On the Mount Christians Lesson 4
Considerations and Attitudes of Kingdom Citizens
6:19-21 Toward Wealth
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Wealth, is the 4th example of the kind of attitude that Kingdom Citizens should have. First was giving, second was prayer, and the third was fasting.
How do we lay up treasures on earth?
We set it aside in banks, savings, homes, or in even relationships, recreations and entertainment.
How do we lay up treasure in heaven?
We send it ahead, by doing the work of God.
According to Jesus why are treasures in heaven better?
They are eternal, they cannot be lost, nor stolen.
In vs. 21 What is Jesus really concerned with?
We will be motivated most by the place where our treasure is stored. If on earth then we will be motivated by physical, worldly things. If in heaven then by spiritual, heavenly things.
The Pharisees and Judaism in general saw wealth as a sign of God’s special favor. Do people today still see earthly wealth as a sign that God loves us?
Kenneth Copeland in The Laws of Prosperity, "You must realize that it is God's will for you to prosper. This is available to you, and frankly, it would be stupid of you not to partake of it".
Charles Fillmore , "The Lord is may banker; my credit is good. He maketh me to lie down in the consciousness of omnipresent abundance; He giveth me the key to His strong box; He restoreth my faith in His riches; He guideth me in the paths of prosperity for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk in the very shadow of debt, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thou preparest a way for me in the presence of the collector; Thou fillest my wallet with plenty; my measure runneth over. Surely goodness and plenty will follow me all the days of my life, And I shall do business in the name of the Lord forever."
In contrast to the “Health and Wealth” heresy, the Bible clearly states in Matthew 6 that such an attitude is the opposite of what Christians should have.
Paul warned Timothy of this same truth in
1 Timothy 6:10-11 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
A “single” eye is one which…
Sees but one image, it does not suffer double vision in the understanding of what real treasure is.
In this context what makes the eye evil?
Seeing and being influenced by those the material things Jesus has been warning about. Being motivated by earthly possessions instead of our heavenly home.
6:24 Two Masters
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
This verse is a summary statement for Christ’s teaching on wealth. Does Jesus condemn wealth itself?
No, just serving it as opposed to serving God. He draws a line in the sand and declares that we must chose one or the other.
Application: What areas of my life need to be evaluated by the standard Jesus gives in this section, God or Money?
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
What is the connection with the previous example?
Those without money are naturally worried about the physical necessities of life
What does Jesus mean by take no thought?
Do not worry, don’t be anxious, do not be overly concerned.
What things did people in Jesus time worry about?
Life, food, drink, clothes. The necessities of living.
List the illustrations Jesus uses to change the perspective of those who might worry
The birds, growth and lilies of the field.
What perspective should the Child of God have in relation to the things we need to live?
God who provides for the birds and flowers, will provide for us, who mean much more to Him than birds or flowers.
According to Jesus what is the cure for anxiety?
First, Keep the Proper Perspective. Realize who you are a child of God, a citizen of the Kingdom and not like the rest of this world (Gentiles)
Second, Have the Proper Patience in Providence. Trust your Heavenly Father’s provision and care.
Third, Practice a Proper Priority. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
Final admonition about worry
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
So don’t be anxious about the future it will take care of itself. Take one day at a time. Each day has enough of its own problems itself don’t add to it the problems of tomorrow.
This may shock you, but I believe the single most significant daily decision I can make is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude is that `single string' that keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there's no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me. - Charles R. Swindoll
Most of the Sermon On The Mount from 6:1 through 7:12 is about the attitude we should have as Kingdom Citizens. It is not commanding that we should give, pray, forgive, fast, serve God first or not worry, as much as it is the attitude we have in these things and in the life we live.
Jesus was striving in this sermon to establish the priority of the spiritual, the power of the heart and soul in the life of those who would enter the Kingdom. After 2000 years, we still need this lesson perhaps even more today than that day on the mount.