In the 18th century, the well-known preacher John Wesley preached a sermon urging believers to earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can. He preached, “In the hands of God’s children, money is food for the hungry, clothing for the naked and shelter for the stranger. With money, we can care for the widow and the fatherless, defend the oppressed, meet the need of those who are sick or in pain.” Wesley’s words and actions are an illustration of Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6.
When it comes to money and wealth, Jesus told His hearers to look to the future. At first glance, it might seem that Jesus was arguing in verses 19–20 that the reason they should store up their treasures in heaven was that there were no rodents that might destroy them. That wasn’t the real problem. For Jesus, the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. He says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v. 21).
Jesus then used the example of a lamp to illustrate how the eyes are the pathway to the heart. People fix their hearts on where their treasure is and they fix their eyes on what they crave. Just as undiagnosed eye disease can force us to have blurry vision, or even to become blind, unbridled lust for earthly possessions cloud our spiritual walk with the Lord.
Jesus concludes this idea in verse 24 by explaining that no one can serve two masters. It is impossible. During the 1990s it would have been unthinkable for someone to work for both Bill Gates’s Microsoft and Steve Job’s Apple Co. Each one demanded complete loyalty and devotion. So it is the case with both God and money. Which do we serve?
>> How do you honor God with your treasure? How can you store up more treasures in heaven and less here on earth? Finally, who will you choose to serve: God or money?