A very good morning to you my precious family and friends.

Matthew 6:19-21says "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."

The Lord Jesus teaches us an important spiritual principle we need to know. As believers we are children of a loving God who is desperately jealous for the entirety of our hearts. These verses illustrate a truth that spans beyond this world and into the fullness of eternity. You and I have an opportunity in this life either to give our hearts to God and receive an eternal reward, or to give our hearts to the world, which will only lead to destruction. We can either surrender all that we are and have to the perfect, pleasing plans of our heavenly Father or seek fulfilment, pleasure, status, and wealth in that which belongs to the world alone.

Prosperity teachers encourage their followers to seek worldly wealth, temporal affluence and the riches of today’s materialistic society and to have their best life now, with little interest in spiritual enrichment or heavenly investments, but as believers we are called to recognize the demonic trap of laying up treasure on earth instead of making heavenly investments - for where our treasure is - there will our heart be also.

The absolute best way we can ensure our lives are fully surrendered and available to the Father is to spend the first moments of our day alone with Him. If we are going to make the most of this life, we must set aside time to assess our thoughts, actions, and emotions. We must make time to take an honest look at our lives and discover whether we are truly living for God or for the world. And in response to a daily assessment, we must consistently engage in the process of confession so that we may be empowered by the forgiveness and love of the Father.

God longs for our lives here on earth to impact eternity. He is a Father who has perfect plans to bless us in ways we cannot imagine. But God cannot bless that which is not best. He cannot reward you for doing that which is destructive. Choose to centre your life around meeting with God that you might store up a wealth of eternal treasure. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit every morning that He may reveal anything that’s keeping you from experiencing the fullness of life Jesus died to give you. We must surrender our lives to the God who has greater things in store for us than we can ever ask or imagine. We will experience the peace and joy that comes from allowing God to have the entirety of our lives to bless and fill with His glorious nearness.

The Lord Jesus knows that the human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked and that an attitude of materialistic, money-orientated consumerism will degenerate into greed, covetousness, double-mindedness and a divided heart - for we cannot serve money and God at the same time. Love of money and love for God cannot co-exist - one or the other will always reign supreme in the heart of man.

Money and possessions are not evil in themselves and when rightly used can be of enormous benefit to God and to others. It is not wrong to possess the good things of this world, but it is dangerous when goods and money start to possess our hearts, our choices and our behaviours.

To “lay up treasures on earth” is to be likened to the rich young fool in Luke 12:19-21 who says, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” As Christians we are called to something much greater than the fading rewards and treasures on earth. We are called to be spiritually rich toward God! The riches we have in Christ far surpass the empty treasures of the world.

While the Bible does not explicitly condemn wealth, it does issue many clear warnings against allowing our hearts to be lured into the complacency and idolatry that far too often accompanies it (Luke 12:15). The tragic reality of a life wasted storing up treasures on earth is that your reward exists only in this present life and not in the everlasting. We can’t take these treasures with us. Treasure on earth is not limited to money, it can be anything that we find greater satisfaction in other than God Himself. We must guard our hearts against finding ultimate satisfaction in fleeting earthly treasure by holding them loosely.

It is the misguided love of money that is rooted in all sorts of evil attitudes and ungodly actions and so we are instructed by the Lord Jesus Himself not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. We are called to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven - eternal treasures. May we live life to the fullest by treasuring Christ above all else, for “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, there is no one who can love me like You do. Father, please help me focus my priorities and my thoughts on heavenly things as well as placing my treasures in heaven. I realise how easy it is to fall into the trap of storing up the wrong sort of treasure here on earth, instead of seeking to develop a godly attitude towards wealth. Keep me from covetousness and help me to develop the correct attitude towards provision for today and heavenly treasure that are accumulated to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' holy name I pray. AMEN.

Much love in Christ from Maurice and Margaret.