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The Treasure Principal



19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 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!

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."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and great privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People all around the world are responding to God's Word, with more and more coming to Christ. This is so amazing!
Therefore, we ask you to pray that God will continue to give those of who teach the Word of God the courage and boldness to speak the truth in ministry, as we continue increasing face of adversity in the coming days! It's becoming increasingly difficult in the world in which we live to speak truth to a culture that's literally offended by everything, especially biblical truth. Pastors are being silenced for speaking the truth in God's Word. Please pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted around the world for their faith in Christ.

It's no secret, we live in a materialistic society. If your heart is consecrated to God, you will be weaned away from this world. Our Lord Jesus taught extensively about the ministry of money. If you were to collect all His teachings on the acquisition of wealth and on the use of wealth, you would discover that wealth was a major concern. Therefore, the subject of money must be very important to God. Scripture is clear, you cannot serve God and money. Jesus’ words in our text demand thoughtful consideration. As He addresses the issue of money, He exposes our hearts as to where our treasure is found. Though money itself is not evil, the impact that money has on the individual’s soul is powerful and persuasive. The place money occupies in one’s heart, reveals a great deal about one's character and values. As well does the way in which one uses his wealth.

As we begin our study of the text today, I invite you to consider asking yourself, what one thing in your life brings you the greatest pleasure. I encourage you to write down the first thing to come to your mind. Be honest. And don't cheat, no changing your answer. When your relationship with God is right, the desire in your heart for the material vanishes and turns toward the spiritual. Not that it is wrong have earthly treasures per se, but our focus should be on laying up our treasure in heaven. Allow me to remind you, that earthly treasure perish and cannot be taken with us when we die. Only the treasure stored in heaven will endure forever. I have come to understand this in my own life. I pray that you do.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You for Your Word. We praise You for the clarity of Christ's teaching. Father, I thank You for every precious soul joining us today and pray that You would touch every life here with us, and give us the heart of Christ. Help us not to be concerned with the comforts of this life, but to be more compassionate, so engulfed in the spiritual needs of others, that we lose sight of our own material desires beyond that which we need to continue to live in obedience to Your Word. Help us to become more like Christ, Who though He was rich, became poor  for our sakes, that through His poverty might be made rich. Father, I pray that You would grant us unending desire to serve the One Who gave His all to us.
We ask and pray in Christ's name for His sake and Your glory.
Today's Message:  The Treasure Principal

We have become a society of acquiring "things." Our success is defined by wealth and the number and value of the things that we possess. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus warned us about the issue of those things which we value and our attitude toward those things. 
You will remember Jesus' teaching in the parable of The Rich Young Ruler in Mark chapter 10. "As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’" And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!"

Again, in and of itself, riches are not a sin. It is the improper use of those riches that makes it a sin. Believe it or not, not all societies are like our. There are some societies who do not have an abundance of things. I've got some rather disturbing news for some of you, when you die, they're only going to put one thing in that box: You. And if you plan to be in heaven, there is no pockets in heavenly robes. Yet, in spite of this, many Christians are consumed with acquiring things. Sadly, many of the religious elitists in Jesus' day faced the same issue. They were covetous and they were greedy. The treasures acquired in this life cannot survive the judgement. In fact, they are all destined for dust.

Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6. As we continue our study of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, we come to verses 19 through 24. 

I invite you to follow along as I read as we prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 6:19-24. Today, Jesus is going to challenge us to determine "Where is your treasure?" Jesus is again affirming what it takes to live in God's Kingdom, He does it in contrast to the Pharisees inadequate standards.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

"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!

"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."
Jesus is reminding us that the things of this world will be destroyed, the possessions which money can buy must all perish. He is certainly not speak against providing for one’s family. The Word of God instructs us to provide for our families. The Lord knows we need food and housing, but perhaps some of you have more food than you're able to eat and more house than you can actually occupy. And in our society, we require transportation, but do we really need to drive a car that is upgraded on an annual basis? Security is reasonable, and it is commendable but when that security cause us to desire to accumulate more for the sake of accumulating, we must be confronted that we are heading toward divine condemnation.

We would do well to recall that the Word of God cautions us in Hebrews 13, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have." You must not only have the right view of yourself but you must have the right view of the Word of God. Then you must have the right view of moral issues, and of the world, which is not just what you do or don’t do, it's also what you think. 

There are some people who treasure power,  Jesus reminded Pilate that earthly power is meaningless in the Kingdom of God. In fact, Pilate possessed no power except that which God had given him. The same is true of you and I, we are responsible to employ the power that He has given us to the glory of God.

Perhaps some of you treasure pleasure. There are pleasures that God blesses and there are illicit pleasures. But any pleasure that crowds God out becomes illicit. Recreation and self-indulgence has become far too common for many of God's people. We live in a nation filled the opportunity to pursue pleasure. It is deeply disturbing that many Christians are choosing the pleasure of serving self over the pleasure of serving God. 

Let's look at verse 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Jesus is talking about things, about worldly treasures. Those in Jesus’ day would have likely understood this better than we do today, they didn’t have checking accounts, debit cards and credit cards, they had actual precious metals which could tarnish, their fabrics could be eaten by moths, their herds could be stolen, their fields could suffer from the attacks of harmful insects. Our experience is much different today, our possessions can be wiped away by theft or a natural disaster, our wallets can be lost stolen, the economy can send into financial ruin. Jesus is pointing out that all the things on this earth that we treasure are fragile and temporary.

The Pharisees and the scribes had the wrong perspective of wealth. In fact, they had the wrong perspective on a lot of things. All the earthly treasures we now store can be taken from us, and will vanish in that awesome day when God unleashes His judgement upon the earth.  

In II Peter 3, Peter tells us "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

All that is in the earth will be destroyed, and we who preach need such a reminder must listen to our own message! We all must be reminded how a genuine follower of Jesus Christ is supposed to live. The treasures in heaven cannot be replicated, they cannot affected by market trends, they cannot rust and they cannot be stolen  The treasures in heaven are more valuable than gold and more faithful than the morning sunrise. They are imperishable, undefiled and unfading. Yet, many are more satisfied with the treasure of the earth. Jesus warns us not to mistake earthly possessions for treasure. 

Some have taken this to mean that it is wrong for Christians to invest in things that are for gain. We can invest all that we want for gain, so long as it's used for a heavenly purpose, and not for selfish gain! Here, Jesus commands us to invest in heavenly things. Everything we invest in should be devoted to God, His ways, for His purposes. Therefore, focus your heart's desire on the riches above, rather than the riches of the world. Focusing on worldly riches and earthly treasures is not the way an authentic Christian should live! 

If we are to be in God's Kingdom, we have to face what Jesus is saying here. For some of you, this is going to be a heart searching message, a very convicting message. We cannot just avoid it, we have to talk about it. Before you become uncomfortable, this is not my message, this comes right from God’s Word. And if you believe in God, and you believe His Word, don't cheat yourself by limiting what He has for you. God's Word is always for our good. 

The Bible says we are not to discharge our ministry for the sake of filthy lucre. It is the inevitable course that leads false teachers to greed and the immoral lust of money, in fact it's hypocritical. Those who teach the Word of God have a great responsibility before God, and the people of God. Tragically, many are religious phonies and absolute hypocrites! The Pharisees were doing exactly the same thing, using they're position to fill their pockets. Any like so many today they boast, "Look at how much God is blessing me. Obviously He is pleased." I hasten to add, there is nothing more displeasing, distasteful and disgusting to God! That's why Jesus said a rich man could no more get into the Kingdom of God than a camel could go through the eye of a needle. 

What a powerful statement. As Christians, we must carefully guard our heart, because a heart that follows the things of God and is not distracted by the things of this world. Jesus is challenging each of us to examine our hearts and ask ourselves "Where is our treasure?" We must also ask ourselves, "Where is our focus?" Are our eyes fixed upon the seen or the unseen? Are we living a life of faith, living for God or living for ourselves? Are we serving God or are we serving money? Sadly, many today equate money with the blessing of God as if it is the mark of their spirituality. That is exactly what the Pharisees did, it was their whole system. To be rich was to be holy, and the more money they had, the holier they believed themselves to be. In doing so, they became perverted, and greedy, and corrupt.

In I Corinthians 3 Paul writes "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."
The Old Testament is replete with warnings against riches, greed, and covetousness. You can find them in Exodus 20, and Proverbs 23 and 28. Yet, in spite of all of those warnings the Pharisees wanted money. And the more they gathered for themselves, the more they wanted.  It is not too difficult to imagine that many of us today have laid up for ourselves treasures upon the earth, showing where our hearts truly are. The question becomes are we willing to let go of all that we have obtained here on earth in order to gain eternal life? Or are we too like the rich young ruler, unwilling to let go of our earthly treasures in order to truly follow Jesus? Do we have a proper view of money, wealth, and possessions?
In America, we are living in a time of great inflation. Everybody is talking about it, economists are predicting what’s going to happen and when, whether or not thing are going to collapse. While I am not an economist, I can tell you what the reason is for all this inflation. Greed! Plain, pure and simple greed. We will never be able to deal with the problem of inflation in this world until we first deal with the heart of men because greed dominates how society a free society functions. As long as the hearts of greedy men desire more and more, they'll find a way to obtain it. And, as we have already seen, more people will find more ways to buy it. Just look at the debt in this country! The problem is greed and self-indulgence. That is the issue the Lord is dealing with here, whether we are going to lay up our treasure on earth or in heaven. We have  to make a choice!
So, in verses 20 and 21, He says "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
We all know that when moths get into our clothes, even the most expensive fabrics, they eat holes right through them. And, you can have the nicest, most expensive car in the world, but due to harsh weather conditions, eventually rust will destroy it. In order to protect all the he has obtained, man has hidden safes to store his most precious valuables, security cameras and elaborate alarm systems. He does all that he can because of his great fear of someone taking them.
Then, in verses 22 and 23, Jesus says "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!"
Look, I know this is a tough message, it is for all of us, we are creatures of this present age. But we each must decide for ourselves whether we are going to exist in light or whether we’re going to exist in darkness, because we cannot do both. I want to think about what do you deem as most valuable?  Is it money and wealth, is it power? Acceptance and popularity? Someone once said, and rightly so, you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer! Even our most valuable world possessions are only temporary. 
Jesus is challenging each of us to examine our hearts, our minds and our attitudes. I know in my own life, there are a lot of people that come across my path and I've come to realize that I'm not always as sensitive to their needs as I ought to be. I've recognize that I need to be working on this. I have met and forgotten a lot of people in my life, but I have never forgotten those whose lives I have invested myself in. Not one! I remember their faces and their stories and to this very day, I think of them and pray for them often, because my heart is where I put my treasure.
At the end of our lives, we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for our lives here on the earth. What we did with what He's given us. Whatever we have laid upon that foundation, whether gold or silver, hay or straw, will go through the fire! 
Are you living the way God has asked you to live and following after Him in all that you do? Are you loving your neighbor as yourself? Are you honoring God in all of your relationships? Are you guarding your mind against lustful thoughts? Are you protecting your heart against deceitful practices? Or are we like the Pharisees, religious phonies whose morality is completely external? When we set our hearts on the things of this earth, we fall into the temptation of being worldly in our ways, and we are committing spiritual idolatry. Allowing the things of this world to become our god. Exodus 20:23 says "You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves." Have we too defied the law of God and substituted for it our own tradition? Rather than having genuine worship of God, have we substituted it for a false standard of worship, one of pure hypocrisy?

That's why in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus said "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
When your heart is right with God, you make a decision to start to walk in a new direction. Your life takes a direction that is dramatically different than the life you lived before. First, there is the conviction and confession of sin. Second, there is a desire for obedience to God's commands. Thirdly, there is a desire to praise God. Our hearts are revived through the reading and study of the Word. Have you allowed God's Word to change your life, both internally and externally? Or is it superficial, external change like the scribes and Pharisees? You can all relax, I'm not going to preach a message on giving. Because I truly believe that your heart and your treasure will go along together. That said, I believe that when your heart is right your giving will be right too. Your treasure is poured out toward the things of God.
Proverbs 23:7 says "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." And so we preach to the matter of the heart. As I've said many times before, the heart is the issue. If the heart is right it won't violate the law of God, we will not approach them hypocritically or superficially. Therefore, the heart has to be right. I've known many people who go regularly attend church, they read their Bibles daily, yet their hearts don't seem to change. I pray that you're not one of them. Are you obeying the law of God, allowing it to change your heart? 
Jesus said it best in verse 23, "If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" How great is the darkness in the heart of the one who should see the light? By definition, a slave means single ownership and full time service. The truth is we are all slaves; slaves of our sin or slaves of righteousness. Is your heart entirely devoted to obedience to God or is it still the property of Satan? Some of you are are still fighting against God's claim on your life! You feel it's infringing on what you want. You can't have it both ways. One commands you to walk by faith, the other to walk by sight. One calls you to be humble the other to be proud. you see, they are diametrically opposed. Only one of these can be your Master!
Jesus has been giving us a tremendous insight into how are to live and to see the matters of this life. Where is your heart? That's the real issue we must all deal with here. Notice throughout His sermon, He has been touching on every area of life. Because there are so many things which all narrow down to loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength. 
It all comes down to verse 24, where we are confronted with this tremendous statement, Jesus forces us to make a choice. "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." 
In Closing...
Over the years, I've had a number of people say "I don't agree with that!" I believe that's because they don't truly understand the word serve. The word serve as used here in the text is the verb "douleuó," from the word "doúlos," which means to serve as a slave, having all personal ownership-rights assigned to the owner. In other words, someone who belongs to another; without any ownership rights of their own. 
I know many of you are cringing inside right now, but that is what it means to serve God, to be a bond-slave. A slave is one who has absolutely no authority over himself. As Christ's devoted followers, we willingly live under His authority.  I know that some of you are beginning to justify yourself aren't you? Well, you can't! God requires 100% devotion. You are either serving God or serving Satan. 
J.C Ryle one wrote, "Singleness of purpose is the greatest secret of spiritual prosperity." The issue is the heart, plain and simple. 
May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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