Today we are going to begin a short sermon series on money. I am not sure how long I am going to preach on it, so bear with me as God leads me. Before I get too far into the sermon, I want share with you a book, the Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. I have purchased 25 of these books and I want each family to take one and read it. It is only 120 short pages, so you could easily read it in a day if you were motivated. In fact, I hope you read it several times over the next couple of weeks. With that said, let us read our text, pray, and see what God has to say to us about His money.
- Matthew 6:19 – “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.”
Here at Cornerstone, we love the Bible. It is God’s Word, breathed out by Him. We believe the Bible is living and active. We believe that it will not return to God void, but will accomplish what it sets out to do. We believe it is food to our souls. We believe it is a weapon to use against Satan’s attacks. We believe that it will shape us into Christ-likeness. If we believe all these things then we should recognize the immense amount of attention that is given to money in the Bible. According to Randy Alcorn, fifteen percent of Jesus’ teaching is about money. He talks about money more than Heaven and Hell combined.
If Jesus preached on money, than I need to preach on money. In fact, if I want to strike a Christ-like balance of fifteen percent, than I should preach on the topic of money eight Sundays a year.
On top of that, we need to face the music. Money plays a significant role in our lives. Money is used to purchase food, clothing, homes, appliances, furniture, cars, phones, insurance, medicine, vacations, books, entertainment, toys, etc. Generally speaking, the way we receive from others is through the transaction of money. The reality is that money is involved in a majority of the decisions in your life, both big and small; therefore, how you relate to money is substantially correlated to how you live your life.
So to begin, I want to us to recognize that the topic of money should, and must be preached from the pulpit. Failure to preach about money is a failure to have the Word of God shine light on the path of our life. Show me a pastor who doesn’t preach on money, and I will show you a pastor who doesn’t love his sheep.
A Matter of the Heart
The next thing I want us to understand is that the topic of money is not about what is in your bank account, but it is about what is in your heart. Jesus makes this abundantly clear in verse 21.
- Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway, God does not want your money. God is the Sovereign Creator of all things. Everything that exists is His.
- Deuteronomy 10:14 – “Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.”
- Psalm 24:1 – “The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
- Job 41:11 – “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.“
Fleeting and Eternal
The first thing He does is to point out the reality of fleetingness. Creation is cursed, and because of the curse everything decays. This will continue to happen until Christ returns and the curse is lifted. The house you live in will someday be dust, so will your car, phone, computer, clothes and everything else you own. In a thousand years the place we are currently in, along with everything in it will be nothing more than rubble, at best. Everything, that is, but you. You and I are the one tangible thing that will still be around in 1,000 years, in 1 million years, in 1 billion years. The stuff in your life will be a distant memory, but you will remain.
- Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has put eternity into man's heart…”
- Matthew 25:46 – “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
- James 4:14 - “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. “
If you believe this, does your life match this alleged belief? Do you spend your time and your money in a way that reflects that your faith is real, or are you just fooling yourself? In my day job as a prosecutor I live in a world of evidence. People come into my office and lie to me all the time. My first thought is, “prove it.” Show me evidence that supports what you are saying? Jesus does the same thing. Look in your text at verse 21?
- Matthew 6:21 - “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
With that said, how many of you have ever heard the phrase, “He is so heavenly minded, that he is no earthly good.” Do you know who came up with this line? If I were to guess, I wold say Satan, the Father of lies, because this statement is just not true. Jesus is case in point. He was the most heavenly minded person to walk the planet and did more good that the entire world combined. Listen to what Jesus says about home owhership.
- Matthew 8:20 - “And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Like Jesus, we are just visiting. This is not our home. Earth is more like our hotel. This is a place we are merely staying for a moment. We are reminded in 1 Peter that we are sojourners on this planet, just passing through. Paul tells us this in Philippians that our citizenship is not America, as much as it is heaven, and he says some pretty direct comments about those people who live for this World.
- Philippians 3:20 - “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,“
- James 4:4 - “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. “
- Luke 12:13-21 – “Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15 And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16 And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' 18 And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
Jesus calls the man who invested in this world a fool? Why? Because his actions did not make sense in light of the truth. If I were to ask you, do want a dollar now, or a million dollars tomorrow, you would be a fool to take the buck, but that is what we do every day when we live for the dot in our life. Here is another quote from CS Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it but because be it I see everything else.” God has revealed truth to us through Jesus, let us live in a way that is not foolish, but wise.
The reality is, no one knows when the dot of your life will end. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, but there is no doubt it will end, the question is what is waiting for you? Heaven of Hell? Treasures or regrets.
We cannot change the past, but today is a new day. Let us chose today, whom we will serve. Will it be the passions of our flesh, or will it be the Lord. Will we trust God's investment strategy or will we listen to deception of the world? Are we willing to accept the eternal rewards of God, or would we rather be like the prodigal son and eat the pig slop of this world?
Don't settle for this world, set your eyes on the prize that lies before us in Christ.