Where then is your treasure?
Think for a moment, if you had one million dollars, what would you do with it?
If you ever watch those fun shows where they compete for the money, sometimes they have to eat bugs or be chained under water trying to unlock their chains to come up before the timer goes off. People will go to extreme lengths to push their body and overcome mental fears to swallow down some type of beetle juice – yuck! Honestly, I have always thought it looks like a fun challenge and I think I’d be up for most of it – not sure I could swallow bug juice though!
It might be easy to answer how you would spend one million dollars. No doubt we could come up with quite a list of ideas whether they are for our own selves or in efforts to save the world in some capacity.
I wonder how far we are willing to go to get the one million dollars though. Would you test your physical limits, test your fears, even eat bugs?
I pose these questions as food for thought. How far are we willing to go to get whatever it is that we want most? In order to answer that question, we must first ask ourselves, what is it that our heart wants most?
What does your heart desire more than anything?
When Jesus was teaching on the sermon on the mount, He spoke with authority and referred often to having a Kingdom perspective.
In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus teaches on giving to the needy, the way to pray and fasting. In each of these teachings, he says to do them in secret, so that your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. When we give to the poor in secret, our treasure is in Heaven. When we pray and fast in secret, our treasure is in Heaven. When we do things in efforts for all to see, our treasure is right before us in the world. Seeking worldly praise by doing good is not where God wants our hearts to be set. He wants us to long for Him and to seek first His Kingdom, not to seek first our own gain. There are times people will notice and some things will be seen, but I believe Jesus is encouraging us to look at our hearts here and pose the question, where is your treasure? What goal are your eyes fixed upon?
Jesus gives specific detail in teaching us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 saying,
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
I often pray this prayer. I love that it brings us back to the simplicity of exactly what we need. This prayer gives recognition that your Father is in Heaven, and we are not. It gives a reminder of the reverence that we are to take in our posture of prayer. His Kingdom come, His will be done – that our prayers are not just to be consumed by our wants and needs for our sake, but that our hearts are to be turned to seeking His best for us. Giving us daily bread – our most basic need of provision that our Heavenly Father provides as a good Father who knows what His children need. We often whine because we want so much more than we need, but our Father knows what is needed and what is best for us each day. I am reminded of the Israelites wandering through the wilderness whining and complaining to Moses because they are tired of eating manna that was falling from Heaven each day for their provision. First of all, I cannot even imagine wandering in a wilderness and seeing God “rain down manna” to provide food for me and a mass of people! Yet, rather than being thankful and amazed by His goodness, they whined for more. (To dive deeper, see Exodus 16 for more “meat!”)
The prayer reminds us that as we ask for forgiveness, we also must forgive others. In verse 15 Jesus tell us that if we do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. The Lord’s prayer then ends as a reminder to ask God that we would not be given into temptation, but that we would be delivered from the evil one. We must always be alert and prepared to resist the devil. I recommend putting on the full armor of God when you get dressed every morning. As you go to your closet to physically get dressed for the day, make it a part of your regular morning routine to turn to Ephesians 6:10-20 and get dressed with the armor of God covering you. Just as you cannot leave your house without your keys (or your phone perhaps), don’t ever leave home without the armor of God.
As we keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord, we can live our lives in daily submission to Him, seeking His will, pursuing life for His glory. One of my favorite verses in the song, Amazing Grace, is the one that reads, “When we’ve been here ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.” That is where my heart lies most, to be in the presence of God praising His name in Heaven. All that we strive for on earth will pass away, but what we do for the Kingdom will never pass away. Jesus said in verse 21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” and in verse 24, “No 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.”
Another teaching we must not miss in Jesus’ teaching on the mountain is on the topic of worry. In our world today, I think it is safe to say that worry, fear, and anxiety are a “pandemic” all on their own. Worry robs us of our joy and steals away our time – and in the end, worry changes nothing. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus speaks on worrying. He tells us in verses 26-27, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” I love the picture Jesus gives in the next few verses of how flowers grow and clothe the grass of the field – if He clothes the grass in such a way, will He not much more clothe you – you of little faith? (found in verses 28-30)
He wraps it up in a well known scripture in verse 33-34, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” What freedom we have in Christ when we follow His teachings!
Jesus teaches us not to judge or we too will be judged. Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Why is it so easy for us to see what we think other's should change, but yet we have difficulty recognizing our own error. The best way we can show Jesus to others is not by pointing out flaw, but by showing love and grace.
Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I love the analogy He gives next in verses 9-11, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and He longs for us to seek Him. He longs to give us good gifts. We must embrace Him and seek Him that we may stay close to Him who reminds us of who we are in Him, of how we are to live in according to His teachings. Narrow are the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven! Don’t miss His next teaching here in verses 13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus teaches on true and false prophets. Jesus teaches that they will be recognized by their fruit. In verses 17-20 He teaches that a good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. He warns us that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Further, He teaches on true and false disciples. Jesus teaches in verse 21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. He clearly warns in verse 23 that in the end, to some He will tell them, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
One thing we have incorporated into our life is that we have taught our kids to pray for the fruits of the spirit daily. It is my prayer that through this habitual prayer of asking for the fruits of the spirit from our Heavenly Father, that they will always remember the ways God has called us to live, and that He will bestow upon them the gifts of the fruit of the Spirit. I believe that God honors faithful prayer, and I believe that it will stick with my children all throughout their lives. For without the fruit of the spirit, how then can we live in accordance to His will? For the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
Chapter 7 ends with Jesus’ teaching on the wise man who built his house upon a rock. You may know the song from your childhood Sunday school classes. He gives the example that those who have heard His words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. As rain, streams and winds came and beat against the house, it did not fall, because it had a firm foundation on the rock. But whoever hears His words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand – and when the rain, streams and winds came against the house, it fell with a great crash. When Jesus finished teaching, the crowds were amazed - and I love this in verse 29, “because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
He spoke as one who had authority – and because He did and He does!
He offers us so much wisdom and wants to bestow upon us the blessings He has to offer and yet we still complain and try to go our own way. We find the things we strive for are fickle and do not hold firm, and yet our strivings cease to be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The teachings He gave us were given to protect us and bless us. If we continue to turn away from Him and strive on our own, we will continue to fail again and again, just like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. But once we ask, seek, knock, follow His teachings, believe upon the name of Jesus, and sit at his feet to get to know our sweet savior, then we begin to build our firm foundation on the rock of Jesus – and from there we cannot be shaken!
These chapters were jam-packed with incredible teachings! I have barely skimmed the surface of going through these passages. I encourage you to go through them again in Matthew chapters 5-7 and prayerfully read through the scriptures asking the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you.
Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven then, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
What does your heart desire more than anything?
Friends, I urge you, if you know Jesus – What are you doing with Him? Are you in a local church? When was the last time you invited someone to church, or invited someone to Jesus?
If you want more information on sharing the love of Jesus and inviting people to Him, please join me in my Share Jesus Without Fear group to ask questions, attend a discipleship event, and be a part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 that He has called us all to. Click here to join me! Join Me!
And friends who don’t know my Jesus – Who do you say Jesus is? Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you want more information on who this Jesus is I speak of, join me in discussing who He is and how you can come to know him! I would love to hear your story and get to know you. Join me here! Join Me!
Be blessed my brothers and sisters,
Your beloved sister in Christ,
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.