- Sermon Notes
Eyes on Eternity
Intro: Greater treasures.
This morning we will continue in Jesus’ sermon on the mount in a section that deals specifically with how He would have His disciples view what He has entrusted them here on this earth. It is certainly an important understanding for us to have in our lives today and something that the people of His day struggled to put in right perspective.
Certainly, we know that Jesus message and way was radical in His day and it wasn’t always well received. After addressing the heart attitudes (beatitudes) of His followers, Jesus tells them who they are to be, salt and light, essential yet distinct. Those who live with the surpassing righteousness of Jesus in view, in their hearts, the importance of what they believe, what they do and how they do it; and continues in verses 19 to 24 focusing on how they view and what they do with what they have. Regarding possessions, Jesus wants His followers to keep their Eyes on Eternity.
Read: Matthew 6:19-24
In contrast to the materialistic concerns which occupy our attention most of the time, Jesus calls us to put God first in our lives by placing priority on eternity in heaven. It has been wisely observed that a moving truck full of possessions never follows a hearse. The Pharaoh’s in ancient Egypt would be buried with gold, treasures, board games, golden fans, chariots, and other valuables; but it was all left behind. While gold is precious here on earth, we know from Revelation 21:21 that God uses it to pave the streets of heaven.
Jesus turns the focus to our priorities, and points out that our focus should not be on the things of this earth, or possessions, they will not last. Rather, He wants us to keep our eyes on eternity.
I. Place your Treasure in Heaven
Matthew 6:19, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
- What we are immediately pointed to is the understanding that any earthly treasures we can accumulate for ourselves are temporary.
- The literal translation of verse 19 is “do not treasure up treasures for yourself on earth.”
- The issue, isn’t that earthly treasures are in and of themselves bad, but they are ultimately of no eternal value.
Illus. College hobbies.
- Jesus’ desire is that His disciples understand how to use what they have been given and entrusted on this earth for eternal purposes.
- Am I using my time, energy, ability, and money with my eyes on eternity, or with my focus on this earth and what is temporary?
Illus. Moths, Rust, Thieves…
- Moths: In Bible times, wealth could be measured in-part by clothing. Clothes were not mass produced in those days, they were a considerable investment. The wealthy sometimes had golden threads woven into their clothes, to display and store their wealth. The best clothes were made of wool, which moth’s love to eat. Protecting clothes from moth’s came with great difficulty.
- Rust: That which eats away. We know rust as that which eats away at metal, but in the truest sense in this scripture, it is indicative of that which eats away at what you have. If you store grain, rodents eat it, if you have metal rust can eat away at it.
- Thieves: Will aim to take the rest. This is why many people buried their nonperishable items in the ground, away from the house. To break in, is literally to “dig through.”
Illus. Standing on the rust.
Matthew 6:20-21, But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- If what is most important to our lives are the earthly treasures, we must know that they are temporary and will pass away.
- If you are living for treasures on this earth, those treasures become the purpose of your life.
- If moths, rust, or thieves, can destroy or take away the treasure which has become purpose on earth; you are living for the wrong purpose.
- Jesus is telling His followers to place their treasure in heaven. Why? Your heart follows what you treasure.
Illus. A short-term GT.
- It is not wrong to possess things in this earth, that is not the point. It is, however, wrong to let the things of this earth possess you, to be the focus of your resources.
A.Keep your eyes fixed and focused on Jesus
- Put your treasure in heaven, knowing that your heart will follow. Send your treasure on ahead, with an eternal perspective.
Matthew 6:22, The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.
- The eye is the channel through which illumination (light) comes into the body.
- Those with blinded eyes, live in a darkened world.
- In the Old Testament, the “eye” indicated the direction of a person’s life. “Good eyes” focused on God and His purposes with a singular focus on His purposes. “Bad (or evil) eyes” represented materialism, greed, self-focus.
- Jesus says the eye is the lamp of body, where are your eyes oriented? Toward the light, or toward the dark?
- The way that we view the things of this earth in our hearts and what we are living for, indicates our orientation of our “eye.”
- Jesus reminds us that if we are blind in our eyes, the whole body is blind. The darkness is great in our whole body.It will affect how we live our lives.
Illus. Near sightedness.
- When our eyes are on eternity, when we keep looking to Jesus, rather than material treasure, our life is enlightened. We aren’t spiritually near sighted.
- I primary issue when I began to be near sighted was that I did not know it was happening. I thought that there was something wrong with everyone else. The light that was in me was darkened and I could not tell!
- I was not seeing clearly, thinking everyone else needed glasses, but I was the one blinded.
Psalm 121:1, I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.
- Keeping our eyes on Jesus in this world will ensure that we are oriented toward the light, rather than the things of this world.
- When our focus turns to the wrong things and we justify placing God second, perhaps saying “it’s just one area of my life,” we can begin a process
of “spiritual nearsightedness.” Surely our hearts become darkened.
Romans 1:21-23, For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…
- Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
A.As for you and your house, serve the Lord!
- A truth more important today than ever with so much vying for our attention.
Matthew 6:24, No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
- No one can serve (belong to) two masters.
- Here Jesus highlights the impossibility of serving God and wealth. Essentially, our treasure is either in heaven, or on earth.
- The way in which we live our lives is indicative of who we belong to.
- You can tell who or what you are serving by remembering that you will sacrifice for your God. Many sacrifice everything for the sake of wealth or possessions,
but do not sacrifice for the sake of Jesus.
Illus. It’s always the Lord’s calf.
- The important truth is, we can live our lives today, with eternity in view. Knowing that we have an opportunity, albeit a short one in comparison to eternity to make a real, significant and genuine impact for God’s kingdom.
1 Timothy 6:17-19, Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
- It is not about what you have, but about who or what has your heart. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.
- In this life, we store up treasures in heaven when we treasure Jesus most of all. When He is our treasure we commit our time, energy, ability, and money to His work in this world.
Illus. In Jesus’ name.
- Know that treasures in heaven are not susceptible to decay, or moths, or thieves, they are of eternal value.
Hebrews 6:10, For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
Colossians 3:23 -24, Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
- Choose to begin storing up treasures in heaven today!