Verse of the Day – Matthew 6:19
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

Daily Scripture Reading1 Corinthians 9

Devotional Thoughts
Matthew 6:19 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

At issue in this part of the Sermon on the Mount is what we are to value in our hearts. What holds a position of priority in our lives? We have already been taught how to give, pray, forgive, and fast. All of these are elements of living a life that is truly blessed. And in all of these areas one fact rings true again and again – what we place emphasis on in our lives will show in our spiritual service.

If we value giving, then we will be a cheerful, generous giver. If we value praying we will spend time praying. If we value God we will invest in our relationship with Him every day! So by now Jesus has made quite a large point out of heart attitude. And for the next few verses He brings the point home.

What do we treasure? What do we truly value? What has priority in our lives? To answer those questions we must look at our speech and our behavior. What we say and do is a direct indication of the condition of our heart! So Jesus tells us what NOT to treasure first.

We are not to treasure things for SELF! We aren’t told here not to lay up treasures -especially when we look at the next two verses. The key to this verse is not the laying up of treasures on earth, either. That is not the point. Those who believe that taking vows of poverty makes them godly miss the lesson. Only once in Scripture did Jesus ever tell anyone to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The rich young ruler was so directed because his money and possessions were his idol and they stood in the way to his salvation. To give would have been to rid himself of the idol! Look at Scripture – Abraham and Joseph, and even Job were all wealthy! So Jesus is not condemning riches. The key in this verse is found in the word “yourselves.”

Jesus said that they were not (and we are not) to lay up treasures on earth for ourselves! We can invest in spiritual and physical things, but whatever we do must be for HIM! Where have we heard that before? You see, finding and doing God’s will is as simple as pleasing Him wherever we are! He does not condemn us for being rich or poor. He gives us what we need to carry out His plan for our lives. But when we store up (the word for lay up means to stack up upon each other, like coins) things for SELF, not for God or ministry, or the poor and needy, or the church, but all for self, that is when we disobey Him with our priorities.

Just as Corrie Ten Boom said, it is not the things she owned, but the things that owned her that God would have to pry out of her fingers. The things we possess, understanding that God owns it all, and the things we use for His glory don’t own us! If we are bound up in things to the neglect of our spiritual lives, then we have an idol that needs tearing down.

We must also realize that Jesus is teaching us the value of eternal things. The things we do store up on this earth, even if we have them for God and His work and glory, if it is here on this earth it can be eaten by moths, be destroyed by rust, or be stolen. So doesn’t it make sense to possess things that are permanent and eternal? How? Now we’re getting ahead of ourselves – that’s for later!

Don’t lay up for YOURSELVES — look to help others. Put Him first, others second, and yourself last!! Focus all attention on Him and His will. Don’t take the time and effort to focus on the things, either. Too many Christians get hung up on the “things.” The things aren’t the point, Jesus is! And if we value Him and our relationship with Him, then we will use the things He gives us for His benefit and glory. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, remember?

I would like to close today with a quote from G. Campbell Morgan. He wrote, “You are to remember with the passion burning within you that you are not the child of to-day. You are not of the earth, you are more than dust; you are the child of tomorrow, you are of the eternities, you are the offspring of Deity. The measurements of your lives cannot be circumscribed by the point where blue sky kisses green earth. All the fact of your life cannot be encompassed in the one small sphere upon which you live. You belong to the Infinite. If you make your fortune on the earth — poor, sorry, silly soul — you have made a fortune, and stored it in a place where you cannot hold it. Make your fortune, but store it where it will greet you in the dawning of the new morning.”

Whatever He gives you today – commit it to His glory.

Bible Reading For Further Study
Isaiah 43:21
Jeremiah 22:13-17
Ezekiel 14:3-5; 38:23
Psalm 50:10-12
Isaiah 43:1

Recommended Songs for Worship
I Will Sing of My Redeemer
Glory to His Name