A Kingdom-Hearted Devotion - Matthew 6:19-24

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Throughout the Scriptures we read of men and women who lived their lives with remarkable faith in God and with the belief that there are things worth living for beyond what we can see. In Hebrews 11 we have a reminder of some of these men and women who did things that from an earthly standpoint don’t make sense. But they were living by a different standard, they were living for a greater reward than the things of this life.

As we read the Sermon on the Mount, we recognize that Jesus is helping us see what it looks like live this kind of life. He is telling us what it looks like to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It’s a call to live counter-culturally. To love the things that God loves and value the things that God values. To live for heavenly things rather than earthy things.

In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus uses three different ways to identify who or what we are living for. As we consider our treasures, our vision and our master Jesus is calling us to evaluate our hearts. Are we living for God and things of God or for ourselves and the things of the world?

Consider your treasure: What are you living for? (6:19-21)

  • A passage about money? – In these verses Jesus is talking about money, we must not miss that. He cares about how we use our money. But this passage is not only about money, it’s about all the things we value and all the ways we make investments. As His people God is calling us to use the things He has given to us for His Kingdom.
  • The temporary nature of earthy treasures – Jesus makes this clear: everything in this life is temporary and fleeting. Everything we have can be destroyed or taken away. While God has given us many good things in this life that should be enjoyed, we must remember that there is a difference between temporary and eternal things.
  • The eternal nature of heavenly treasures – The call of Jesus is to give our lives (and our resources) to things of eternal value. Riches are not bad, but if God has given us riches we should use them for the sake of God and others (1 Timothy 6:17-19). 
  • A Barometer – Your treasure reveals your heart – In verse 21 Jesus makes it clear, our treasure and our hearts are connected. We can tell what we love and value by the way we use the things that God has given us. We will give our attention and our resources to things we love – and so our investments (monetary or otherwise) reveal our hearts.

Consider your vision: What are you focused on? (6:22-23) 

  • The metaphor – In these verses Jesus uses our eyes to represent our hearts or what we focus on. Good eyes or clear eyes are eyes that let in a lot of light (the things of God). On the other hand, bad eyes are eyes that aren’t open to the things of God and focus on darkness (the things of the world). 
  • The question – The implied question is, how are your eyes? What are you focused on? If we have eyes that are focused on the things of God, our lives will reflect that. If our eyes are not open to the things of God, our lives will reflect that instead. 
  • The connection – This imagery is very much connected to the teaching on treasures. God has called us to love and value and focus on Him and the things of His Kingdom (Colossians 3:1-4).
  • A warning – At the end of verse 23 we have a sort of warning. It’s possible that we can see darkness and mistake it for light. We must guard our hearts so that we can distinguish the light from the dark – so we can discern the values and ways of God from the values and ways of the world.

Consider your master: Who are you serving? (6:24)

  • The nature of slavery – In the time of Jesus when a person hired or obtained a slave, that slave was to serve him and him alone. The slave was hired to be fully devoted to his master. It wasn’t a loyalty that could be split between two masters the way we may work for more than one employer. No slave can serve two masters.
  • The call – The call of Jesus is to determine who we are going to serve, God or money. Again, money represents the things of earth. We can love and live for the things of God or love and live for the things of earth – but we cannot do both. We must choose who we are going to serve.

Conclusion – As the people of God we must consider our hearts. Jesus is calling us to make God and the things of God ultimate and to recognize that our allegiance to Him should govern everything else. His Kingdom is eternal and we should strive to invest in things that are eternal, focusing on Him and serving Him alone.