#366 - TWO TREASURES (7/6/21)
On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. Today, we consider the choice between storing treasure on earth or in heaven.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21)
Through Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus presents two choices using four different metaphors (two treasures, two ways to see, two masters and two attitudes). Each of these ways to live have the same basic idea: we can serve the Father or we can serve wealth, we cannot serve both.
In today’s text, Jesus wants us to understand that we store treasure on earth or heaven by how we use our wealth. If we use what God has given to us for our will and ‘kingdom’ it is wasted. If, however, we will prayerfully use what we have for our enjoyment and the Father’s will and Kingdom, it is stored in heaven. Paul speaks on much the same lines when he writes,
‘Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.’ (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Jesus tells us to purposefully, ‘store up for yourselves treasures in heaven’. We are to pray and plan to use all of our capacities of wealth, time and abilities to invest in God’s work. Our budgets and calendars are to have heaven in mind.
The Parable of the Bags of Gold gives us some insight into this subject. Each of those in the parable are given an amount ‘according to their ability’. The parable teaches us a sobering lesson that we must use what God gives to us in order to serve Him. Those who do will be rewarded, but those who don’t will face judgement. It’s worth reading and thinking about the whole parable, but here’s an extract,
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 6:19-21)
A simple application is to pray to the Father about your giving to your church. If this is something that you’d like to explore, please go to: https://www.communitychurchputney.com/giving
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - TWO PATHS
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What is the most enjoyable or memorable walk that you've been on and what makes it so memorable?
Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount.
Through Matthew 6:19-34 we will see that Jesus presents two choices using four different metaphors (two treasures, two ways to see, two masters and two attitudes). Each of these ways to live have the same basic idea: we can serve the Father or we can serve or be mastered by wealth, we cannot serve or be mastered by both!
i) TWO TREASURES - Please read Matthew 6:19-21
Knowing God as Father revolutionises what we treasure and how we use money. Jesus wants us to be clear, it's how we use our wealth that stores treasure in Heaven. Every Christian is to pray regularly "Your Kingdom, your will..." regarding their possessions, time and talents.
ii) TWO WAYS OF SEEING - Please read Matthew 6:22-23
Knowing God as Father transforms how we see life. As we come to know the Father, we see life through the lens of serving His Kingdom and will rather than money.
iii) TWO MASTERS - Please read Matthew 6:24
Knowing God as Father means that we no longer serve money as our master. In a slavery situation, one could not serve two masters. You cannot serve the demands of wealth whilst saying that you serve the Father. Wealth says, “Take this educational route… take this job…marry this person…live here…invest me like this…and you will be happy and safe!” The Father must be given rights over every decision and this may not make financial sense.
iv) TWO ATTITUDES - Please read Matthew 6:25-34
Knowing God as Father means we are free from worry about our needs. A poor view of God fills us with worry. When we know the Father, His perfect loves casts out fear. We are free to trust and be generous.
A simple application is to invest in your relationship with the Father through prayer out of His word. Making time to meditate and pray will deepen our relationship with the Father.
Secondly, pray about your use of money. A very practical application is to pray about your giving to your local church.
1. Did God Speak to you, or what do you plan to do in response to Sunday's message?
2. Which of the four metaphors do you find most challenging and why?
3. Why does knowing the Father revolutionise our relationship with money?
4. Please read Matthew 6:33. In light of what we've seen in this chapter of Matthew, what does this mean?
5. It might be good to pray for one another out of the message of this week's text.
Serving, Investing and inviting
1) Have you got any encouraging stories of serving, investing and inviting that you'd like to share?
2) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?
2) How are you planning to serve invest and invite?
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