OceanSide church of Christ

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Where Your Treasure Is…

Wayne Rodgers

Text: Matt 6:19-24  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  (20)  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (21)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  (22)  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (23)  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  (24)  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


Thesis:  to focus our lives on treasure in heaven, not material things of this world.


1.     Story is told of a man who had become very wealthy and attributed all his wealth and success as blessings from God.  He said that there a time when all he had in life was about a $100.  One Sunday, he gave it all in contribution to the church to help further the cause of Christ.  He said, “I believe this is why I am very wealthy today.  God has blessed me because I gave all that I had to Him.”  An elderly lady sitting in the same pew leaned over toward him and said, “I dare you to do it again!” 

A.     While the story serves as just an illustration for us to consider, there is great truth to be gained from it.

2.     The HEART’S TREASURE will be our topic of discussion in this lesson.

3.     It seems that the focus of our heart, the effectual effort put forth and the gained outcome all relate in the sense that our heart’s focus is the driving force behind it all.

A.     Our motive, intention, and object are all driven by the heart.

B.     The treasure is that which we seek.

4.     Many believe riches and possessions will secure happiness, peace, and stability in life.

A.     While temporarily, it may give some reason to rejoice, it is not that which brings eternal joy and happiness.

B.     Is it that which would sustain us “eternally?”

5.     The apostle Paul taught:

A.     Col 3:1-2  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  (2)  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

B.     2Co 9:5-8  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.  (6)  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  (7)  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.  (8)  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

6.     Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6).

A.     This verse, as well as the rest of the Sermon on the Mount teaches us about what is truly important in this life.

B.     A life of happiness is available to the child of God, who takes note of the Master’s teaching.

C.     Happiness is a common desire in us all.

7.     It is often the case that we will spend our times, money and effort so that we might be happy or at least have the appearance of being happy.

A.     However, true happiness comes from serving the Lord.

B.     The Psalmist declares, “Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 144:15).

8.     Our Lord teaches us through this Sermon that we can have true happiness in our lives if we live to serve the God of Heaven and do His will, which includes serving others.

9.     The key phrases of our text will serve as our outline in this lesson.  Notice:



      I.          LAY NOT UP

Matt 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

A.     Treasures on earth come in many forms and fashions.  Money, land, homes, cars, cattle, recreational toys, clothing, etc. which have become treasures to all.

B.     The prohibition is not against having these things, but rather that these material possession become our sole purpose and intent of living.

1.   They have been given the utmost importance and focus in our lives, and we have become consumed with them.

2.   Coffman writes:

a.     Christians must curb the acquisitive and hoarding instincts.  Earthly possessions cannot satisfy.  This can be illustrated in nearly any community, in almost every life … The pursuit of earthly treasures is a disease that feeds and increases upon itself.  This hungry pursuit of wealth, or any earthly achievement, pierces the pursuer through with many arrows, temptations, and snares, as well as thrusting him into many foolish and hurtful lusts…”

b.     1Tim 6:9-10  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  (10)  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

3.   William Barclay reminds his readers that it is a very common thing to seek the vest value for our purchases.

a.     Whether we are buying a house, car, stocks, clothing, food, etc., we search for the greater value and make our choices based on the best value of that item.

b.     We will often examine the solidity and permanence and craftsmanship of the item.

C.     Jesus is teaching us that treasures on earth have no permanence; therefore, are the lesser in value than treasure in heaven.

1.   The fallacy in hoarding up earthly treasure is seen in the destruction and theft of them (v.19b).

2.   Clothing and fine linen eaten up by moths, a product eaten away by rust, something stolen by thieves, etc. have no permanence.

D.     Having these possessions does not mean one is in sin, but according to previous verses shown, it is presenting a temptation that the majority will not be able to overcome.

E.     Matthew later will record a conversation with a rich young man (Matt. 19:16-24) showing the difficulty of one who is rich or one wishing to be rich should beware.

1.   “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven…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.”

2.   Prov. 23:4-5

F.      Job had great wealth and possessions which were gone in the blink of an eye. 

G.    Oh how quick we can be without these treasures we hold so dear in our lives!


    II.          LAY UP

Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

A.     Treasure in Heaven

1.   The Jews were familiar with this phrase.

2.   Two things in particular that they identified such treasure:

a.     Deeds of kindness which a man did upon the earth became his treasure in heaven.

b.     Barclay tells a famous Jewish story about a certain King Monobaz of Abiabene who became a convert to Judaism:

“Monobaz distributed all his treasures to the poor in the year of famine.  His brothers sent to him and said, ‘Thy fathers gathered treasures, and added to those of their fathers, but thou hast dispersed yours and theirs.’ He said to them, ‘My fathers gathered treasures for below, I have gathered treasures for above; they stored treasures in a place over which the hand of man can rule, but I have stored treasure in a place over which the hand of man cannot rule; my fathers collected treasures which bear no interest, I have fathered treasures which bear interest; my fathers gathered treasures of money, I have gathered treasures in souls; my fathers gathered treasure for others, I have gathered treasures for myself; my fathers gathered treasure in this world, I have gathered treasures for the world to come.’”

B.     Jesus and the Jewish Rabbis were sure that what is selfishly hoarded is lost, but that which is generously given away brings treasure in heaven.

1.   Monobaz made the point in his defense that he had “gathered treasure for himself.”

2.   This is the enticement for such activity which today in our society is becoming rare.

C.     We can look forward to reaping rewards from benevolent and charitable giving for an eternity.

D.     We should remember this principle as we consider what we may do with what possessions or wealth we have.



Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

A.     A treasure is defined as:

1.   Wealth, esp. in the form of jewels and precious objects, often accumulated or hoarded

2.   Something of great value or worth

3.   Somebody who is highly valued or loved.

B.     Something that we treasure has our affections, our heart and our being.

C.     Everything about us seeks to please the desire to possess it, keep it, etc.

1.   It is what means the most to us.

2.   We must search our hearts diligently to know where our true affection lies.

D.     In Galatians 6:7-8, the apostles Paul warned: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

1.   McGarvey says,

a.     “Here is the chief reason for laying up treasures in heaven and not on earth.  Where the heart is, there is our source of happiness.  If it is on the earth, our happiness must partake of all the uncertainty of earthly things, and it must be lost forever when we leave the world.  But, if it is in heaven, when we leave this world we may go away to the real sources of our happiness, and we find them as durable as eternity.”

2.   We can easily ask “Where is thy heart?”

a.     This is the concern of Jesus.

b.     There is to be a preference of the spiritual rather than the worldly or material.

c.      We must remember: possessions must be possessed; they must not possess their owners.

3.   Hobbs says that your concept of values will be shown by the place in which you seek to accumulate your treasures.  It is just as true to say, “For where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.”

E.     It was said of George Herbert, the poet:

1.   He and several friends would meet to play their instruments like a small orchestra.  Once he was on his way to a meeting of this group, when he passed a delivery person who cart was stuck in the mud in the ditch.  George Herbert laid aside his instrument and went to help the man.  It was a long job to get the cart out, and he finished covered in mud.  When he finally arrived at the house of his friends, it was too late for music.  He told them what had detained him on the way.  One said, “You have missed all the music.”  George smiled, “Yes, but I will have songs at midnight.”

2.   He had the satisfaction of having done this act of service, which revealed a Christ-like spirit.

F.      Whenever we put our money and efforts into something we develop vested interests in that thing.

1.   Ideally, it would seem our treasures will go where our heart is.

2.   If we examined our credit card statements and bank accounts, we will see just where our hearts are.

3.   Our heart is wherever we put our treasures!

G.    Therefore, we should work it in reverse order…let us get our hearts in the right place, our treasures will then follow.


  IV.          THE EYE

Mat 6:22-23  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (23)  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

A.     The eye = called the “light of the body.

B.     Two types of eyes:

1.   The single eye & the evil eye.

2.   ESV translate “single” as “healthy” & “evil” as “bad.”

C.     The illustration is given by Jesus in these verses to show that our vision can be distorted and therefore, we must be careful to keep our eyes healthy.

1.   Often it is the view that we have others causing us to be prejudice, jealous, or full of self-conceit.

2.   This will cause me to have a distorted view and will in effect NOT ALLOW the proper amount of light in for the body.

D.     This will take away that opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven.

1.   It will cause me to not use my treasure to help others and spread the cause of Christ.

2.   This type of generous giving to others will help us to see more clearly the vision and work of Christ.

E.     It is this upon which we must stay focused.




Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

A.     Service.

1.   Barclay gives background to verse 24

a.     To one brought up in the ancient world this is an even more vivid saying than it is to us.  The RSV translates it: No one can serve two masters. But that is not nearly strong enough.  The word which the RSV translates “serve” is doulos which is a slave…or douleuein which means to be a slave to.  The word “master” is a word which denotes absolute ownership.

2.   We get the meaning far better, when we see it translated: “No man can be a slave to two owners.”

B.     Exclusive service.

1.   No one can equally serve two masters.

2.   Mammon is a Chaldee term for riches or money. 

3.   In this case, it seems to be used for the entire system of materialism which is a system in which the devil, the god of this world (John 12:31) uses to snatch us away from our OWNER & MASTER.

C.     God is our MASTER and wants all, not bits and pieces.

1.   He is looking for and expecting our very best services and offering.

2.   One camped with a foot in the world and one in heaven is deceiving himself.

3.   He is our ABSOLUTE OWNER.

D.     It’s time that we as the children of God realize this great truth.



1.     The apostle Paul and James, the half brother of our Lord both declared themselves “servants” of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; James 1:1).

2.     Joshua pleaded with the children of Israel to serve God (Josh. 24:14-16).

Josh 24:14-16  Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.  (15)  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  (16)  And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

3.     We should know that all things belong to God (Psalm 24:1; 50:10, 12) and that people are more important than possessions.

4.     Knowing this can help us put in proper order our priorities and responsibilities in serving God and our fellow man.  In Jesus’ teaching it is the master who gives his servants the talents (Matt. 25:15), and the owner who gives the husbandmen the vineyard (Matt. 21:33). 

a.     This principle has far-reaching consequences.

b.     Men can buy and sell things; men can to some extent alter and rearrange things; but man cannot create things. 

5.     The ultimate ownership of all things belongs to God.

a.     There is nothing in this world of which a man can say, “This is mine.”

b.     Of all things he can only say, “This belongs to God, and God has given me the use of it.”