|Photo by: Stoonn|
There’s something special about the Sermon on the Mount. It is full of practical teaching, though some of it, frankly, isn’t easy.
Take Matthew 6, for example. The key verses seem to be 19-21: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
It’s a great concept. You send your treasures on ahead. They’re completely non-perishable, and you’ll enjoy them for all eternity.
It’s the opposite of hoarding a bunch of stuff here on earth.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you have a lot of money. You’re a millionaire, and you love art or jewels or fantastic cars. You start to collect.
A few Monets, a Degas, a Picasso from his blue period, a Renoir . . . why not a Van Gogh while you’re at it? These works are worth millions! You would love to hang the Renoir in your daughter’s bedroom and the Van Gogh at the end of the hall. The Picasso goes in your master suite, since it puts you to sleep anyhow. And now, you need a security system with alarms, cameras, and special locks. You can’t live like you used to. Your house will never be as accessible again. You need a high fence with a gate . . . . You lose trust, even in your friends. You can read envy on their faces every time they enter and admire the Monet in the party room.
Jewels. The 14.82 carat orange diamond set you back 35.5 million dollars. But it was worth it. No one else in the world owns such a gem. Of course, you can’t wear it or even take it out, but just knowing it is there in the vault—in your vault—makes the purchase worthwhile.
The Lamborghini is cool. The Aventador Roadster with its V-12 engine is a speed lover’s dream! It cost $399,000, but for such a ride and the custom interior, it’s a buy! You don’t even want to think about one nasty kid with a rock scratching its side or how to park it. It’s enough to have the envy of the road sitting in your garage.
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Your heart is where your treasure is.
How does a Christian get his treasure up in heaven, anyhow? There are some answers in Matthew 6. (The verse numbers are in parentheses.)
- When you give and help others, do it secretly. (1-4)
- When you pray, do it secretly and simply. Follow the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. (6-13)
- Forgive others. (14-15)
- Fast secretly. (16-18)
- Have a “good eye.” (22-23) William MacDonald explains it this way, “The good eye belongs to the person whose motives are pure, who has a single desire for God’s interests, and is willing to accept Christ’s teachings literally. His whole life is flooded with light.”*
In summary, we’re given this verse: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (24). (“Mammon” means “treasure.”)
We can’t serve both God and treasure.
What kind of treasure are we working on?
- The kind that stays here on earth and attracts rust, termites, and robbers?
- Or the kind that’s the reward for a secret, holy life?
It’s something to think about.
*Believer’s Bible Commentary