Read This Week: Matthew 6
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” – Matthew 6:19-25 NIV
The treasures on earth. They, like our lives, are fragile. They are not immune to disappearing; they are not resistant to change. They can vanish tomorrow. They can be stolen and taken away much faster than it took to acquire them. The elements of the earth like moths, rats, and rust can destroy and corrupt them.
The carefully curated things that required time, energy, passion, creativity, and resources beyond imagination can often amount to nothing more than the cement residue left in the impressions of a statue. Verses 19-20 paints a pretty clear picture of this: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Why do we pursue these treasures on earth when we know they can be gone in an instant? Why do we sacrifice our lives to construct and guard them? Why do we forsake what matters most to preserve them? The words of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount were prescriptive. He said that we should pursue the things that rust, time, thieves, or disaster cannot touch. Things like righteousness, goodness, love, and mercy.
In essence, we should run hard after the things God values. That is laying up treasures in heaven, treasures that last forever. Then joy, peace, and fulfillment will reign even while our possessions, trophies, and earthly rewards are carried away, eaten, melted down, or aged beyond recognition. If our heart is right and concerned only with the things of heaven, it will not be a big deal when we don’t have any treasures on earth. Verses 20-21 says:
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We are to treasure Jesus most of all. When He is our treasure, we will commit our money, time, gifts, and talents to the gospel and the Lord’s work in the world. We see in this chapter that if we value the things of God above all and our passion lies in the running after what can never be taken away from us, we won’t worry. A life filled with heavenly treasures is one free from worry, and a life free from worry is treasured.
I got a word this week from Matthew 6 verse 31:
Do Not worry, nor be anxious for what you eat or wear
For God knows just what we need, don’t live in fear.
We need not strive, nor seek these things.
For God provides what we need and we shall live in His abundance, we shall feed.
So don’t worry about tomorrow.
What that means to me is to just take one day at a time. Tomorrow has worries of its own. We need to leave it all behind.
I agree with you wholeheartedly and resonate with your poem, Jeri. I think the value, health, and wisdom of taking it one day at a time with faith, confidence, and hope is practical yet extremely profound and overlooked in the Christian life. We need to indeed leave it all behind and press toward our purpose and mission.
I was drawn to teach on Prayer yesterday. Matthew 6:7-8 says, And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Father God knows what we need before we even ask Him. I believe He just likes to listen to us, He loves it when we come to Him first for everything. Then He really loves it when we listen and then take His advice and do it with Him. Prayer is speaking to Father God, communicating with Him, talking to our Daddy. We don’t have to go on and on, babbling, saying something over and over because He can hear us, he is right there with you, He is omnipresent.
When you’re talking to God you hope that God hears you, He knows what you’re going through, that He cares, and that He is really listening to us. God has great plans for us, a purpose, doing life with us. Today is that day, we are living in that plan today, our purpose is to live life with Father God today, all day long, every day, and as we learn we share it with others that’s the plan, that’s our purpose, all we take with us to Heaven is what we do with God, to help others, and be apart of what Father God is doing, aren’t you glad that God saved you, you get to go to Heaven one day?
In Jeremiah 29: 11-13 God is saying to us, For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
God knows what you’re going through, He does hear you, and He is looking to us to do our part too. However, His answer is not always yes because somethings could be spiritually detrimental to us, so we have to learn to trust Him. Father knows best, we’re all learning to recognize that God is committed to what is best for us, timing, and walking through the process with Him all day long. Prayer is not telling God what to do, or praying what we want to happen, we don’t have to beg, we just need to tell Him, share what’s on the heart and seek Him for His will to be done Because He cares, He loves you with His whole heart and He loves to help us, guide us in the right direction.
So like Jesus is saying in Matthew 6:34, So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. Don’t worry, God knows what is going on, Give it to Him, write it all down, get it all out of you, Let God encourage you because He really really cares and loves you.
There is so much good insight, wisdom, and commentary in your post, Heidi. I like how you married the two passages from Matthew 6 and Jeremiah 29 to communicate the message that we don’t need to worry because God knows the plans He has for us. Worry seems pointless when we know and understand the promise of His purposes for our lives.
His grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, and goodness are sufficient for each day and allow us to live in each day with success and joy without worrying about tomorrow. I feel like the principles you shared need to be received and understood by believers on a regular basis. It is a tremendous reminder of God’s sovereignty and provision for His children in all things.
In reading Matthew 6, this was what God was saying to me. Do not do righteous things for the sake of display. You as a Christian are to be seen doing good works, but you must not do good works simply to be seen. As far as giving, you are to freely give. There will be no reward in Heaven for you who give, who do it more for the motive of earthly reward. Give for My glory. If you pray not to be heard by Me, but to be seen by men, then you are insulting Me. If you speak words towards Me, while really trying to impress others, you are using Me as a tool to impress others. Pour out your heart before Me. Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue. I know the things you have need of before you ask Me. I do want you to bring every need and worry before Me. Prayer is for your needs and not your greed’s. Temptations are a test, but I promise to keep you from testing that is greater than you can handle. There is always a way out. Put My kingdom first and I will take care of all that you worry about. Trust Me, I’ve got you!
What this said to me was my motives in all that I do, must be to Glorify God. I need to pour out my heart to Him. I need not worry about tomorrow, live in the present, and trust God to meet all of my needs.
We must all check our motives constantly. It is so easy to lose sight of this and get off track in our lives even when the best intentions were there at the beginning. The guidance of the Holy Spirit and the recognizance of bringing glory to God in all we do are the anchors for us to stay on track.
Thank you for this insight, Kathy: My motives in all that I do must be to Glorify God. I need to pour out my heart to Him. I need not worry about tomorrow, live in the present, and trust God to meet all of my needs. May we all keep our focus on the glory of Christ and not on the worries of today.