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Bible Bullet - Sermon on the Mount, Treasures in Heaven

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Matthew 6:19-21
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  Sermon on the Mount  –   Treasures in Heaven  Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ”  (6:19-21)    Jesus warns of the futility of worldly acquisition  –    “treasures on earth” –   and then encourages eternal investments  –    “treasures in heaven”      The shortsightedness of procurement, accumulation, hoarding, and the eventual decay resulting from misplaced priorities is a consistent theme in both the Old and New Testaments    When God provided manna for the Israelites in the desert, it was good only for the day it was gathered; those who hoarded it found the manna spoiled the following day (Exodus 16:4-32)    Solomon, considered the wealthiest man who ever lived, reflected on the futility of his riches: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoev er loves wealth is never satisfied . . . this too is meaningless. . . as goods increase, so do those who consume them . . . I have seen a grievous evil: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner or wealth lost through some misfortune. . . naked a man comes f  rom his mother‟s womb ; as he comes, so he departs” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15)    Jesus uses the wealth of Solomon as an example while encouraging the disciples not to worry about what they are to eat, drink or the clothes they wear: “even Solomon in all his splendor” was not dressed as beautifully as God clothes the “ lilies of the field ”  which are here today and gone tomorrow (6:29)  –    instead “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (6:33)      In telling the parable of the wealthy farmer whose security was in his many barns full of grain, Jesus concludes : “ T hen God said to him: „You fool! This very night your soul is required of you, and who will own what you have prepared?‟  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 20-21)    Jesus asks: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”(Matthew 16:26)    James wa rns those who have acquired riches and yet ignored the needs of others: “Weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you! Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes; your gold and silver are corroded, their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire! You have hoarded wealth in the last days. . . you have lived on earth in luxury and self- indulgence; you have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter” (5:1-5)    Trusting God never is an excuse for slothfulness or a lack of preparedness, but the consistent message from both the Old and the New Testament is that no security can be found in what the world offers, but only in God as we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (6:33)      What does it mean to be “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21) ? To “seek first His kingdom  and His righteousness”  (6:33)? To “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven?” (6:20)      The writer of Hebrews tells us that “ faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (11:1), and that “without faith it is impossible to please God”  (11:6)     Solomon provides insight into what it means to trust God as he summarizes the greatest choice in life: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding” (Pr 3:5)    Trusting God involves repenting from the sin of self-assertion (“leaning on your own understanding”), and loving Him “with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”  (Mark 12:30)   

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Jul 24, 2017
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