned there.
However, the church can only be generous if its people are generous. If they are not, then the church has nothing. That means those who have should strive to be generous and build up the Kingdom of God.
You cannot serve two masters. If your master is money or anything else, you will not be a servant of the Kingdom. Your desire for Jesus must be greater than that of wealth.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)