Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
“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.”
These “treasures” are not speaking just of money. They are not speaking only of material possessions, either. For, what is a treasure? It is anything we cherish, adore, value, or hold dear to our hearts. It may be money. It may be possessions. But it could also be intelligence, education, physical appearance, our personal time, people, entertainment, and the like.
Treasures can be anything of this world and of our human flesh which we cherish and value. But everything that is of our flesh and of this world is passing away. And, at age 70, I am ever more aware of that reality. My body and my mind don’t work like they did when I was even 68 years old. I am slowing down.
We should hold lightly to the things of this world. Yes, there are things we need to do our work, and we need to have food in our stomachs and money to pay our bills, and places to sleep, although Jesus had nowhere permanent to lay his head.
But the things of this world should not be what we invest most of our time, mind, emotions, passions, and energies into. They serve a purpose, but they must never become our gods. They should be a means to an end but never the end itself. We work so we can eat, but we should not work to amass wealth so we can indulge in our earthly pleasures.
For, God put us on this earth to serve him, and to do his bidding. He has something for each one of us to do where we will be laying up treasures in heaven and not on this earth. And, so our focus in this life should not be on stuff, but on doing the will of God and on shining the light of truth to all who will listen, for many people need to know Jesus.
Matthew 6:22-23 ESV
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
It is with our physical eyes that we see so that we can walk without running into or tripping over things. They help us to discern colors and shapes and sizes of things to see if they fit or match. They help us to see to select food out of our cupboards to prepare meals. And, they help us to see to write, to pay bills, to drive, to read, and to watch grandchildren, too.
Now, this is being used metaphorically here to represent our minds and our spirits or hearts, which is where we exercise discernment and judgment, and we make decisions regarding actions to take or to not take or words to say or to not say.
If our minds and hearts/spirits are spiritually healthy (wholesome, pure, unadulterated) then our whole being is full of light (truth, righteousness). But if our minds and hearts/spirits are wicked, immoral, and vile, then our whole being is going to be full of darkness (wickedness, evil).
So, how do we get spiritually healthy hearts and minds? Well, we have to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord (owner-master). And, this faith is God-given, and thus it submits to Christ as Lord. And the one believing in Jesus dies with Christ to sin, is transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and then walks (in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
And, this is daily. This is a daily surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus, denying self, and dying to sin, choosing to obey the Lord in doing what he says instead of to yield to our sinful flesh and to our fleshly desires.
And, this involves feeding our minds and hearts with what is spiritually healthy, too, which is the word of God. And, it involves not feeding our minds and hearts with what is contrary to God’s word and is contrary to his instructions to us and is contrary to holiness, purity, and uprightness.
So, we can’t be taking in the garbage of this world into our minds and hearts on a daily basis and then expect to be spiritually wholesome. We can’t be taking false teaching into our minds and hearts, either, and expect to be spiritually well and to be able to resist Satan and to flee temptation and to draw near to God.
We have to be discerning regarding what we choose to watch or listen to or read or to participate in, for even the slightest amount of evil can infiltrate our minds and hearts and can make us vulnerable to temptation to sin against our Lord. Even when we are being discerning and guarded and we are living holy lives we can be tempted, so don’t play with evil.
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
I believe there are two key words in this verse which we need to understand if we are to interpret its meaning correctly. One is the word translated here as “serve,” and the other is the word translated as “money.”
Now, the word “serve” actually means to be a slave to, to be subject to, to obey, or to be devoted to. And, this means that all personal ownership rights are assigned to the owner, who is supposed to be Jesus Christ, but it can be a false god or an idol in our lives which is taking the place of Christ.
The word “money” is literally “the treasure a person trusts in.” So, it isn’t just money, but it can be anything we cherish, adore, value, or hold dear to our hearts, meaning things or people of this world or of the flesh of man, since it states that we can’t serve (obey) God and mammon (earthly treasures).
So, basically this is saying that we can’t obey (be slaves to) the things of this world and obey (be slaves to) God at the same time. Interestingly enough, Romans 6:16 goes with this:
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
Jesus Christ is to be our only Lord and Master. Our lives are to be given over only to him. He is to be our treasure, as is his word, his gospel of salvation. So, we are laying up treasures in heaven when we are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh and when we are then sharing with others the gospel of our salvation so that they can know Jesus, too.
But we need to be telling people the truth of the gospel and not the watered-down version that so many are passing off as the gospel these days. We have to be making a “straight way” for people to receive Christ as Lord, and not the twisted path that so many are sharing.
We need to be sharing with them that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness if we want forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
Come and See
An Original Work / May 20, 2013
Based off John 1:35-51
John, the Baptist, called of God to
Make straight the way for the Lord,
Told his disciples about Jesus,
So, two of them followed Him.
One of them who followed Jesus
Told his brother, Simon Peter,
Who then he brought to the Savior,
Who had told them, “Come and see.”
Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,
On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,
So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”
Philip then found his friend,
And he told him, “We have found the one
The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”
Philip then said, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,
While he sat beneath a fig tree,
Even before Philip called him,
So Nathanael did believe.
Nonetheless the Lord said,
“You believe because of what I told you.
You will see much greater things than these
If you will Come and see.”
Jesus’ calling to each one of us.
He tells us to believe in Him
As our Lord and Messiah,
And to follow where He leads.
He says we must turn from our sins,
Die to sin and self each day,
And put on our new lives in Jesus;
Bow before Him; humbly pray.