DISCIPLESHIP: Priority and Provision

Posted by Yong Joo Park on 15 September 2014 in Matthew |

Matthew 6:19-34 

Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness 

I.  Treasure in heaven (19 – 24)

See v19a. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” Jesus says the reason at v19b. “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”  Here, moths are a major agricultural pest, which cause severe damage to forests and fruit farms. Also moths destroy clothing by eating holes in it. Rust is iron oxides, formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture, which destroys iron metal. Someone may say gold and silver are treasures that are not destroyed by moth or rust. But thieves may break in and steal such treasures.


Storing treasures on earth gives us great frustration, affliction and anger.


There are exploiters who consume too much time or resource of others. They are like harmful moth. Whatever you build will be getting out-dated because of new trend. Your old skills will be getting out-dated unless you keep update your skill. This is like rust to iron metal. Some people do not respect others’ copy right or IP. They are like thieves.


Have you been frustrated because you try to store up treasures on earth?


Then what does Jesus command us to do? See v20. He asks us to store up our treasures in heaven, where there is no moth, rust or thieves.

See v21. “21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “


It's obvious that the place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. So if the heaven is the place you most want to be, store treasures in heaven. If you want to end up in heaven, store treasures in heaven. It’s for you. Your treasures in heaven are safer than on earth. Your work for God is more rewarding than anything you invest in the world.


The lamp of the body (22 - 23)

Jesus says in v22a, “The eye is the lamp of the body.” If your eyes are good, your body has good lamps and is full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your body has bad lamps and is full of darkness.  If we have good knowledge in the Bible, we can have good biblical point of view. This will be like light in our lives. If we have poor knowledge in the Bible, we may have incorrect point of view. Some people make other source rather than the Holy Bible as their knowledge base. Many people believe and follow falsehood. Many people believe in the power of money. This is like making darkness as their light. Jesus warns “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” When they follow false lights, their darkness is great.


Two masters (24)

See v24. Jesus says “No one can serve two masters.”(24a). The reason is “Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Then, what are the two masters in our lives? Jesus says “You cannot serve both God and Money.” They are God and Money.


Some people think they can manage their lives without recognizing God. So they don’t believe God. To them, money looks practical and first. Their master is money.


Some people believe God but serve money as master. The Pharisees are such examples.


When Jesus said “You cannot serve both God and money.” in Luke 16:13, it is written in Luke 16:14,

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.


The Pharisees were religious leaders. But they were devoted to money and despised the son of God, Jesus.

When they loved money, they were against God and they were evil.


Paul says “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

See 1 Timothy 6:9,10.

9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


1 Timothy 6:6-8 teaches us to be content.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.


Solomon, the king of Wisdom said in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20,

      10 Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless.

11 As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owner
except to feast his eyes on them?

12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether he eats little or much,
but the abundance of a rich man
permits him no sleep.

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,

14 or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when he has a son
there is nothing left for him.

15 Naked a man comes from his mother's womb,
and as he comes, so he departs.
He takes nothing from his labor
that he can carry in his hand.

16 This too is a grievous evil:
As a man comes, so he departs,
and what does he gain,
since he toils for the wind?

17 All his days he eats in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.


I tried to first earn money to serve God. I know nothing wrong with earning money. But when the priority was wrong and money became like master in the life, I experienced great frustration by many things including people who take advantage of others for their own wealth. In difficulty, I recognized that God is wiser than me (1 Corinthians 1:25). When I decided to serve God in highest priority, God gave me stable income & more time for God’s work. Amen. Let us serve God first and money will follow. Our God is good God!


II.  Do not worry about life (25 – 34)

See v25a. “…do not worry about your life” and Jesus says the reason at v25b-32.

Jesus showed example of birds that God feeds them even though birds do not sow, reap or store. We are much more valuable than birds. Also he showed example of lilies that God clothes them even though they do not labor or spin. Jesus says God clothes them, which could be here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, then how much more will he clothes us.  Our heavenly Father knows that we need food, drink and clothes.

Food, drink and clothes are our basic needs. So if we don’t have faith on God and worry about them, our priority of life will become ensuring these things. But instead, what does Jesus ask us to do as a first priority? See v33.

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


This word teaches us priority of our life. What is the highest priority in your life each day? It is “seeking God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness”. This is the 1st priority among all other things everyday. If you do so, Jesus promises “all these things will be given to you as well.” (33b) This is a promise of God.


While you will experience frustration if you try to store up treasures on earth, you will experience God’s provision if you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.


When I saw churches continued to help the poor during Global Financial Crisis in 2009, I recognized that God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25) and I decided to obey God’s Word by faith. I started to read the Bible and pray to God everyday. I entrusted my situation to God, expecting His help. Since then, my situation has been improved.  I found Holy Spirit opened the way for me to gospel my neighbors. So, I started to gospel my neighbors. I realized that God takes care of what I need daily – food, house, and finance. When we care for His business, in return, God cares for our business.


Now I know that this happens because he actually promised as shown at v33.


This change on priority came naturally since I put reading the Bible and prayer in the first priority in the morning each day. I read the Bible only for 5 minutes in the beginning.


I pray everyone here today seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness everyday, live on God’s amazing provision everyday and store treasures in heaven everyday!


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