THE SERMONS OF JESUS

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Areas of Vital Concern for the Citizen of Heaven
The Citizen of Heaven and Riches
Matt. 6:19-24

. INTRODUCTION

Starting in Matthew 6:19 and running through Matt. 7:12, Jesus discusses several major areas of concern for the citizen of the kingdom of heaven: our relationship to riches, anxiety, judgmental attitudes, and prayer. These are not just some topics Jesus pulled out of thin air in order to fill up the time to make sure He had a well-developed sermon. These are areas which greatly affect the Christian. For example, in chapter 7 Jesus discusses the censorial, judgmental, critical attitude. If you were to listen to some radio/TV preachers, you would think that homosexuality was the greatest evil of our time. It is a serious topic. Think about this for a moment though. How many Baptist churches have been destroyed by homosexuality in the past 100 years? I can't think of one. Yet how many churches have split because somebody was selfish, thinking about themselves and not about the church? How many people have been turned off church because people were judgmental in their attitudes towards others? We want to attack issues which don't really concern us so that we can feel "righteous" without having to change one thing about ourselves. Jesus though knows His people and goes right for the issues which really affect us daily.


IT IS GOOD TO LAY UP TREASURES FOR YOURSELF...IN HEAVEN (Matt. 6:19-21)

What does Jesus command His people not to do in v. 19?

Why is it foolish to lay up treasures for yourself on earth?


One of the most absurd things a person can do is to try and hold on tightly to their money. Some people want to play the stock market with their money. What dangerous thing can happen with this scenario?


Other people want to hold on tightly to their money by placing it in CD's. What dangerous thing can happen with this scenario?


Suppose you are able to hold on tightly to your money and be a wealthy person. What kind of person will that develop you into being?


Suppose you are able to hold on tightly to your money and die a rich man. What is the problem with this scenario?


With all due respect, in light of today's economy, a person would be foolish to try to be in charge of his money. The only financial security in life is allowing Jesus to be in charge of my money.

How do people lay up treasures for themselves on earth? How have you tended to lay up treasures for yourself on earth?


According to v. 20 what does Jesus command His people to do?

It is not wrong to lay up treasures for yourself. That is not the issue. The issue is where are you laying up treasures for yourself--on earth or in heaven. Where are you laying up treasures for yourself?


How does a person lay up treasures for himself in heaven?


Verse 21 many times is misunderstood. Some take it to mean that you put your treasure where your heart is. There is a real element of truth to that statement. Who you are affects what you do. Yet Jesus is not saying that here. What is Jesus actually saying in v. 21?


In other words, suppose my heart is not right with God. Suppose I want to get my heart right with God. What would be Jesus' solution to this according to v. 21?


Notice the integral relationship between a person's riches and his heart. For most of us, our hearts and wallets are so connected that the way we spend our money indicates where our heart is. We can talk all day long about how much we love Jesus; yet our money truly reflects our heart attitude towards God. Is the actual dollar amount you give to the Lord a true indicator of your heart towards God? How does Luke 21:1-4 relate to this?


One of the great Texas Baptists of the 1800's was Sam Houston, general and president of the Republic of Texas and later U.S. Senator from the state of Texas. After he became a Christian, he became an avid tither to his church. When asked why he had become a tither, he said that when he got baptized, his wallet got baptized also.

Notice though that this goes beyond the tithe. The Pharisees were some of the best and most faithful tithers the world has ever seen. Yet they killed Jesus. When Jesus gets a hold of a man, the tithe is definitely going to be given to the Lord. Yet the 10% I give to the church is not the only portion of my money the Lord owns. He owns the other 90% as well. I am going to let Him dictate to me the way I spend the other 90% as well. We're not just going to throw the 10% into the offering plate and walk away feeling like we've done our "duty" to the Lord; we're going to let Him take charge of all our money.


YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY DETERMINES WHETHER YOU WILL LIVE IN LIGHT OR DARKNESS (6:22-23)

According to Jesus what is the lamp of the body (6:22)?

According to Jesus is it better for our eye to be clear or to be dark?

These question seem easy to answer; yet when you look at vv. 22-23 it is easy to get confused. In one instance Jesus is talking about lamps and in the other about clear. It is as if Jesus is saying our eye is like a lamp which either gives light or does not give light. Also, our eye is like a window which when clear (pure) allows light into our soul or which when dirty does not allow light into our soul. Why do you think that Jesus focuses on the "eye"? How does the eye relate to riches?


With regard to riches, how does a person get light into his soul?


With regard to riches, how can I keep my eye clear/pure?


"Oh, I'm a Christian. It's just that I have problems with materialism and with money. I love Jesus, and I donate 10% of my time to the Lord and to the church. Whereas I don't give the money God wants me to give to the church, I still pray for her and her pastor." According to Jesus what is true about that person (6:23)?


Now don't be throwing up 2 Cor. 9:6-7 to me, claiming that if I can't give with a joyful heart, I should not give at all. When Paul says that each person should give as he has purposed in his heart, what does he mean (9:7)?


ONE MASTER AT A TIME (6:24)

Behind what Jesus says here lies the assumption that everybody is a slave. Ultimately there is no such thing as a free person. Each person serves one of 2 people--Jesus or Satan. Satan only deludes us into thinking that we are in charge. We either follow Jesus or Satan (even though we're thinking we're doing our own thing). According to Jesus can you serve God and riches?


According to Jesus if you love God, how will you feel about riches?

On the other hand, if you love riches, how will you feel about God?

Now don't kid yourself into thinking that although you don't let God be in charge of your riches that you don't despise God. Suppose we were to concede that you loved God and yet wanted to be in charge of your own finances. Would it be safe to say then that you despised God in this ONE area of your life--finances?