Author: Ron Graham
This page concludes our study of Matthew chapter 6 as we continue to look at the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew chapter six is mostly about attitudes toward money, whether it be our motives for giving money away, or our devotion to storing it up. Once we grasp the certainty that God will bless us with everything we need, if we will cast our cares upon him and serve him wholeheartedly, then life becomes not only bearable but exciting and fruitful.
Our motives for practising religion, our anxieties about the future, our willingness to forgive wrongs committed against us, are all things that depend very much on our outlook toward money and worldly possessions. Attitudes toward money and possessions affect our relationships with other people, our relationship with God, and the way we see ourselves and our future.
Not least among the things affected is our service to God and the treasure we lay up with him in heaven. In short, if we have the wrong attitude toward mammon, then we are in danger of losing eternal life with God.
Eternal life ought to be the first and foremost thing in our lives. Even the necessities of life, such as food and clothing, are less important than eternal life. As for accumulating wealth beyond the provision of life’s reasonable needs, that is hardly compatible with devotion to Christ, his kingdom, and his righteousness.
You cannot serve God and mammon. That is Jesus’s judgment of the matter. His attitude is: choose you this day whom you will serve. It cannot be both, and those who try to serve both, play a dangerous game. Jesus reminds us, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). In this connection he even counsels those who have too much treasure on earth to sell their possessions and give to the poor (Luke 12:33-34).
|Second part of the Sermon on the Mount|
|Treasure in Heaven||6:19-21||12:33-34|
|Lust of the eye||6:22-23||11:34-36|
|God and money||6:24||16:13|
1. What can we do so as not to be anxious? (Look at Philippians 4:6-7)
2. According to Jesus, we should not being anxious about tomorrow, we should seek first God’s kingdom, and we should trust in God’s providence. Does this mean that we should not give attention to providing our daily needs? (Look at 1Timothy 5:7-8, 6:7-8, 2Thessalonians 3:10-12).
3. A person says, "I put my job first, not because it makes me rich —that is just incidental— but because of the good that I do, and the difference I can make to the world. My work is for the benefit of others, therefore my work is God’s work. So, in putting my job first, I am putting God first." Can you comment?
4. How much material provision do we need, and how much should we seek? How much is too little, and how much is too much?