False Treasure St. George Church 1st week of the Great Lent March 1st, 2020
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! You Cannot Serve God and Riches “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Do Not Worry “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:19-33).
Matthew 6, The main point, is our relationship as Christians to our heavenly Father. In this chapter alone, Jesus mentions the term “Father” 11 times, showing the significance and importance of that relationship as “children of God.” St. Paul in Romans 8:15: For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. What a powerful and great secret of life is to know that we are the Father’s children and that we can go before Him and cry to Him, “Abba, Father.”
The Bible today asks and answer to us three questions to guide us through this sonship relation with the Heavenly Father. 1- “Where is your treasure?” we will answer the question “Where is our heart?” because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 2- “What you are focus on?” What are our eyes focused on? Are they focused on the seen or the unseen? 3- “Who you are serving?”
Where Is Your Treasure? “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
So often, we look at the things of this earth and say to ourselves, “If only I had that, then I would be all set.”
It is not too difficult to think of examples of men and women who have laid up for themselves treasures upon the earth, thus showing where their heart truly was:
Example 1 – The story of Achan (Joshua 6:17-18, 7:1-26). God instructs the children of Israel to attack Jericho, to abstain from the accursed things, and to bring all the silver, gold, and vessels of bronze and iron to be consecrated to the Lord into the treasury of the Lord. Now as they attack Jericho, one of the men disobeys the command of the Lord and keeps for himself a beautiful Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing 50 pounds. + Because of this man’s sin, Israel is defeated at the battle of Ai, and this man is put to death because his heart coveted after these riches instead of honoring the Lord and doing as He had asked. ACHAN was deceived by the treasures and forget that the true treasure is to keep God’s commandments.
Example 2 in Numbers 11 Now the mixed multitude who were among them [c]yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” 7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil. 9 And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.
* Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. 32 And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving.
The people of Israel deceived by the food they consider the most valuable thing is to eat.
Example 3 – The Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-22). In this story, a rich young ruler comes to ask Jesus a question. The question he asks is how he might have eternal life. Jesus answers the man by telling him that he needs to obey the commandments, and the rich young ruler responds, “Which ones?” Jesus responds, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The young ruler responds that he has kept all these things and asks, “What do I still lack?” This is where Jesus drops the bomb on the rich young ruler. He says, “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor” and “follow Me.” It is clear where was this young man’s heart? You can tell by his reaction. His heart is controlled by his wealth and riches. This young ruler is wealthy and supposedly has a lot going for him, but he is not willing to let those things go in order to follow Jesus. He is willing to love his neighbor and do the commands that pertain to his fellow man, but when it comes down to loving the Father and having no other gods before Him, he is not willing to let go of the wealth he obtained here on earth in order to gain eternal life.
+ The things we gather here on earth are only temporal; they do not last for eternity. Where is your treasure?
what Jesus is saying is: Are you earthly-minded or heavenly-minded? Are you investing in the future eternity to come, or are you investing in the here and now? Jesus uses the three examples below to show how the things we deem most important are only temporary. 1- moth 2- rust, 3- and the thief. The Moth: We all know that when moths get into our clothes, they eat holes right through them. The moth is a tiny little butterfly-looking insect that doesn’t appear harmful at all. But it will destroy the most expensive, elaborate fabric you could ever own. Rust: You could have the nicest car in the world, but eventually, because of the snow and slush and all the salt that gets on the outside of your car, it eventually rusts. Rust destroys, as moths do, the property and riches we work so hard to obtain. The Thief: With money and riches comes great fear of someone taking them, so mankind does all in his power to protect what he has. He puts walls around his house so no one can get in. He has security guards guarding them at all times and hidden safes for his rare jewels. What does the thief do? He breaks in and takes what the wealthy man has, and he will do anything to get it. What do you deem as valuable, because what you deem as valuable shows you where your heart is? Jesus give the answer, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” One of the Ten Commandments states: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
Where is your focus? “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).
Example 1 – The Story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). In this story, a man and his wife sold a possession, brought the money to the apostles, and laid it at their feet. This occurred in the early church (for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need (Acts 4:34-35): And we knew what happened to them because they lied concerns the amount of money they had for their land.
The eye is the pathway through which light enters the body. It illuminates what is going on around us. It allows colors, scenery, and faces to come to light when we look at them. This example of people who had good eternal vision: they saw clearly, they saw eternity, and they saw the reward versus the temporary things that were passing on by. But they did not focus on that the distracted by the earthly things. The question then is, “How is your vision?” And the answer come from Our Lord Jesus Christ saying “If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). So again, “How is your vision? What are your eyes focused upon?” Who Are You Serving? “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Jesus tells us here that we cannot serve ourselves and God; we cannot serve our families and God. We can have only one master. A Story: A farmer … one day reported to his wife with great joy that his best cow had given birth to twin calves, one red and one white. He said, “You know, I have been led of the Lord to dedicate one of the calves to him. We will raise them together. Then when the time comes to sell them, we will keep the proceeds that come from one calf and we will give the proceeds that come from the other to the Lord’s work.” His wife asked which calf he was going to dedicate to the Lord, but he answered that there was no need to decide that then. “We will treat them both in the same way,” he said, “and when that time comes we will sell them as I have said.” Several months later the man entered the kitchen looking very sad and miserable. When his wife asked what was troubling him he said, “I have bad news for you. The Lord’s calf is dead.” “But,” his wife remonstrated, “you had not yet decided which was to be the Lord’s calf.” “Oh, yes.” he said. “I had always determined that it was to be the white one, and it is the white calf that has died. You serve your self or God? + most of the time we serve ourselves not God try to glorify ourselves not God try to help ourselves not god. 1- Where is our treasure?” we will answer the question “Where is our heart?” because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 2- “Where is our focus?” What are our eyes focused on? Are they focused on the seen or the unseen? 3- “Who, or what, we are serving?” God or yourself?
Glory be to God ‘For ever Amen