THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT -- LESSON NINETEEN
"Wise Investing The Christian and Wealth"
I. This text is divine teaching concerning one of the greatest problems
confronting man: Developing the proper attitude toward the physical and
spiritual things of the universe.
II. The last of the ten commandments dealt with this vital matter: "Thou
shalt not covet...." (Exodus 20:17.)
III. Jesus teaches in the beatitudes that the blessed life does not depend upon
earthly, but spiritual, wealth.
A. He also said, "Take heed, and keep yourselves from all
covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of
the things he possesseth." (Luke 12:15.)
B. Yet earthly goods are essential for life they feed our bodies and
minds, clothe us, keep us warm, strong, healthy, etc.
C. But earthly goods must be kept in proper perspective, under right
control, and used wisely.
IV. One's treasure is that which he loves, and considers most precious.
V. Hence, there is danger to the soul in material things, of which Jesus
I. "LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON THE
EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST CONSUME, AND WHERE
THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL." (19)
A. What Jesus does not forbid.
1. He does not forbid the prudent accumulation of money or
property, for this, properly used, is one way of transforming it
into heavenly treasure. (1 Tim. 6:19.)
2. He does not forbid the mere possession of wealth, for it is of
this that one may give and lay up treasure in heaven. (Ephesians
B. What is it to "lay up treasures upon the earth?"
1. It is to place our primary love and trust in things rather than in
God: "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not
rich toward God." (Luke 12:21.) Jesus said such a person is a
2. It is to love and trust God less than money. (Mark 10:24;
3. The material-mindedness which hoards an uncurbed or
unregulated appetite to collect and accumulate earthly treasures.
4. It is to set our chief ambitions and affection upon earth. (1
C. Why Jesus warns against such treasure hoarding.
1. Their disappointing nature: "The deceitfulness of riches."
(Matthew 13:22). A money-loving heart is certain to be
"pierced through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:9,10.)
The appeal of the material is powerless to satisfy the needs of
the spiritual within us, or give to us abiding peace, joy, etc. Let
us all heed the warning!
2. The danger of loss: "The uncertainty of riches." (1 Timothy
6:17.) By this Jesus warns of the insecure, temporal, transient
nature of earthly treasure, exposed to outward forces and inward
threats: Fire, storm, flood, fashion changes, war, earthquake,
thieves, etc. "The world passeth away, and the lust thereof..."
(1 John 2:17.)
3. Unholy influence upon the heart and soul: "For where thy
treasure is, there will thy heart be also." (Verse 21.)
a. They steal and enslave the heart.
b. This is the main reason Jesus offers for laying our treasures
up in heaven.
c. It is natural that our heart will be set upon that around
which our thoughts, feelings, and willpower are centered.
d. Our happiness is determined by the quality, purity, and
wisdom of the principles which govern our daily lives, not
the abundance of our material possessions.
II. "LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN,
WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CONSUME, AND
WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL."
A. What it means to "lay up treasure in heaven."
1. To make heavenly treasure our primary consideration in life.
2. It is a treasure of faith, love, character, good works, joy.
3. It is to possess wealth not only in that house not made with
hands, but "within our own hearts in the life that now is...To
make Christ our banker is to be rich in faith and hope and love
in the here and now." --Chappell.
B. What are the channels or avenues for so doing?
1. A godly life, lived for Christ, which glorifies God. (John
2. A life of faith, love, courage, hope, which means a forgiving
spirit and generous use of our means. (1 Timothy 6:17-19.)
3. "Go, sell that which thou hast and give to the poor, and thou
shalt have treasure in heaven." (Matthew 19:21.)
C. The wisdom of laying up treasure in heaven.
1. It is absolutely safe: "Where thieves cannot...." "Such wealth
the world is powerless to give and is equally powerless to take
2. A faithful Christian life is incorruptible. (1 Peter 1:3,4.)
3. "Friends" made with the mammon of unrighteousness can
receive us into eternal tabernacles. (Luke 16:9.)
4. "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John
5. Such treasure exercises a heavenly influence: "For where thy
treasure is, there will thy heart be also."
III. THE LIGHT OF THE BODY. (6:22, 23.)
A. "The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light." (22)
1. This illustration, based upon facts well known, describes the
man whose mental vision is single, not double; clear, not
confused or distorted the man who truly and wisely lays up
lasting, satisfying treasure.
2. He sees where he is going, his body being well supplied and
3. A life ruled by the single overruling purpose, to be always
well-pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; Daniel 1:8), will not be
defeated by darkness or death it has light and life abundant.
B. The problem (barrier) of a divided mind: "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 the darkness!" (23)
1. Seeing double is seeing evil! "Remember Lot's wife." (Luke
2. He whose eye is evil is he who lays up treasure for himself upon
earth and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:21.)
3. A life ruled by selfish desire will be torn by confusion,
conflicting interests, and inevitably defeated. (James 1:5-8.)
4. "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20;
C. The injurious nature of greed: "A root of all kinds of evil." (1
1. It blinds our spiritual vision to life's best things.
2. It takes away compassion.
3. It destroys the spirit of liberality.
4. It argues against fair-play, and the law of sowing and reaping.
5. It creates imbalance within us: Concentrating upon our lesser
needs, while disregarding, or barely considering, our greatest
5. THE FATAL NATURE OF COVETOUSNESS. (Verse 24.)
A. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the
other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (24)
1. This general principle applies wherever two masters have
conflicting interests or priorities.
2. It is impossible to journey along, in the middle of the road, with
one foot in the camp of each of two "masters." (1 Kings
B. One is forced to choose which master is "first," for sooner or later
our loyalty to each must be known.
1. Man was created to serve someone (something) supremely, will
choose, and must choose the supreme object of his affections.
2. He who chooses to lay up his treasure in heaven chooses to