"The ultimate good in life is to treat things according to their true value." Jonathan edwards
Mathew 6:25-34 — Jesus spoke more about the temporal versus the eternal than any other topic. The world, the devil and the flesh are constantly trying to get us to devalue what God says is important (the spiritual and eternal) and highly value the temporal things of life. "He (Jesus) said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight." (Luke 16:15) "The world measures (values, esteems) people by how much they get (possessions, position, prestige, power) but God measures (values) people by how much they give." Warren Wiersbe
Values run deeper and are far more important than any other single factor, for our values drive our behavior. "Where your treasure is (values are) there your heart (motivations, behaviors) will also be." (Matthew 6:21) Yet our actions (investing in the kingdom) in faith and obedience can change our heart and values. What we value are uncompromisable convictions that drive and direct our behavior, motivate us and give us reasons why we do things and why we won’t do other things. If our actions don’t reflect what we say we value, we are only fooling ourselves and in fact, value what is reflected in our behavior. Paul’s highest value was "I want to know Christ intimately and become like Him" and he considered everything else he had valued in the past or would have to give up in the future as rubbish ("dung") compared to this. (Philippians 3:7-10)
Jesus is The Model of how to live and He used and converted the temporal things of this life, time, talents and money, into heavenly currency, i.e., He stored up treasures in heaven by giving all for God’s glory and man’s eternal good. And remember as we "behold Him by the Spirit we are changed into His likeness." (2 Corinthians 3:18) The genius of the Christian life is to constantly "fix our eyes on Jesus" through His Word, by the Spirit and through His witnesses.
God has set eternity in our hearts and only eternal things will satisfy us. (See Solomon’s (who "had it all") message in Ecclesiastes and especially 3:11) Unless we have eternal values at the core of all we do we are ships without rudders wandering aimlessly through the seas of life. For example, in business, what matters most when we are weighing bottom-line costs against bottom-line (eternal) convictions? Do what is right (righteous) and it will have eternal value. Remember, "secular" work becomes spiritual when it is done to please God, and "religious" work becomes secular when it is done to impress people. Money is not evil but what we do with it has eternal implications.
Make Monday – Friday count for eternity.
Jesus contrasts 2 treasures (earthly or heavenly), 2 eyes (clear or clouded), and 2 masters (God or mammon). We can’t store up treasures in two different places so we must choose. We can’t focus on two different values at the same time (eternal or temporal) so we must choose. Nor can we serve two different masters at the same time for a master demands exclusive loyalty. "Serve" here refers to the work of a slave, not just an employee, and in a Master—slave relationship the Master owns the slave. God demands total commitment to Him even to the point of "hating" (in comparison to our love and commitment to Christ) our own family members and our own life. In some cultures, even today, new believers actually have to make that choice. (Luke 14:26) "Choose for yourselves this day (each day) whom you will serve." (Joshua 24:15)
God says "Come let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18) and He gives three reasons why we need not worry about our needs. 1) Since He gave us life and a body surely He will give us what we need to care for it – food and clothing. 2) Since He cares for the birds and the grass (His creation) will He not care for the pinnacle of His creation – Man. And, 3) in Christ we are no longer just part of God’s creation, like the pagans, but we are His sons and He is our Father . As our Father He knows what we need, loves us to death (literally) and is all powerful. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
So seek first the kingdom of God (let God rule your heart and actions) and His righteousness (The Great Commandment and Commission) and He will give us what we "need" to live. Often the cause of anxiety is not that we are worried about God meeting our needs but we are worried that He might not meet our "wants" — the standard of living to which we have grown accustomed.
(Comments from a missionary in Russia on materialism) And don’t worry about tomorrow for God’s grace can’t be stored up. He gives it as we need it — day by day. He wants us to know we are totally dependent on Him every day.
"He (Jesus) said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight." (Luke 16:15) " What do men "highly value" that God finds detestable?
If our actions reveal that our true values (treasures) are not eternal what can we do to change?
"I can’t get no satisfaction" — Why did the Stones and Solomon say that stuff down here won’t truly satisfy us?
If this is true why do people still chase after the bucks? (See Mark 4:19)
Discuss the three reasons God says not to worry. Which one speaks to you the most?
Did God speak to you today and if so what is your response?