“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). Job was one of the first people to say, “You can’t take it with you!” However, in our culture, we are bombarded with the message that we always need more. Jesus spoke about money a lot, including this passage in the Sermon on the Mount. How can we take to heart Jesus’ message to not collect treasure on earth?
19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:19-24
If you were given $1,000,000 that you could not use for yourself but had to give away, what would you do with it?
Read Matthew 6:19-24 and summarize what Jesus is teaching about our attitude toward and relationship with money.
The word for “store up” (thēsaurizō) is related to the word used for “treasures” (thēsauros), so this verse could read “Do not treasure for yourselves treasure on earth….but treasure for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Does this give you a new understanding into what Jesus is saying?
The King James Version translates the word “good” in verse 22 as “single”, meaning single-minded. Read 1 Corinthians 10:31. How does this verse relate to being single-mindedly devoted to God?
Very few people believe that they have made a god out of money. You rarely hear someone ask for prayer because they value money more than God. Why is money such an insidious “master”?
Where is your treasure?
- Look through your banking records. What are most of your expenses for? Does your spending reflect an investment in eternity or in yourself? If it’s the latter, ask God to give you more single-minded devotion toward Him. Figure out ways to invest in eternal matters on a regular basis.
- Does your life revolve around “things”? If so, every day this week, pick something in your house to donate to a good cause or give to someone who truly needs it. Ask God to give you a heart that resists materialism.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Does talking about money in church make you uncomfortable? Why?
We all know that earthly things don’t last…and yet we get so caught up in them. Read and reflect on the following quotes from well-known millionaires:
- “I have made many millions but they have brought me no happiness.” John D. Rockefeller
- “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.” John D. Rockefeller
- “The care of 200 million dollars is too great a load for any brain or back to bear. It is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it.” William Vanderbilt
- “I was happier when I was doing a mechanic’s job.” Henry Ford
- “Millionaires seldom smile. Millionaires who laugh are rare. My experience is that wealth is apt to take the smiles away.” Andrew Carnegie
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-11. How does this passage relate to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-24?
What causes you to lose sight of the eternal? What steps can you take to ensure that you are single-mindedly devoted to God?
List below some specific things you can you do to store up treasures in heaven: