Session #052 True Treasures
Scripture Matthew 6:19-24
Summary When it comes to money, what is the right kingdom perspective? It’s best to listen to what the King has to say. In Matt 6:19-24, Jesus goes straight for the heart of the matter. Henson explores this passage in detail with a clear objective of helping believers understand what treasures in heaven are. To learn this well, make sure you listen right through to the end.
“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 lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:19–24
When it comes to money, what is the right kingdom perspective? Jesus goes straight for the heart of the matter.
Kingdom Treasure! True Treasure!
Treasure in Greek is thesauros meaning storehouse as well. Lay up is thesaurizo which means store up. In a literal way, the passage would read as “Do not treasure for yourselves treasures on earth … but treasure for yourselves treasures in heaven …” We have a decision to make, what will you store and how will you store? What Do You Treasure?
Treasures on Earth (Matthew 6:19)
Here Jesus makes the following contrast between two treasures: the treasures you store on earth will pass away, while the treasures you store in heaven will last forever.
Things on earth will pass away and are temporal. Moths that eat through the fabric, rust that eats through metal, and thieves that break in and steal. What are the means to acquiring these or laying up these treasures?
Treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:20)
These are not physical but spiritual. They are not temporal but eternal. Unlike earthly treasures, the heavenly treasure is imperishable and secure.
Why is this important for kingdom subjects? Because it affects the heart (Matthew 6:21).
The heart is not emotion. It is who you are and all you stand for! It is You (Matthew 15:18–20). “Keep your heart with diligence for out of it springs the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
What do you treasure? If you treasure earthly stuff, that is where your heart is. If you treasure heavenly stuff, that is where your heart is (Colossians 3:1–4). But the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
To reveal the heart, check the eye (Matthew 6:22-23)
Good in Greek is haplous which means not seeing double, as in a diseased eye. Being focussed, single-minded. Bad is poneros which means evil, wicked. By extension, covetous, selfish, seeking own gain and interest at the expense of others is bad.
What are you always looking at? Money, wealth, wanting more? That is covetousness and greed.
Jesus declares that we are to be the light of the world. But here, He cautions that if we are not careful, the light we shine could be great darkness made of fear, anxiety, worry, pain, sorrow and toil. If our eye is not fixed and focussed on heavenly treasures, and not having the right kingdom perspective, we will be distracted by the things of this world.
Double Vision: God & Mammon (Matthew 6:24)
Servants can only serve only One master. Kingdom subjects can only serve One King and His kingdom. Love vs hate: It is about Choice, not emotions. To love means to choose. To hate means to reject.
In the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13), we learn not to serve money, or work for money but use the money to serve the purposes of the kingdom. Luke 16:14 says “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.” And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
What about the Prosperity Gospel?
The world highly esteems wealth and sees it as an indicator of success. The prosperity gospel does exactly the same thing and equates material prosperity as a sign of God’s favour and blessings. “Prosperity cannot be proof of God’s favour since it is what the devil promises to those who worship him.” John Piper
Paul warns that in the last days, many will be lovers of money (2 Timothy 3:1-5), having a form of godliness but denying its power. From such people, turn away. James also had very strong words for his congregation when they favoured the rich and oppressed the poor (James 4:4, 4:7; 5:1-2).
Kingdom Advancement may require finance at times, but it is most definitely not dependent on finance (Philippians 4:11–13). The giving of finances is more a test of believers’ hearts, not to be a means of gain on the minister’s part. (1 Timothy 6:5-6).
You cannot have one eye on God and the other eye on Mammon
There is to be no double vision or double-mindedness. Our eyes are to be fixed on our King and His kingdom, and His purposes. Not on our own finances, wealth or well being. Our eyes and hearts to be aligned with Him. Trusting Him and obeying Him.
How do we store up true treasures in Heaven?
In Luke 12:33-34, Jesus says, “Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus tells the rich young ruler, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;…” Mark 10:21a
Not just alms or giving to the poor, but also selling whatever you have. Giving to the poor is a good start point. But I believe that is not the main or endpoint of Jesus’ teaching or kingdom requirement.
Main Point of Jesus’ Teaching: Servants and Discipleship
In Luke 12:35-49 Jesus teaches on the faithful and unfaithful servants. In Mark 10:21b Jesus says “…and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” When your heart is right, your path is clear. You know that everything you have comes from God and everything you have belongs to God. And so you can put God first instead of storing up treasure on earth.
To have treasures in heaven, to be rich towards God is to Follow and Serve Jesus. Simply said, “Don’t let mammon or material stuff or anything or anyone keep you from following Jesus and serving Him.” The rich young ruler went away sad. He chose Mammon over God. Jesus then said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23).
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness is following Jesus and being on assignment with and for Him.
Are there really Treasures in Heaven?
We are to bear fruit that lasts (John 15:16). We will receive an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:25) and the eternal rewards that Matthew 16:27 promises when Jesus returns. We will rule and reign with Christ (Matthew 24:46-47).
What do you treasure? Where is your heart? What is your eye fixed on? Whom do you serve?
How are you stewarding kingdom resources? How are you laying up true treasures in heaven? Your treasure determines your heart. Your heart determines the course of your life. You cannot divide your heart between two masters.