TEXT: Matthew 6:19-21
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “One’s attitude toward wealth is another barometer of righteousness. The Pharisees believed the Lord materially blessed all He loved. They were intent on building great treasures on earth. But treasures built here are subject to decay or theft, whereas treasures deposited in heaven can never be lost.The Pharisees had this problem because their spiritual eyes were diseased. With their eyes they were coveting money and wealth. Thus they were in spiritual darkness. They were slaves to the master of greed, and their desire for money was so great they were failing in their service to their true Master, God. Money is the translation of the Aramaic word for “wealth or property,” mamōna or mammon).”
In these verses from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shifts focus from what we do for others and what we do for God to what we do for ourselves. You are familiar with the concept of treasure. The word translated as “treasures” in the Bible means: wealth, a storehouse or repository in which valuables are kept. It is a good thing to build up wealth, is it not? Ask anyone for advice, and most will tell you that more money, more wealth, more treasure, if you can get it, is better.
But, in typical fashion, Jesus breaks our common perceptions and says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” What kind of financial advice is this? What kind of life advice is this? who says, “No, don’t build up wealth for yourself”? How are we to understand Jesus’ words? In his commentary on this passage, Dr. Warren Wiersbe states: ” We are accustomed to dividing life into the “spiritual” and the “material”; but Jesus made no such division. In many of His parables, He made it clear that a right attitude toward wealth is a mark of true spirituality. The Pharisees were covetous and used religion to make money. If we have the true righteousness of Christ in our lives, then we will have a proper attitude toward material wealth. Nowhere did Jesus magnify poverty or criticize the legitimate getting of wealth. God made all things, including food, clothing, and precious metals. God has declared that all things He has made are good. God knows that we need certain things in order to live. In fact, He has given us “richly all things to enjoy”. It is not wrong to possess things, but it is wrong for things to possess us. The sin of idolatry is as dangerous as the sin of hypocrisy! There are many warnings in the Bible against covetousness. Jesus warned against the sin of living for the things of this life. He pointed out the sad consequences of covetousness and idolatry.”
Jesus is not condemning wealth or the getting of wealth; He is condemning the common pitfall of those who find their value in wealth and those who store their hearts and minds with their wealth. And He gives two very good reasons why no one should get caught up in wealth or the pursuit of it.
First, wealth can and will decay. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt.” Both material and monetary wealth fades. Cars break down. Houses get old. Clothes get worn out. An economic crash can cause money to lose its value. If your life, your heart, is caught up in your wealth, your life will also break down, get worn out, and lose its value.
Second, wealth can be taken away. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where thieves break through and steal.” In life, you frequently have to part with your wealth. You have to give it to bill collectors, utility companies, and the government. You have to shell it out for necessities. Unfortunately, there are people who will steal your money and your material possessions. Solomon said that money has a strange habit: “it takes wings like an eagle and flies away.”
If all of your treasure is stored up in this world, it can decay, it can be taken away. And if your heart is where your treasure is, your heart will decay as well. If your life is caught up in your wealth, you will end up feeling worthless when your wealth is gone. Following Jesus can save you from this despair. Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth.
Elisha Moncrief wrote:
You may lay up vast riches of silver and gold;
And may hoard precious jewels and treasures untold;
But at last when you come to the end of life’s road,
Your wealth will be just what you’ve given to the Lord!
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.