READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l There are two prohibitions in this passage of scripture. We are not to store up treasure on earth and not to worry. These are accompanied by two instructions which can be viewed as one and the same: we are to store up treasure in heaven and to seek first and foremost the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. This means we are to seek the reign of Christ in our lives through God’s perfect love. This is why Jesus told the rich young man that to be perfect he should sell all his possessions and he would have treasure in heaven. (Matt 19:21)
Reaching perfection is a journey! We go through the stage of purification, marked by peace with God (conversion). Then we reach the stage of illumination as we understand God’s truth (discipleship journey) and finally enter into Christian perfection which is when the love of God rules and He is not only resident in our hearts but president over our lives!
We all humanly have a tendency to store up treasure on earth. Many years ago, this was known as pursuing the 5 ‘C’s’. This has changed somewhat over the years, but it describes the things we hold dear and aspire to the most. What treasures have we been pursuing recently? Will they last? Or is this treasure really trash? We can ask the 3D question. Is my treasure durable; does it distort my life direction, or does it lead me to greater devotion?
- Durable. Clothes disintegrate, food gets eaten by rats, bags get mouldy, technology dates, cars get old, things get lost. They simply do not last.
- Distortion. Jesus moves from having our heart in the right place to having our eyes fixed on the right things. Do these things help me seek God or do they distort my Christian health, walk and perspective? If we are seeking the Kingdom with our whole heart, it will be revealed through the fruit we are bearing. But our minds can easily become clouded by the false gods of materialism, and we will be full of worry.
- Devotion to God. We cannot serve two masters (v24). Wealth offers an illusion of control and a means of building power. John Wesley cautioned that we do need to make sensible provision for the future. But we are to be aware of extravagant self-centred living, ignoring the needs of others.
From Matthew 6:25-34 we learn four practical ways to seek first God’s kingdom. (4 R’s)
- Refuse to worry by trusting God.
- Remember that we are God’s beloved. Cast your care on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
- Refocus on God in the present moment and listen for His voice in a posture of readiness to obey.
- Respond with love instead of reacting with anger.
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- In the past 3 months, what is one treasure that you have been seeking?
- Recall what the ‘3D’ factors suggested to determine if our pursuits are trash or treasure.
- What are 1 or 2 things that you are more prone to worry over?
- What would help remind you this week that you are God’s beloved?
- What is the kingdom of God? What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God?
- What is 1 practical step that you may take this week to move from being stuck with worries to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness?