Main Point: Keep your focus on Jesus (heaven bound)
(Revised) Preached in Southbridge on October 2nd 2005
Preached in Southbridge on Aug. 3, 2003
A) Don’t peruse for yourself treasures on earth. Earthly treasures.
a) Cars- Some of you will remember that I had a green Mercury Sable, it wasn’t that long ago. But when I first got that car I was over the moon. It was my first new used car, a car I had to pay for each month. You may think that‘s funny but I was happy to pay each month for my car. You see I never had that before I always bought my cars used but out right. I always had to fix them up every so often. So when I bought this car a “new used car” I was very happy. I thought that I wouldn’t need to put any work into it for at least a few years. And for the first three months things were great but something happened after that time things on that car needed to be fixed. Ok at first it was the oil needed to be changed that’s with every car but then it needed brakes and brake pads then it needed rotors and a ball joint then it needed rotors again, then it needed a transmission flush and on and on it continued. But then I remember passing by a car dealership and thinking, I could just pull in trade this car in for a new one then all my problems would be gone.
We think that way don’t we? If I only get a new car I’ll be happy. Life will get better once I buy a new car. I won’t have to worry about my car needing something.
New car turns Old
Or would I. Eventually the new car would be old to me. The joy it once brought would no longer be in me. It would need to be fixed and maintained and I would still have to pay monthly for this car. My craving for more wealth or status or whatever that makes me think that a new car will bring me happiness. My wanting to keep up with my neighbors or those I see in the world. It doesn’t help that this world tells me that if my car is more than a year or two old then I need a new one.
Mat 6:19 do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
Mat 6:20 But layup treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
b) Houses- On my way to work I travel a road that when you drive it you can‘t help but look around at all the wonderful houses. Big houses with beautiful yards that are wonderfully kept and maintained. They almost all have gorgeous views and scenery. Some over look hills and valleys that when the sun hits it just right would take your breath away. And I start to think what would it take to get one of those houses? Well first I would need to go back to school and get a better education and then I would need to find a good job that was secure and I would need to work hard and long for a few years to make it up the ladder of success. Then when I had the money I would need to look around at either houses or land and decide to build or to just buy a house already built. Of course then I could relax and enjoy it right. No, Then I would need to continue to work long hours to make enough money to pay for the house and I would need to pay a gardener to tend my yard and make the yard look good cause I know if it was up to me the yard would be over grown with weeds and there would be flowers that I killed and bushes that were yellow and brown from the lack of proper nutrient and pruning.
It would take a lot of Money, time, and focus that I think could be better spent serving God. Not to mention the fact that that home will not always be there and I wouldn’t always be there. In fact even while living on this earth I would not be around to enjoy this big beautiful house.
The point is nothing this world offers is permanent. Not a new car or a new house or the joy that you get from these things.
And that’s what Jesus is saying.
The good feelings you get when you buy a new car soon fade. The new car itself soon breaks down and turns to rust. The new house soon needs a new roof or plumbing or it needs an addition, your neighbor has a two-car garage so you need to build a second one.
Don’t focus on things that will fade away. Cars whether new or not are blessings from God they help us move around and if you need a new car and can afford it then go for it but be careful you don’t let it become a trap. Don’t work for that. If God has blessed you with a house then praise God for that blessing but don’t allow that to become your focus and your god. Don’t find your joy in these things. Don’t find your reason to live or your goal in life in the things of this world.
They will not last!
Let me ask you a question:
What would you do with 16.2 million dollars? Would your life be great? Would all you worries be gone? Would you have many long lost relatives?
The Chicago Tribune (9/1/96) ran the story of Buddy Post, "living proof that money can't buy happiness."
In 1988, Buddy Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery.
You might think he made it, no more worries, and no more frustrations. Life for this man is good. Right? Even today you would think his life still must be good, 16.2 million dollars in 2005 is still a lot of money.
Since then, he was convicted of assault, his sixth wife left him, his brother was convicted of trying to kill him, and his landlady successfully sued him for one-third of the jackpot.
"Money didn't change me," insists Post, a former carnival worker and cook. "It changed people around me that I knew, that I thought cared a little bit about me. But they only cared about the money."
Post is trying to auction off his future payments, valued at nearly $5 million, in order to pay off taxes, legal fees, and a number of failed business ventures. He plans to spend his life as an ex-winner pursuing lawsuits he has filed against police, judges, and lawyers who he says conspired to take his money. "I'm just going to stay at home and mind my p's and q's," he said. "Money draws flies."
-- Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership
That’s just one unlucky guy though, right?
There are many stories of people who have won the lottery or made millions in business who are anything but happy. Often money ruins lives.
Listen to this:
Pro 19:4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
Pro 23:4 Do not labor to be rich; cease from your own understanding.
If you’re working for riches you’re going to be disappointed. They’re here today and gone tomorrow.
Money guarantees nothing
Does money guarantee happiness? Does power? No. Does money give eternal life? No way. In fact money is a stumbling block for us. Because we tend to get focused on money and the things it can buy and then we worry about losing that money and how can we get more money all the time neglecting the things that really matter Christ, Love, relationships. The most important one being our relationship with God. All the things that we truly need in life Peace, hope, love, security, are all found in Christ. The heavenly treasure.
Listen to what Jesus says about the rich:
Mat 19:16 And behold, one came and said to Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17 And He said to him, why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18 He said to Him, Which? Jesus said, you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mat 19:20 The young man said to Him, I have kept all these things from my youth up; what do I lack yet?
Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, if you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow me.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
Mat 19:23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you that a rich man will with great difficulty enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 19:24 And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Money, wealth and things can and often are stumbling blocks for us.
Proverbs 11:4 and 11:28
Pro 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Pro 11:28 He who trusts in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall blossom like a branch.
B) Put your treasures in heaven or look to the treasures of heaven.
Use the gifts that God has given you to his glory give to the needy help those who need your help focus on Jesus and acting like him and you will lay up treasures in heaven for your selves’ treasures that are eternal. Everything I just spoke about is fleeting and Jesus says to work for these things in reality is to work for nothing. And in fact these things will often get in the way.
1) Come to know Jesus that’s #1:
If you don’t know Christ you need to put your faith in him. He is the most wonderful treasure there is. In a way He opens up the treasure room in heaven to you. First and most important he places you in a right relationship with God by cleansing you from your sins and you receive eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We look to things, money, positions, and we try to find Joy, happiness, love, and comfort. From these things and in a very small way they sometimes do give us joy, and happiness. But they are very small compared with the wealth of true joy, happiness, love, security, and peace that comes from accessing the treasures of heaven by Jesus blood and working for him.
And you know we are able to enjoy some of these treasures while we are here now not having to wait till we get to heaven.
C) Why should I work for Jesus?
1) The treasures of heaven are eternal:
The Peace and joy found in Jesus is eternal. The treasures of earth are fleeting and often become a burden. The new car you wanted and finally bought. You loved it for the first month or two now has become a burden because you still have to pay the payment every month and yet it also needs maintenance done to it as well. And by the time you are ready to pay that thing off its no good, rusting falling apart and ready to be traded in for a new one. And the cycle starts again. No lasting joy in a new car or in anything this world has to offer. But there is eternal joy in heaven for those who know Christ and will look to heaven for their treasures and not to the things on this earth.
Put your trust, and hope in Jesus. If you’re not a Christian you can have eternal life with God and Christ by coming to know Christ. Put on Christ at baptism and claim the treasures of heaven for yourself.
Christians We as well need to continue to look to heaven to Christ for or treasures and forget about gathering up treasures on earth that take our time attention and focus off of the way, the truth, and the Life. Jesus Christ.
God bless you all in Christ Jesus.