- Sermon Notes
1.While locked in a prison cell, the Apostle Paul penned powerful words of encouragement and comfort for the church at Philippi when he declared, Philippians 4:19, And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
2.How many us of believe these words are true words?
3.Let me ask the question another way. When there is “more month than money”, how many of us believe these words are true?
4.I believe God wants His people to be so close to Him, so intimate with Him, that in times of abundance or difficulty, we are at peace because we know our Father in heaven is on the throne and He is willing and able to meet all of our needs. It all comes down to what we believe in our hearts and the priorities of our hearts.
5.In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus revealed important principles to help us line up our hearts and priorities with God’s priorities, so that what matters most to God is of first importance to us.
1.In Matthew 5:20, Jesus declared that perfection is the standard for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. He said, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
2.The scribes and Pharisees were hailed as the standard of righteousness. But Jesus declared their standard was not good enough because they only focused on an external obedience to the Law.
3.God’s looks at the heart! He desires a true righteousness where obedience flows from a heart that is filled with faith because it has been transformed by His love and grace through Jesus.
John Stott, “Christian righteousness is righteousness unlimited. It must be allowed to penetrate beyond our actions and words to our heart, mind and motives, and to master us even in those hidden, secret places.”
4.In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus addressed a person’s attitude about material wealth.
5.He contrasted the motives of the Pharisees and the Gentiles with what He expects to see from His disciples because God’s grace has transformed their hearts.
I. Seek First God’s Perspective on Life (19-23)
- The way we view the stuff of the world is very important, especially in the day and age in which we live.
- We have so much more stuff than they could have dreamed of and we take it all for granted. Solomon in all his grandeur never owned a microwave yet
today it’s a common household item.
- If Jesus wanted to change their perspective regarding the stuff of life, imagine how much more God wants to change our perspective.
A. Set your heart on heaven
1. Verse 19 literally means, “Do not treasure for yourselves treasures upon earth.”
2. The question that comes out of this is, “Where is your heart?” In other words, what is it that you value, what is important to your life?
3 .Some people look at the stuff of the world to satisfy their longings and desires. Other people look to the stuff of the world for their security or use them as status symbols.
4. Either way, Jesus pointed out the trouble with such a perspective. Moths and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
ILLUS – Speaking to a man who lived through hurricane Katrina
APPL – Don’t put your heart in those things. They won’t satisfy your soul and they won’t give you security.
Treasure for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Your heart will always follow what you treasure!
If moths can destroy your god, you have the wrong god! If rust can destroy your god, you have the wrong god! If thieves can steal your god, you have the wrong god!
APPL – Now, Jesus was not condemning good stewardship. God wants us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us.
ILLUS – God raised up Jacob’s son, Joseph, and gave him wisdom to store up grain during the seven years of abundance to provide for the people of Egypt and the surrounding lands during the seven years of famine.
Proverbs 6:6-8, Go to the ant, o sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.
Nor does God condemn having wealth, but if you have stuff, make sure that your stuff doesn’t have you! The Apostle Paul gave us a sober warning and some liberating insight.
1 Timothy 6:8-10, 17, If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
APPL – How do we lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven? By getting involved in what God is doing. And what is God doing? He is transforming lives through His Son’s death, burial, and resurrection! That’s our Gospel, the Good News that our world desperately needs. God is transforming lives because that’s what makes a difference for eternity. Invest in God’s kingdom!
B. Be generous with God’s blessings
1. In verse 22, Jesus continued, “The lamp of the body is the eye…” In other words, how do you see life? Your perspective, your view has everything to do with your heart.
2. The word “clear” literally means “single” and conveys the idea that a person with clear eyes has a good heart, they are spiritually minded and generous towards others.
3. Conversely, the word “bad” speaks of one who has “double” vision and is therefore unstable because they are trying to look in two different directions at the same time. It’s a metaphor for a person who is stingy and jealous, preoccupied with selfish materialism
ILLUS – “Ten dollars”
4.Jesus was calling His disciples away from the example set by the Pharisees because they were intent on amassing riches for themselves and used religion as a means to do so. Their eyes were diseased, their hearts were darkened.
Luke 16:14, Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.
APPL – Jesus wants better for His disciples. If our eyes are good or clear, then the glory of His light will illuminate our lives and we will be liberated to generously share the blessings we have received with others.
It has to do with what we are looking for, longing for, seeking after, and desiring in our lives for that is what we will set our eyes toward.
That’s why Paul gave Timothy additional instructions about material wealth in 1 Timothy 6:18-19…
1 Timothy 6:18-19, Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Transition – It makes perfectly good sense then why Jesus said in verse 24, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and mammon.”
II. Set God as Lord of Your Heart (24-34)
Life will force us to make a choice between masters.
Martin Luther once said,“What a man loves, that is his God.”
The stuff of life, the stress of life, will ultimately reveal what we seek first, who we trust most, where our allegiance lies.
If your hope is in your material wealth, then your life will be preoccupied with protecting what you got and seeking to get more. The end result is anxiety and worry!
But, if God is the Master of your heart, there is great freedom. Your faith in God liberates you to live life to the full.
John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
A.Don’t be anxious, God knows what you need
1.In verse 25, Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life…”
2.The Gentiles were preoccupied with what they ate, drank, and wore. But life is more than what we eat, drink, or wear.
3.If you’re looking to God, then you need to know that He cares for you and is willing and able to meet your needs. It’s a question of faith. We need to see life from His perspective and believe what He has to say about the things in my life.
4.Without that, we can be given over to anxiety, worry, and fear. Anxiety, worry, and fear have to do with what we don’t know. The one who is worried and anxious says in his heart, “What if this happens, or what if that happens?”
Quote: “The average person is crucifying himself between two thieves: the regrets of yesterday and the worries about tomorrow.”
5.Faith says, “Whatever happens in my life, I know that God will be with me, caring for me and walking with me through it all.” In other words, I know I can trust God.
6.Jesus gave examples from creation (birds of the air and lilies of the field) to serve as instructors to us about trusting God. If God cares for them, He will care for us too!
APPL – In fact, you are worth much more to Him.
Worry and anxiety will not add a single hour to your life span, though it could certainly take away from it!
Life is more than food, drink, or clothing. Jesus set the example for us when he said in John 4:34…
John 4:34, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
Worry results in a loss of testimony! Faith gives you a testimony!!!
ILLUS – Trusting God to meet my needs when I was attending Multnomah Seminary.
Worry results in a loss of joy! But faith brings joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Faith and worry cannot co-exist! Let faith win!
B. Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness
1.“Seek” – a present tense command which communicates the idea that we are to seek and keep on seeking, continually choosing to pursue what matters most.
2.“First” – of first importance to our lives because it is important to God.
3.“His kingdom” – God’s eternal priorities.
4.“His righteousness” – those characteristics associated with God’s kingdom that flow from a relationship with God built on faith in God.
5. And God will supply what you need!
APPL – Each of us has been given a stewardship. What does your heart treasure? Who is the master of your life? What do you seek first? Someday, we will all stand before the Lord. May we all hear Him say…
Matthew 25:21, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”