Menu

Join us for worship each Sunday morning at 10:30am

What's your Treasure Pt. 2 Matt. 6:19-24

December 14, 2014 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 6:19–6:24

  • Downloads

What's Your Treasure?

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Some of you know that I love old cars. It has been a life long hobby of mine.

My Dad and I bought the first Model A Ford when I was 13 years old. It was $400. Dad went to Sears and bought me a 64 piece tool set of Craftsman tools complete with tool box, and 49 years later, I'm still using them.

Since then I don't think there was ever a period longer than a few weeks that I didn't have some kind of a hobby related car around the place. Some times they doubled as daily transportation. Pam and I went on our honeymoon (all 3 days of it) in a 1956 two seater Thunderbird.

My stuff is small potatoes really. Fords. I'm a Ford guy. And rather plebian. None of my cars ever raised any eyebrows.

But the folks in this hobby have had a jaw dropper in the last couple of weeks. The photos and stories are coming out of the west of France of a collection of 60 cars.

From a press release by the auction company;
« These sleeping Beauties are clothed in the precious patina of time gone by. A collection like this can’t fail to arouse the passions of those who love automobiles, as well as art and history enthusiasts. Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed! »

Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage...these legendary marques make up the extraordinary cache discovered by the Artcurial car department team, Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff.

This collection was assembled during the 1950s by Roger Baillon, an entrepreneur who ran a transport company based in the west of France. As enthusiast from the early days, he exhibited, at the Paris Motor Show during the 1950s, a roadster that he had built. His dream was to conserve the heritage of pre-war automobiles in museum surroundings. During the 1970s, before he could carry out the necessary restoration work, his dream was shattered when his business suffered a setback. He was forced to sell some fifty cars, and since that time, the rest of the collection did not move until this discovery. end quote

From a photographic standpoint, these cars are other worldly to see. Stored barely covered under temporary shed roofs in a part of the world that is wet and green, they are a bizarre assemblage of moss, ivy, rust.

What's most bizarre is that they comprise the who's who of the most ecclectic automobiles on earth, and they were literally well on their way to being merged back into the earth elements they came from.

Has anybody here ever heard of Roger Baillon ? The cars are worth millions and millions of dollars, even in their deteriorated condition.

Roger's gone. No one remembers his name. His treasure will be scattered within a few months to the 4 winds. Whatever sacrifices he and his family went through to assemble such a collection of important historic cars, he'll never realize a penny return.

And so it goes. An extreme example. Roger Baillon didn't take a single car with him. I wish I could show you the pictures. I could spend months making images with the 8X10 camera of the gazillions of dollars sitting in their decay. Very bizarre.

Jesus said, 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We need to digress to the language here for a moment. It's very interesting that the word for 'store up' and the word for 'treasure' are almost identical. Same root word.

Store up is; thÄ"saurizete the-saur-idz-etay
and treasure is; thÄ"saurous the-saur-oos.

Thesaurizete is a verb. Something you do. Thesaurous is a noun. It's the pile you accumulate. We could tanslate this "do not hoard up for yourself a
hoard."

Now, this is tricky stuff because the Bible compliments people who live wisely and store up for use later.

Prov. 30:25 The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer;

Prov. 6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

It's OK to make hay while the sun shines. Harvest comes, then winter.

Where this gets tricky is with your affections.

Listen to Jesus teaching about this from Luke's gospel.

Luke 12:15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”

We go down this dead end street, don't we. If I just had (you fill in the blank) then my life would be good and I'd be a happy person. Jesus says, your wellness, your life, doesn't consist of possessions.

When we were younger we used to joke with each other and enjoy the bumper sticker that says; "he who dies with the most toys, wins"

All of a sudden I'm understanding more each year, he who dies with the most toys is dead.

16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: 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 many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

The problem here isn't industry, it's affection. He's in love with the idea of ease. He's in love with his own sovereignty. His god is his bank account and he has faith in his money to provide his needs in grand style for many years. The good life. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.

Matt. 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Caution! If the center of your joy is your stuff, get ready for a train wreck. If the center of your joy is another person, get ready for a train wreck.

Our God is a jealous God. If your plan for joy, both now and in the future is placed in something besides Him, get ready for a failure.

The reason He's a jealous God is because He loves us. He knows that ultimately, everything else will fail. The most loving thing He can do is demand that we center our joy, our life, our wellness, our treasure . . . in Him.

He gives us many of these other things to enjoy, but He demands that He is center, above all else. And it's for our own good. He never fails.

If the source of Joy is in things, and things fail, joy fails. If the source of Joy is in a relationship with our Father in heaven through Jesus our Lord, no one can take the joy away. Ask the christians in prison.

Matt. 6:22 - 23 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

We said the common denominator in all of this is the idea of treasure. Our familiar dual parables in Matthew 13 are the gold standard to understand the concept.

Mt. 13:44 - 46
44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

So, look again at vss. 22, 23 of chapter 6. 22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

How does that fit with the treasure. Very simple. You're going through the field and you trip over the treasure box, and all you see is an old box, and you keep on going.

Or you see the pearl and nothing about it says, this pearl is worth selling all the other pearls to have.

Jesus is talking about our spiritual eyes. Let me show you some folks who had bad spiritual eye sight, and this will get crystal clear.

In Mark chapter 4, Jesus is teaching in parables. It's the parallel of Matthew 13. Parables parables parables. 9And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” He could have just as well said, He who has eyes, let him see. Same thing. We're talking spiritual realm here. Spiritual ears hear spiritual truth. Spiritual eyes see and understand spiritual truth.

10As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. What's up with the parables, Jesus?? Listen to his answer because it correlates to our verses this morning. Spiritual eyes.

11And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”

His words are a reference to Isaiah 6:9 "Go and tell this people: "'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'

This is a judgement on Israel, and ultimately everyone else in the world who do not believe. It's like a spiral downwards.

You hear the truth and your free will kicks in and says, sin will be more fun. Sin will give me the most pleasure. Sin is what my flesh wants. And so you choose sin, and that unbelief that God will ultimately trump all the pleasures of your sin, sets you into a downward spiral.

Part of God's judgement against your own free will choice, is a hardening of the eyes, a deadening of the ears. Next time, truth is going to be harder to see, more difficult to hear.

Israel rejected their Messiah. They were on that downward judgemental spiral. Jesus says it plain as day when his disciples ask Him. 12so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”

So, look a third time at vss. 22, 23 of chapter 6. It's a warning to his hearers.
The sermon on the mount is the manifesto. It's straight talk. It isn't parables yet, although, arguably, the idea of spiritual seeing is a metaphor, as is spiritual hearing. Metaphors are word pictures that tie spiritual ideas to something concrete.

22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Paul spends 3 chapters in Romans talking about the hardening of Israel.

Ro. 9:1 - 5 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Ro. 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

Have I mentioned from this pulpit that our God is inscrutable? Our brains are too small to come up with the answers of why God hardens some and quickens others.

But I think this idea of treasure, of overwhelming value above anything else, is as close as we're going to get.

How lovely are your eyes if you see the treasure! How dark and sad are your eyes if you don't see, can't see, the treasure. Jesus is more valuable by a weight immeasurable, than anything else. How wonderful are your eyes if you see THAT treasure.

So, you're listening to Jesus there on the mountain and you think to yourself, I'll have me some of both. I'll have a big helping of this world and it's pleasures and wealth, but, I don't want to miss heaven.

I see the treasure. But surely I can have both, right? I can measure out my love, my heart, my longing, for both. This world and the next. Right?

And Jesus replies: 24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Here's the jealous thing again. God made you. Listen to Him when He tells you, in fact, NO. You can't split up your devotion. Cake and eat it too. Sorry, nope. Your heavenly father knows best.

We're back to the root source thing again. He loves you too much to let you plug into a source that will ultimately fail. He loves you so much that He demands that you put all of your life source in Him.

Look around you. Look at all the roads to joy that people are traveling. There are so many examples we could go on forever. Where is the joy. Ask Bill Cosby. Wealth. Power. Women. Hows that working out for him?

Ask just about any of the rich and famous. Are they happy? Do they have any lasting joy?

For most of us, the road to joy via the avenue of wealth or riches is even more deadly than it is for the rich. At least they got to the end of the road and realized the joy wasn't there. Most of us are looking down the road of wealth and we believe it really goes some where.

If I can just get my 401K in shape and get enough money saved away and get my house paid for, and and and .. .. .. That's a more deadly road. We aren't there, but we can waste a lifetime trying to get there because we really believe that's where the joy is at. Just gotta get there. Like the guy who built the barns.

That's the most common dead end road. Wealth, or the dream of it, and the lifetime of work trying to gather enough of it so that you can "eat drink and be merry"

But then there are a multitude of other dead end shortcuts right. Sex will give you the joy. Drugs will give you the joy. Alcohol will give you the joy, or at least temporarily make you forget you don't have any.

Power will give you the joy. Maybe I'll run for office. Get on that highway. Be someone of importance politically. Maybe that's where the joy is at. Vladimir Putin seems like a happy guy.

Maybe the joy is in being really really evil. Maybe putting on a black uniform and carrying a black flag with arab letters and a crescent moon and killing everybody is where the joy is at. Bring in a new order. This one is hopelessly broken. Get angry and kill people. For the joy. Anarchy is the source of the joy! Kill everybody, get killed, go to heaven and have the 72 black haired virgins. That's it.

Choose your poison. Satan doesn't really care which dead end road you go down, as long as you miss the real treasure. Wealth will do just fine.

And Jesus replies: 24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

I'm 62 years old. God saved me when I was 18. I built upon a wonderful foundation that was given to me without cost at Grace Community Church beginning at day one.

So how did that turn out for me?

I made some right choices, and some wrong ones. There are some vessels for honor, and a lot of earthen ones that are nothing special. I'm the latter. Partly because of marginal good choices peppered with some bad ones.

Still, God has been more than faithful to me, even though my faithfulness to Him hasn't been an example that someone would write a christian book about. So, if my life ends on the highway on the way to Reno tonight, how has this gone for me. At 62.

Here's what I would tell you. There is no one in this room or even in this town or in this state or nation I would trade with.

I got to be happy. I have enjoyed being married. I adored raising daughters. Every bit of it was grand. All the trouble, forgotten. All the fun, outweighs any thing else. I've had a wonderful life. Happy. Healthy. Too many feasts.

Our kids say good things about us. Our kids and grandkids love to be around us. I've had more than my share of toys to enjoy along the way. I'm a toy guy. Old cars. Old cameras.

I've made artistic photography on a scale that has gotten me some recognition. And you lovely folks have been gracious enough to let me teach you what little I know.

Where did all the blessing come from? So much that I laugh at the thought of trading mine for anyone elses.

I understood very early on, in my christian experience, a verse that ties us back to our passage this morning about the treasure above all other threasure. It's in our next section we'll study together, but I'll tie this together with it this morning.

Mt. 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Seek for the true treasure, first, and I can tell you from a very imperfect 44 years of experience, He'll give you back more blessing than you ever imagined.

Do an inventory this morning. Where is your treasure? What bank are you putting your treasure in. What is the treasure your mind dwells on when you think, if I just had _____. If I could just accomplish _________.

Frighteningly, if the answers to those blanks is anything but Jesus, it can become an idolatry.

I'll finish with the words of Paul in Col. 3:1 - 3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.…