We’ve been looking at Mark 6 which is part of the sermon on the mount. Last time we looked at the idea of not doing or talking about righteousness to be seen by others. Today I want to talk about verses 19-21.
Now Jesus has been talking about not doing acts of righteousness be it charitable giving, praying or fasting to be seen. These are the examples He gives. He says that if you do it to be seen, then you have received your reward – you’ve been seen. But if you do it for the Kingdom – not to be seen – God sees it and will reward you. He then begins to talk about rewards and treasures. He says
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Now there is a lot of confusion over what the scriptures teach about money. In a previous post we talked about two ways Christians get money wrong. We also talked about the idea of living generously and talked about the question of ownership – do we own it or does God.
I don’t think Jesus is saying don’t have a savings account or 401K. I don’t think the point is don’t make money or don’t own a house. I think the point is more don’t let those things own you. How do we do that? Here are some practical thoughts.
First, understand that we are stewards of everything, not the ultimate owners. If I have given my life to Jesus that means that everything I have is His. My house, 401K, cars, everything. In fact even my family and relationships. My time and energy. All of it is His. All of it is under His lordship. Even my desires. All submitted to Him.
Secondly, I need to do what I can to avoid putting myself in situations where I’m owned by other things. Part of this is mindset to be sure. But there are some simple examples. Debt is one. If I go out and get into a lot of debt by spending money I don’t have, then I’m going to be beholden to the debtor. It’s mine but it’s not. It’s like putting an extra layer between me and God’s ownership in a sense. That may sound drastic but it really is sort of true. Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is slave to the lender. If you are leveraged in your finances you add a lot of pressure to your stewardship. Frankly it’s not good stewardship.
This also means I need to think about who I work for and partnerships I enter into. If I take a job doing something I know God doesn’t want done for the money – that is not letting God be Lord of my life. If I enter into a bad partnership of some kind that means I’m sharing resources with things that might not be of God. Not a good situation. It’s an example of not being equally yoked so to speak.
But there is another piece to this that I think is really important. We need to consider more than our money when it comes to what we consider treasure. I alluded to this above but I think our treasure is also our time and energy. Do those belong to the Lord? What am I spending my time doing? What is my attention focused on? I hope you are feeling at least slightly convicted here because I sure am.
Jesus says where your treasure is there your heart will be. He DOES NOT SAY where your heart is there your treasure will be. This is important! This is a huge problem for us in Western Christianity. All of it. All “sides” so to speak. Are we concerned with earthly things or Kingdom things?
What is your time spent doing? What are you consumed with? Politics? Finding a spouse? Getting people to do what you want? Winning an argument? Being right? Netflix? Sports?
It’s not that we can’t be engaged in many things. But what are you mostly concerned with? Is it sharing the gospel and making disciples? Is it advancing the Kingdom? What would your calendar say? What would your checkbook say? What would your social media stream say? If someone who didn’t know you was looking at those things, what would they say mattered most to you?
For all the self examining we all do in today’s world we seem to mostly miss this whole idea. We say the scriptures matter but we don’t know them. We say prayer matters but we don’t pray. We say people need to know Jesus, but we don’t tell anyone or help anyone else tell anyone. We say it matters but we don’t go to Sunday Service. And this isn’t just the lay people either. It’s our leaders – and I am one.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your heart will lead where your treasure goes. We have to choose. Every day. Where will you put your time, energy, effort, thoughts and yes money today? Choose wisely because that is where your heart will be.