Laying up Treasures in Heaven
[00:00:01] The Queen Mary was the largest ship. To cross the oceans when it was launched in 1936 it it lasted and through for decades. And a world war. And she served until she’s retired and then she was brought to Long Beach California where she was a floating hotel and Museum. Now during the conversion of the Queen Mary there are three massive smokestacks I don’t know if you’ve ever seen pictures of it but in the conversion they needed to take those smokestacks off of the ship so they can scrape off the paint and repainted. Well in doing that taking them off the ship and putting them on the dock. The smokestacks just crumbled. And they found out that the three quarter inch steel that made those smokestacks were totally gone. And what was left was at least 30 coats of paint is all that stood there on the ship. They found that there was nothing in sight and no integrity.
[00:01:28] The steel had rusted corroded and was not there. Now when Jesus called.
[00:01:38] The Pharisees white washed tombs he meant that they had no substance that their exterior appearance was totally different. Than the interior just as those smokestacks in Jeeves’s it when you’re reading the Gospels you’ll see that Jesus had his harshest words for the religious leaders for the preachers because they’re the ones that were adding to the law substituting their laws for what Jesus meant.
[00:02:19] And so you will see.
[00:02:21] Matter of fact in Matthew Chapter 23. And I know I read this before but it just shows you to the extent. The sin that the religious leaders were involved in in Matthew Chapter 23 Jesus says quoting you scribes Pharisees hypocrites for you tithe mint and dill and Kuhlman and have neglected the way to your matters of the law. Justice and Mercy and faithfulness. These UAT had to have done without neglecting the others. You blind guy is straining out in that and swallowing a camel. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites.
[00:03:12] Were you cleaning the outside of the cup and plate. But inside they are full of greed and self indulgence. You blind fear. See first clean the inside of the cup and the plate that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly appear beautiful.
[00:03:42] But within. Are full of dead peoples bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others but with then you are full of hypocrisy. And lawlessness.
[00:04:01] In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus had already warned the people about not being like the hypocrites in relation to their giving and in relation to their praying. As the hypocrites and the religious leaders would do. They would pray they would give. And as we will see here they would fast. So that man can see their righteousness their religiousness. So now Jesus exposes. The hypocrites for the way they fasted.
[00:04:40] Jesus is 30 sample of pretentious piety is fasting here Matthew says starting in verse 16 says and when you fast do not look bloomy like the hypocrites for the for they just figure their faces that are fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you they have received their reward. But when you fast anoint your head and wash your face that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your father who was in secret and your father who sees in secret.
[00:05:24] Will reward you.
[00:05:26] Now I don’t want to miss the practicality of this message this is the third time right here. Jesus is preaching and sharing this with the people about the seriousness of hypocrisy. Jesus is directing those on the Hill signing and this was numbers of his disciples it was not just the twelve because later at the end of the Sermon on the Mount he said something to the and he addressed the crowds. So it wasn’t just his twelve disciples and he was telling them don’t do this.
[00:06:02] Do not be like the Pharisees who did things for men to see the way they prayed went out in street corners the way they gave the the way they fasted. See. See that the hypocrites they projected something publicly that they were not and Jesus is exposing their hypocrisy here.
[00:06:25] That what they are trying to make men think that they were lie is not what they were like. Jesus knew their heart.
[00:06:34] Jesus knew their motives and he was warning the people against this. What began as a spiritual discipline that is fasting. Was prostituted into an occasion for for this. This. Pompous self righteousness on behalf of the religious leaders that they would wear these. Gloom and pain pained expressions on their face. They go about their business unwashed untapped hair sprinkling ashes on their head.
[00:07:10] Also that the people around them will.
[00:07:12] Wow he must be fasting. Wow he really is religious because I don’t have to but look at him.
[00:07:22] And that’s why they were doing it. They are doing it. That man might see them. They were actually in doing this. They were saying look at me the same way they gave in the same way they prayed. Look at me. What was once a sign of humiliation became a sign of self righteous self display.
[00:07:46] And Jesus spoke harshly of this man to the point here that he is warning the people do not be.
[00:07:55] Do not be like your religious leaders that do this and tragically we do the same thing sometimes.
[00:08:06] Even today I’m almost anything that’s supposed to serve as an outward sign of an inward attitude can be cheapened by this hypocritical piety. Jesus tells tells his followers when when you fast. Do it in a way that you act normally so that no one but God will even know that you’re doing it. Don’t go around and say well I fasted today. Did you. They are Tobit take off the answer now. We don’t put ashes on our heads today when we fast but that we need to to to. Well back then watch our faith. And they even got to the point where they were not annoying. Their their hair and head and stuff with oil he said anoint your head with oil as you normally do. So so no voluntary act of spiritual discipline is ever to become an occasion for self righteousness for self promotion. If we do that what we are supposedly trying to do is worthless. It means nothing to God. Nothing at all. Fasting really emphasizes. Fast. The denial of your flesh. And what the Pharisees were doing they were really go gloried. In their flesh. The word the Lord’s words your emphasizes. That the such thing as giving praying fasting should be done in secret. Something between us. And God alone. And that the purpose of a biblical fast is to gain a deeper fellowship with God. And anybody can fashion. And normally fasting in relation to what we see in scripture is usually a fast food.
[00:10:17] Now some because of their medical conditions diabetes or other things might not be able to fast from food.
[00:10:26] But everybody can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God because that is what fasting is.
[00:10:36] It’s giving up something and then and as I said normally in the context of of Scripture here is giving up food temporarily so that we might draw closer to God in the book of Acts that record some believers fasting before they made important decisions. And really too often when we pass. The emphasis is on the lack of food. It’s not the purpose of fasting it’s just well I’m fasting I’m just not going to eat food and so that does something there is no drying clothes or prayers or desire to draw close to God. And the purpose of fasting should be to take our eyes off the things of the world and the focusing totally on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God really it’s a way to demonstrate to ourselves that we are serious about our relationship and our fellowship with God. Though it usually is as I said associated with food there are other ways of fasting giving up anything anything temporarily in order to focus our attention on God can be considered fasting. You know it’s a set time of limited time that we give up something so so that our attention can be directed to God. It’s not intended to punish the flash at all. It’s offline.
[00:12:13] Closely related to repentance. David and the nation of Israel and the city in Nineveh. All fasted.
[00:12:25] And it also can be in relation to passionate prayer fasting in relation to passionate prayer. Kings are host Kings a host of fab and Queen Ashtar fast. Now now we see in the Bible at least three types of fasting and the first is what we might call the regular fast and its abstaining from all foods solid and liquid except for water. You can drink water and this is a type of fasting that Judas King host of fat called for when his country was was confirmed when they are about to be invaded. He called for a fast no food no food solid no liquid water and then the Lord defeated his enemies and then we might have another type of biblical fasting is what we might call the partial fast. And this is when Daniel if you remember he spent three weeks fasting from certain foods in Daniel 10 and if you ever want to look it up starts in verse 2 and in Daniel 10 it says I.
[00:13:47] Daniel mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food no meat or wine. Touch my lips and I used no lotions at all until those three weeks were over.
[00:14:01] So Daniel’s fast too to express grief on this occasion only a limited choice. Food would also involve relinquishing the use of oils and lotion for refreshments.
[00:14:14] So see we too can have partial fasts maybe certain foods or certain things certain activity for a short time to.
[00:14:28] This is what they do during Lent. They may give up a certain food they may give up a certain activity and this this is what we would call a partial fast and then also mentioned in the Bible is an absolute fast or fall fast where no food or water is consumed.
[00:14:55] When Esther discovered remember the account when Esther discovered that the plot to kill all the Jews in Persia and her fellow Jews. She. She asked them in the end they fasted they fashioned from food and water for three days before she entered the king’s court to ask for His mercy. If you remember you just don’t show up and go into the King. He could have had her killed right there right then on the spot. And she was praying for God’s mercy. For God’s working and so they fastened totally the absolute fast for three days before she even entered into the king’s presence so so fasting rather regular or partial or absolute it seeking after God’s heart. And other blessings and and and any secondary benefit from it is just a blessing to us and the bit but the whole fact is is it is beneficial. Matter of fact is beneficial. There are many people who have regular fast and as not for the purpose of trying to lose weight or whatever it’s for the purpose of getting serious. Before God to be in his word. And that that’s the reason for the fact. Now now here in the first half of Matthew chapter 6 versus 118 we we have seen how Jesus describes the Christian’s private life in a secret place and in relation to giving and praying and here and fasting. Then in the second half verses 19 through 34 Jesus concern with our public business in the world and he starts addressing money possessions food drink clothing ambition. So.
[00:17:03] So our next segment here of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapter 6 Guardian verse 19 which Jesus says Do not lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves. Frasier’s
[00:17:27] in heaven were neither more nor rust destroys than where thieves do not break in and steal for where your Fraizer is there your heart will be also so.
[00:17:40] So in principle these traders of earth Jesus are referring to anything of value which is perishable which can be lost in one way or another. It really doesn’t matter by which means the trader is lost.
[00:18:00] That’s an important thing of value. It could be a car or a computer. Golf clubs. Nintendo. Anything of value here on earth is what Jesus is talking about. By contrast he says that followers of Jesus must store up for themselves. Frasier’s in heaven were Martin Rustie not destroy were thieves thieves cannot break in and steal and where inflation can not possibly operate because of the material thing. Maybe stocks bonds are bank account. So Jesus. Is not Jesus is not condemning wealth. Any more than he condemns Kloser there are many many people that I know that in terms of earthly possessions that God God has blessed them with.
[00:19:05] But at the same time I have seen them that they consider themselves stewards of what God has given them and in turn they do not see these possessions.
[00:19:18] Whether you might think it is little or large they do not see these possessions as their own and seeing that that’s the thing that we all need to understand.
[00:19:30] Everything we own really not just that we own everything that God has given us is God’s.
[00:19:39] Even our children.
[00:19:41] Are God’s. But that we have only for a limited time here on Earth.
[00:19:49] The car that we buy or have or Traquair or whatever it’s God’s truck it’s God’s car. It doesn’t matter if you just have driven it off the showroom floor and go park it in the parking lot at Martin’s and go inside and someone comes and park right next door right next to it and bangs their door into your car.
[00:20:16] How do you feel about that.
[00:20:20] It’s God’s car I guess if he wants to do it he can bring it up. But you see when we take this personal possession and we see these things as being ours and we take the responsibility. Now don’t get me wrong we need to take care of.
[00:20:38] We are stewards of what God gives us. And so what God does give us we do need to take care of. Matter of fact God says that there will be a time that we’re going to see ourselves not just see ourselves. We are going to come before Christ and give account of our stewardship. Did you know that. It’s called the Bema Seat the judgment seat of Christ. Now here at the Judgment Seat what’s exciting is that we’ll be talking about here in just a little bit. We receive rewards. At the BMOC. Matter of fact in the Greek Olympic stuff that they did and the place where Caesar or whoever sat was called the BMOC and the athlete would come forward up to to them and they would receive. An olive branch for their head or whatever rewards they would give for being the winner. That is what they got. And when we go before the business eat before when we go before the Judgment Seat of Christ we will get our reward.
[00:21:50] But we also will be giving our pound of our stewardship of what God has given us. So Jesus is not condemning wealth. While he’s condemning. Is the love of material things the love of money. Money is not evil. But the love of money. Now don’t misinterpret the love of money is not the root of evil. Because I mean all evil is happening the root of it’s money. If you read the scripture it says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
[00:22:35] When we have our priorities misplaced when we love material things.
[00:22:42] Jesus forbids us in making things more things the crazier of our hearts growing them up as if they have the ultimate importance. The preacher in Ecclesiastes these kind of sets straight he pictures the construction of buildings.
[00:23:01] The work ethic SAC’s reputation power various philosophies and then he dismisses each of them as vanitie as if we’re striving after the wind.
[00:23:15] They are all vain in a sense because they’re not enduring there’s that thing that laugh. More. Ross theves all of it. Take these.
[00:23:24] It’s only when we lay our prayers in heaven. So how do we lay up Frasier’s in heaven. When Jesus says that. It’s late. If you look.
[00:23:39] To the desires of our hearts where you’re crazier is there is your heart also.
[00:23:47] The Bible mentions rewards as we are talking about there at the BMOC of Christ. These rewards await us for those who serve the Lord faithfully. Well done good and faithful servant. Jesus says a great reward is promised to those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. Various crowns are mentioned in Second Timothy. Jesus says He will bring reward with him when he when he returns. And Paul. Encourages servants. That God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve Christ.
[00:24:34] In classes chapter 3 it says. Whatever you do. Work at it with all your heart. As working for the Lord not for human masters since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Free from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
[00:24:57] So when we live sacrificially for Jesus is say when we serve Him by serving the body of Christ. We are storing up treasure in heaven.
[00:25:11] Even seemingly small acts small acts of service does not go unnoticed.
[00:25:19] You know remember when Jesus time about giving him a cup of cold water and visiting him in jail and stopping and stifle says when did we ever do that. We member doing that and this is what Jesus says in Matthew 10. He says. If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple. Truly I tell you that that person will certainly not lose their rewards.
[00:25:53] So even in the small things that we do and some of the more visible gifts of teaching singing maybe playing a musical instrument C2C people might be tempted. Might be tempted to use their gift for their own reward.
[00:26:12] Not for God to be seen by men to use their talents or or their spiritual gifts. Coveting the praise of men rather than seeking God’s glory. And Jesus says to those people.
[00:26:28] Well you have your payment in full right there. Because there is nothing in heaven that’s going to be waiting you because you did it for yourself. You did it. That man might see that the the applause of man. Was the extent of the Pharisees reward.
[00:26:48] He said Well you know why should we work for worldly acknowledgment. When we have such so much more in heaven and God is faithful.
[00:27:00] He will reward us. For just doing what Jesus tells us to do.
[00:27:05] For just having a compassionate heart for just serving. For for loving the lovable.
[00:27:16] As we’ve been talking about recently.
[00:27:19] Our ministry may differ but the Lord we serve is the same. We have different spiritual gifts and we are stewards.
[00:27:29] Of those spiritual gifts. First Corinthians 3:8 says.
[00:27:35] The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. Jesus had the parable he gave some ten talents some five some one.
[00:27:49] I don’t know what talents. I don’t know what abilities he has given you. But whatever it is. You are to be faithful to using it. And there will be a day that you will stand before the very one who died and set the price for your sin and you will be. Held accountable.
[00:28:11] You will give an account to Jesus on how you were a steward of what he gave and what he is not all material things that talents and time and reputation.
[00:28:25] How how did you love Jesus by keeping his commandments.
[00:28:31] We can serve the Lord wholeheartedly knowing that that see it’s God who keeps a score card. We don’t need to keep a score card. We just need. To obey what the word of God says. And out of compassion and out of love for the Lord.
[00:28:50] Just do what God says God keeps the scorecard. We don’t have to.
[00:28:59] At the end of the discourse on treasure’s here Jesus says no one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the wine and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Jesus says. See Jesus had a lot to say about wealth one of his most.
[00:29:32] Memorable conversations about money is his encounter with the rich young ruler. In Matthew 19 if you remember the story a young man comes and he asks Jesus what must I do to obtain eternal life.
[00:29:49] And Jesus tells him we need to follow the Ten Commandments which Jesus knows that none of us can. And when this man tells Jesus what I’ve done all of those well Jesus knew better and he tests his ability to obey the commandments the first commandment which is make no other make no idols A tells will go sell all of your possessions and give it to the poor and then follow me.
[00:30:19] And the young man couldn’t do this because he is quite wealthy and his wealth had become an idol.
[00:30:27] It was his master see wealth is one of the biggest obstacles.
[00:30:34] To. Faith in Christ because it becomes our master.
[00:30:41] Wealth becomes a slave master in our lives it drives us to do all sorts of things to to get wealth to maintain wealth to keep wealth.
[00:30:52] It’s been said that a good indication of what is master in our lives is to look at our schedule and our checkbook.
[00:31:05] You know what what does what do you spend your time on.
[00:31:10] What do you spend your money on. What do you seek. To acquire.
[00:31:20] The Samas if you remember the psalm I said search my heart O God and see if there be any wicked any hurt for any wrong way in me.
[00:31:35] And he asks that he ask God to to expose us to see God knows what our heart is. But the Psalmist is asking God to to tell him. Search my heart God let me know. Is there anything in my life.
[00:31:52] That you are not Lord of that I need to release to you. I need to surrender to you.
[00:31:58] You know in a contemporary way this is what we need to be doing this week.
[00:32:06] We need to ask God to a time alone remember in our secret place.
[00:32:12] Those devotions those quiet times we’ve been talking about having when you’re alone with God.
[00:32:20] Not only do we cry out like the psalmist says oh god search my heart this is what we should be saying in a contemporary time lord.
[00:32:32] Search my schedule Lord. Search my checkbook and see if there’s anything wrong in there.
[00:32:43] Know there is let me know about it. In other words what we’re asking God to do is is what you spend all your time doing.
[00:32:52] Well I don’t have time to go out and witness. I don’t have time to minister to other people. I don’t have time to do this for God. I don’t have time to obey God for this. I am busy.
[00:33:05] Well if God was to look at your schedule if you were to keep a minute by minute schedule for the next week how much time do you spend doing what God asks you to do versus watching TV versus going to some entertainment. Where do we spend our time that will.
[00:33:30] Reveal where our heart is. Or how about your checkbook.
[00:33:35] Now I’m not talking about you know we buy gas you got to buy groceries and stuff but how about all those other expenses. All those material things or all those things that make life easier for you. Versus the monies you give to to maybe the church or maybe missionaries or or to one another. Is there a window. You know God I tell you I see the stories of these people who take advantage of widows. My my step mom just received a call just the other week. And I said hi. She said hi.
[00:34:17] She says worse Tony I said he’s at work. You
[00:34:23] talked to him recently. I yeah you just text me a half hour ago. So he’s not in jail. I hope what would make you think he was he was in jail. Oh I just had a guy coming told me that he was Tony and he was in jail. Need needed $2000 and I had to go to the drugstore and get a target card and that about we you know you’ve heard of this scam. Well
[00:34:50] I would not want to be. Those people scamming elderly people especially widows.
[00:34:57] Guide takes very special care.
[00:35:02] Of widows. How about you. Are there widows.
[00:35:08] That may need some help just to sustain life. You know that some of our elderly have problems paying for their prescriptions paying for household items paying for groceries.
[00:35:24] Maybe some of our money is instead of.
[00:35:27] Buying material things for ourselves. Maybe we can go on a diet say John who do you know that I can help with what you give me.
[00:35:39] It may be a window.
[00:35:40] And maybe an elderly person or maybe a family that have kids. Who knows. I don’t know how God would direct. But what I’m asking is we need to be serious about this folks.
[00:35:54] Want. God gives us. We are just stewards of. We are just stewards of.
[00:36:02] And what Jesus here is is confronting where our trainers are.
[00:36:12] And what we need to do is to have an open honest conversation with God in His Word. He’s not going to talk to you verbally but. And say. God show me if there’s anything in my life. Is there something that I harbor or a stranger.
[00:36:32] That I have. That’s anything but treasures laying up in the heaven. And that’s between you and God.
[00:36:42] Because I know God blesses. And see I really truly believe that God. Blesses more those things.
[00:36:52] Stewardship is everything I have as God. And I’ve seen and heard stories of God just giving and giving and giving to some people because they just keep giving and giving. They’re like a pipeline comes in from God goes out to where God wants it.
[00:37:08] And that’s when we lay up our traces without. Where are you playing your treasures.
[00:37:15] Let’s pray Lord God.
[00:37:20] We are so wealthy in this country. What we take for granted. As every day.
[00:37:30] Convenience’s to other people in other countries is stinking rich. If we get hot today which is going to get hot.
[00:37:43] We can just go and crank up the air conditioner. And Lord. I thank you for those conveniences. I thank you for blessing us to live in a country and have the means by which we can have airconditioners and I’m not. Believing that any of us should have a bit. But but as Jesus was reflecting on the hearts of the people Lord cause me too.
[00:38:10] Will you search my heart to see if there’s anything any treasures that I’m accumulating for my selves. It’s not all material things it could be.
[00:38:21] It could be my reputation my time Lord God my time. I don’t want to give it up but Lord may we reflect. And what are we spending our time for it again even now.
[00:38:33] I want to thank you for bringing all the help those who are giving of their times and efforts and money to come and minister to these kids and a couple of weeks. Thank you.
[00:38:45] So Lord will you search our hearts and let us know if there’s anything anything wrong hurtful or anything contrary to what you want to worship. And we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.