Treasure in Heaven: The Sermon

Laying up Treasure comes naturally when we folow and live out the Words of Jesus the Christ

Matthew 6: 1-24
Giving to the Needy
6 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

A storeroom, a treasure box, a treasure chest, a place where precious things are kept, a place where things are stored because of their value.

We automatically think of money, gold, expensive things that we can put our hands on but God is saying there are some things in life that are so much more important than these THINGS. A True Test of the Heart will reveal just where your treasure is.

How much time and energy do you put into building your treasure on earth?

Treasure means different things to different people. To some treasure is money, whether you have a little or a lot.
While others who have a lot of wealth in this world still do not consider that wealth their treasure at all.
Just this week while in Atlanta, I spoke with a man while I was there who has as a dear friend- a man who is a 50ish, awesomely humble, leader of a men’s prayer group and leader of men, brilliant, trained in the art of major finance who along with the wife of his youth give away the greater part of what he earns. This man knows that this couple has prayerfully set a Limit on what they will live on.  The amount has creeped up through the years since they have been married to a now 45k annually  the rest they give away.They jointly spend the majority of their day delivering food & other necessities to those whom the Lord has laid on their heart. An amazing man and woman indeed!  This man told me that  it is a great honor and privilege  for this man to personally know & learn from this truly Christian couple who freely share of God’s Grace (and freely share of their overwhelming and continual blessing he and his wife receive as they participate in their “hands on ministry.”
This is an example of a man who does not see his financial wealth here on earth as a treasure that he will keep. Ironically, he is building treasure in heaven with what many people here believe is the ultimate treasure.
I Timothy 6: 17-19

17Command those who are rich in this present world ( this would pertain to most Americans) 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. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In 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.

Do Good!

Be Rich in Good Deeds!

Be Generous!

Share what you have!

The following passage is from the book “The Sacred Meal” by Nora Gallagher

We live in what is thought to be abundance, with lots of stuff to buy. But somehow, it is never enough. In the late eightees, I asked the owner of a successful business, who must have made at least half a million dollars a year, if he had enough money, and he replied “dont you understand? There is never enough.”

The “never enough” reaches into every aspect of our lives. We don’t have enough money, solitude or peace. The emotional consequences are subtle and pervasive; we’ve got fantasy and illusion and anxiety. Believe me, I know them all. So I call the economy we live in “the economy of scarcity.”

Here’s the irony; the economy of scarcity appears to be abundant, while abundance is marked by an appearance of scarcity. the scarce economy looks rich and full, but within it peoples souls and bodies starve. The economy of abundance, on the other hand, is organized to provide just enough. Like the manna in the desert that could not be stored but was only enough to get through the day, so the economy of abundance releases no more than enough nourishment.

Practice Spiritual Disciplines – Live in Abundance

So How Do We Lay Up Treasure in Heaven?

#1. Giving

Luke 19:8

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas, who was always doing good and helping the poor.

Acts 2:45
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Acts 4:34-37
34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
2 Corinthians 8: 10-15
10 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15 as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”
2 Corinthians 9: 6-11
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Challenge – Buy Christmas presents for people this year who could never repay the gift, people you may not even know, people who need something materially as well as people who need God in their lives.

#2. Praying
hallowed be your name, (recognize God’s Holiness)
10 your kingdom come, (Jesus Come Quickly)
your will be done, (take me out of the way)
11 Give us today our daily bread. (meet my needs for today)
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (treat us the way we treat others)
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
#3. Fasting

“Physical fasting from food is the joining of the body to the spirits hunger for God”

Prayer & Fasting are weapons of warfare & we are in a battle

Fasting is misunderstood much like running a Marathon

Most people think Fasting and running a marathon is an unreachable goal

Therefore they never do either.

Most people think that both are too much of a sacrifice.

Therefore they never attempt either.

Most see only the pain and hard work in both.

Therefore they miss the rewards.

Most have heard stories of people dying while doing these things.

Therefore they miss the health benefits.

Fasting is to the feeding of the spirit as food is to the feeding of the body.

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

Andrew Murray

Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.

Dallas Willard

Fasting can be a painful admission that I am not free, that my life is enslaved, obsessed or addicted to external things such as food, drink, codependent relationships, sex, television, privacy and the like.

Albert Haase

In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are – dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.

James Hudson Taylor

The purpose of fasting is to loosen to some degree the ties which bind us to the world of material things and our surroundings as a whole, in order that we may concentrate all our spiritual powers upon the unseen and eternal things.

Ole Kristian O. Hallesby

When the devil, the foe and the tyrant, sees a man bearing this weapon [fasting], he is straight-away frightened and he recollects and considers that defeat which he suffered in the wilderness at the hands of the Saviour; at once his strength is shattered and the very sight of this weapon, given us by our Commander-in-chief, burns him.

Isaac of Syria

So how do we lay up treasure in Heaven?

It’s really not a fromula of give this much, pray morning, noon, and night, and Fast on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No, it is so much more than that.

It is a matter of putting God 1st in everything in our lives.

It is the matter of giving of the abundance that I have so that others who are in need might have.

It is a matter of not holding on to what I have and being willing to share as God shared His son Jesus Christ and He didn’t have to, neither do you.

It is a matter of praying and accepting Gid’s Will for my life and not settling for and not demanding what I want.

It is a matter of asking and trusting God for what my needs are today and not focusing on what the needs will be tomorrow.

It is a matter of forgiving others who have wronged me, just as God forgives me just when I ask.

It is a matter of putting God 1st to the point of going without the basic nescessities of life that we might experience His Provision in new and unimagined ways.

If we as Christians will simply live out the Words that Christ gave to us then we cannot help but lay up treasure in heaven, it will just come naturally.


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