Alan Wilson, Pastor, Westlake Church, Nyon, Switzerland

Summary: Allow kingdom priorities to direct the focus of your life. Don’t try to aim in two directions at once. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot live for material possessions and for God at the same time.

Introduction

There are two places we can store treasure, two kinds of eyes we can have, and two masters we can serve.

Jesus says we are not to store up treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (Matt 6:19). Nothing on earth lasts forever--your shoes wear out, your ties go out of fashion, your car depreciates. What we have can also be stolen. Homes in Jesus’ time were made of mud brick. A thief with a sharp tool could easily cut through the wall and walk away with all the treasures of the house. Even today, with all our high-tech security systems, thievery is common.

Treasure in Heaven

The obvious advantages of storing treasure in heaven are that moth, rust, and thieves do not exist there. In heaven, our investment is absolutely secure. More than being concerned that we invest in the right place away from moths and robbers, Jesus is concerned about our hearts. Where your treasure is, that is where your heart will also be (Matt 6:21).

Kingdom priorities apply not only to our treasure houses but also to our focus. Your eyes are windows that allow the light into your body. If your eyes are good, the rest of you has light. If your eyes are bad, it’s like having dirty windows--it’s hard to see where you are going. Having good eyes means being single-minded. With a single focus, you walk in light. But if you are trying to look at two things at the same time, you walk in confusion. Allow kingdom priorities to direct the focus of your life. Don’t try to aim in two directions at once. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot live for material possessions and for God at the same time. This does not mean you cannot be rich and serve God. However if money is driving you, if money is what is really important to you, if money is your passion, you cannot possibly serve God simultaneously.

Don’t worry

Worrying about things will not necessarily improve the situation. If worry can achieve no positive end, why indulge in it? Someone has parodied the well-known Christian slogan about prayer and worry by saying, Why pray, when you can worry? If we are constantly preoccupied about physical and material need, we are no different from those who do not know God. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes (Matt 6:25)? Sure we cannot survive without food, but food in itself is not a guarantee of life. Our bodies need the warmth and protection of clothes, but a fine wardrobe is not a guarantee of a healthy body. If you truly believe you have a Heavenly Father who cares about the details of your life, should you not stand out from those who know no such God? An atheist has no invisible means of support. How do you differ from the atheist, when you begin to worry if the God you can’t really see is really going to meet your needs? The pagans run after these things, but your Heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matt 6:32).

Does this mean that we should be careless? Should we all give up our jobs and just stay at home reminding our families of the wonderful truth that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he will certainly take care of his people? No! We are not to be anxious about anything, but we are to entrust our needs to God. We need to take our focus away from the normal materialistic priorities and towards a life where God rules and is in control.

Conclusion

Look at the birds and flowers. God provides for them. You don’t see flowers busy at a sewing machine, yet their splendor is unmatched. Who clothes them? The same God who feeds the birds! This does not mean we should just sit out in the countryside swaying in the wind, doing nothing, and expect God to send hand- delivered collections of the latest fashions to our doorstep. We need to learn something about how God will look after us. If He provides food for the birds, do His children not mean more to Him? If you are seeking to live out kingdom priorities, you can trust kingdom provisions.

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April–June, 1999

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