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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : The real treasure

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Matt 6: 19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

There are two major disturbances for the Christian - both as dangerous as the next - the attitude towards Wealth and Poverty.

The Lord commands us here "not to collect treasure on earth." The problem is not the wealth and goods but our attitude towards it. Who does it belong to? Is it something for the "me" and not for the Kingdom? Do not fall into the error of being satisfied with education, carreer and financial sucesses. These very things may lead to your downfall if your attitude towards them is not based on Christ's warning.
There are some Christians who get so bogged down by their success that, though they might make it to heaven, they have lost their glory and are unuseable in God's Hands.

The secret is not to "become attached" to treasures. Paul is the ultimate example where, in Philipians 3, he shares his attitude towards his success stories. All the things which were "gain" he counted as, not just loss, but as dung (he used the crudest language to describe this).

Through history there have been those in the Church who are enslaved by money. Think of the great buildings which the Roman Catholic church was wanting to build in Rome, in the 15th and 16th centuries. The terrible system of "indulgences" was used to collect money. Johan Tetzel was one of the main proclaimers of this "theology". He preached and convinced people (regarding money for his coffers to go to Rome) that "every time your coin at the bottom of the coffer rings, a soul from hell springs". Thank God for Martin Luther who exposed the lie.

Then there is the category of those who are poor and do not have the right attitude towards their poverty. Instead of casting their cares upon the Lord they spend their lives in nervous fear about whether they can make ends meet. The devil seeks people like this. He is "hell's hawk" who has cast his eye upon you if your eye is not upon your Lord. Jesus said so clearly in our text that it is the "pagan" mind which is always anxious about the daily needs and what tomorrow will bring. Christ says to us that we are NOT to be like the pagans but consider that God cares for sparrows and things with little value and "how much more so He cares" for His children.

If you have been "slapping God in the face" with either of these two sins (regarding wealth or poverty) then repent immediately and get focused on the One who is Himself you treasure, your heaven, your everything.





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