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Audio Sermons

Matthew 6:19-24

The Sermon on the Mount:  

The Menace of Materialism

Life B-P Church Worship Service, 12 November 2017

    Text: Matthew 6:19-24

 

  • There are 2 spiritual dangers in this world that can distract us from following after Jesus: (i) a positive love for the things of this world (Matthew 6:19-24); (ii) a spirit of anxiety with respect to the things of this world (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • Materialism refers to the love for the things of this world. The Bible frequently warns against the sin of greed and materialism (Colossians 3:5; 1 John 2:15). Our attitude towards material things is a mark of our spiritual condition.

 

  1. The Injunction Against Materialism
  • Jesus says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth.” Treasures take many forms and consist more in the affections of the heart than in what one can hold in his hands. God is not against rich people or His people having money and material possessions (Deuteronomy 8:18). Materialism is a matter of the heart. It is the love of material things that draws our hearts away from Christ that is sinful.
  • First, Jesus forbids excessive and selfish seeking after worldly possessions and riches without moderation.
  • And secondly, Christ condemns those who puts their trust and find their satisfaction in the worldly things that they have stored up.
  • Jesus says, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”. We lay up treasures in heaven when we give of ourselves and our means to the service of God and others in Christ's name (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Use all that you have to glorify God; it is an investment in heaven (Luke 18:22).
  • Real spirituality is not seen in the gathering of wealth or material possessions, but in being delivered from loving it – whether we have it or do not have it.

 

  1. The Argument Against Materialism
  • All earthly treasures are temporal and uncertain. They are subject to decay, to destruction, and to being stolen (Job 1:21; Luke 12:16-21). Therefore, we cannot simply live for this world (Mark 8:36).
  • Spiritual wealth lasts forever; it doesn't depreciate (1 Peter 1:4). Everything we have belongs to God and we are to serve as stewards whether we are blessed with much or with little. Our possessions are never to become our masters, or even to compete with God for mastery over us.
  • Do not hold too tightly to earthly riches and possessions. We can't take it with us to heaven, but we can send it on ahead to prepare for our “retirement” in heaven. The only way to be free from the grip of materialism is keep close to God and to learn to give generously to the work of the gospel.

 

  1. The Dangers of Materialism
  • Material and financial possessions are temporal and the love for these things can draw us away from God. They can enslave the heart, mind and the will, and choke our spiritual life.
  • Danger of Misplaced Affection. Our heart will always follow our treasures or possessions (v21). Our treasures determine what we do with our lives. We will never be able to get our heart focused on God and heavenly things as long as our all-consuming attention is on material things (Luke 18:23).
  • Danger of Distorted Vision. Possessions not only enslave the heart, but it also enslaves the mind (v22-23). If our eye is single, we will view things in the light of God’s desire for us and with eternity in view. On the other hand, if our eye is evil (or, diseased), if we focus on earthly things, we will be filled with “great darkness” - we will never be content or truly happy. Poor spiritual vision influences the entire direction of our lives (eg. Lot).
  • Danger of Divided Allegiance. Material possessions not only enslave the heart and mind, they can also enslave the will (v24). A man will either choose to serve God or will choose to serve himself by trying to acquire riches. We have to make a choice.
  • The menace of materialism - it is not only very powerful; it is very subtle (2 Timothy 4:10; Matthew 13:22; Ecclesiastes 5:12). We must set our affection on things of eternity and use the temporal goods that God has blessed us with wisely (Colossians 3:2).

 

Questions for Reflection

  1. What does the Bible teach about wealth, material possessions and the “things of this world”?
  2. Where would you say your treasure is - on earth or in heaven? How can you “store up” treasure in heaven?
  3. Jesus says: “Ye cannot serve both God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Why? How does this speak to you right now?

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

November 19 & 26 - The End of the World

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10