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Is Money Your Servant or Master?

What Jesus Taught About Money | Matthew 6: 19-24

When you think of both money and God, what comes to mind? Do you think God is trying to rip you off? Does Jesus simply want to take your money and possessions from you? As we continue our series, “Summer on the Mount,” Jermaine Harrison walks us through Matthew 6:19-24, teaching us what Jesus has to say about money and possessions.

Jermaine HarrisonJul 7, 2019Dallas
Matthew 6:19-21

Messages In This Series (15)
How to Never Hear, “Depart From Me I Never Knew You.”
Todd WagnerAug 18, 2019
Broad vs Narrow
Adam TarnowAug 11, 2019Dallas
The Golden Rule
Blake HolmesAug 4, 2019Dallas
Prayer Connected to Promise
David MarvinJul 28, 2019Dallas
Matthew 7:1-6 : Judging Others
Todd WagnerJul 21, 2019
Finding Freedom From Worry
David MarvinJul 14, 2019Dallas
Is Money Your Servant or Master?
Jermaine HarrisonJul 7, 2019Dallas
The Lord’s Prayer
Blake HolmesJun 30, 2019Dallas
False Religion & Outward Righteousness
John ElmoreJun 23, 2019Dallas
Radical Love of Real Disciples
Harrison RossJun 17, 2019Dallas
What Jesus Says About Divorce in Matthew 5:31-32
Todd WagnerJun 9, 2019
The Murderer and Adulterer Within Me
Connor BaxterMay 26, 2019Dallas
Salt, Light, the Saved, the Savior and the Law
David LeventhalMay 19, 2019Dallas
The Life that Flourishes
Todd WagnerMay 12, 2019
A Summary of Matthew 5-7
David LeventhalMay 5, 2019Dallas

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Which of your material possessions are you most likely to view as your own rather than as God’s? What’s one way you can have more of a stewardship mentality toward that possession?
  • Is money more often a tool in your life or your master? Find someone in the next week who has the opposite answer as you to that question, and then spend time learning from and encouraging each other in ways you can serve God and not money.

Summary

When you think of both money and God, what comes to mind? Do you think God is trying to rip you off? Does Jesus simply want to take your money and possessions from you? As we continue our series, “Summer on the Mount,” Jermaine Harrison walks us through Matthew 6:19-24, teaching us what Jesus has to say about money and possessions.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sermon on the Mount outlines a kingdom ethic for a kingdom people.
  • Jesus isn’t out to get your money and possessions. He doesn’t want your money and possessions to get you.
  • Money and possessions compete for your heart.
  • Storing up treasures on earth: The self-centered use of material resources to meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  • Treasures on earth are temporary and do not have a lasting return.
  • God is the owner of everything, and we are called to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us.
  • Stewardship: Managing another’s property according to the owner’s vision and values.
  • Storing up treasures in heaven: The compassionate use of material resources to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others.
  • Our financial transactions here on earth have eternal implications.
  • What you see drives what you want.
  • You cannot serve God and money…there is no loophole!
  • Money is a great tool, but it is a terrible master.
  • Money can be a tool, test, and testimony; or, it could be your heart’s greatest treasure and a trap.
  • “How do you dislodge an affection from the heart? You replace it with a more beautiful thing.” -Puritan tradition
  • If you don’t want money and possessions to get you, seek the Father

Mentioned or Recommended Resources

Suggested Scripture study: Matthew 6:19-24; Psalm 24:1; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Ecclesiastes 5:10
* Book: The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn (available wherever books are sold)
* Ministry: Moneywise
* Sermon Series: Switch
* Sermon Series: How to Be Rich
* Sermon: Stewardship
* Real Truth Real Quick: What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “The Eye is the Lamp of the Body”?

Hello, Watermark, and everyone joining us online. My name is Jermaine Harrison, and I get to serve here on the Shoreline team where we are committed to helping students in grades 9-12 be known and accepted, taught about Jesus, and challenged to grow. Today, we are continuing to walk through our summer series we're calling Summer on the Mount, where we are addressing and looking at Jesus' most famous recorded sermon in Matthew 5-7.

Specifically, today we're going to be looking at Matthew 6:19-24, where Jesus addresses something that is near to all of us: our money and our possessions. He has something to say to us in that regard. To set up where we're going, I'd love to share with you a story from my college experience that I think is helpful for what we're going to discuss today.

If you don't know me, I grew up in the Caribbean, and I went to college in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I went to a college called Bluewater Bible College. Very stereotypical. We're in the Caribbean and, of course, we're naming the college Bluewater Bible College. Here are a couple of pictures of our campus. There are not that many students. There are about 40 or 50 students across all grades there.

While I was in college, one Sunday afternoon, most of the people who stay on campus, students and faculty, went off to this event off campus. Because it's on the western coast of the island and there are not that many other buildings around, we usually leave the doors unlocked. Everything is fine. No one is going to rob us. Or so we think.

We're away for several hours at this event, and we come back on campus, and we notice several police cars on campus and many police officers. We're obviously concerned, and we're wondering what's going on, so we begin to ask questions. Come to find out, our campus had been robbed. Some burglars had been waiting for us to all leave campus to get on campus and have a field day.

To my great shame, my first thought wasn't, "I hope they didn't get my Bible" or "I hope everyone is okay" or "I hope I still have all of my textbooks or my Greek lexicon." No. My first question was, "Where are my Air Force 1s?" Genuinely. That's exactly what I thought, to my great shame.

I remember running up to our dorm and running into my room and looking under my bed to make sure my Air Force 1s were still there, because everyone's favorite rapper Nelly told you that you should have two pairs. "I need two pair so I can get to stompin' in my Air Force 1s." So of course I had them, and I wanted to make sure this treasured possession was still in my possession. They were, and everything was all good. Those silly white shoes had a grip on my heart.

As I've reflected on that story in the years since, I'd love to stand here and say that possessions don't still sometimes have a grip on my heart, that I'm not sometimes still just as tempted to allow my money or my possessions to be the driving force in my life. Jesus knew that would be the case for me and for all of us, so in Matthew 6:19-24, he addresses the issue of money and possessions. In fact, 15 percent of what is recorded of Jesus' words in Scripture has to do with money and possessions.

A large portion of the parables he taught have to do with money and possessions, because he knew the allure of money and possessions in our lives would be strong. I know some of you maybe are already rolling your eyes. You're like, "Are you kidding me? Another message about money? I've just started coming back to church, and they're giving a message on money, and they got the youth guy to do it too?" Yeah.

I just want you to know the point I want you to walk out of this room with today is that Jesus isn't out to get your money. Jesus isn't out to get your money and possessions; he doesn't want your money and possessions to get you. Jesus isn't out to get your money, and we're not going to pass a plate or show you our new building campaign. Jesus wants all of us to see and understand that he doesn't want our money and possessions to get us.

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus is going to introduce to us three truths about money and possessions. As a reminder, we've been walking through the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus has been sharing with his disciples then and his disciples today a kingdom ethic for a kingdom people, a way of life that should mark followers of Jesus who have surrendered their lives to him and want their lives to model the way of Christ.

Jesus isn't giving a rule book of things to check off to be a good Christian; he is informing us. He is re-teaching us. He is making sure we understand clearly what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus. So, in Matthew 6, he's going to give us three truths about money and possessions that I think will be helpful for every one of us today.

1._ Money and possessions compete for your heart._ We get that from Matthew 6:19-21. Let me read those verses for us. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin [or corrosion, rats, all of those things] destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves [instead] treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Jesus introduces these two concepts: one of storing up treasures in heaven and one of storing up treasures on earth. He says one is free from decay and potential loss, and the other is vulnerable to decay and loss. When we store up treasures on earth, Jesus is saying, it is a fleeting and empty pursuit. So, what does it mean to store up treasures on earth? If Jesus is saying this is not a good idea, we need to know what he means.

Here's what it means to store up treasures on earth: it is the self-centered use of material resources to meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. To store up treasures on earth is the self-centered use of material resources to meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. In other words, it is to view our money and view our possessions as a thing that brings us security, as a thing that gives us identity, as a thing that gives us meaning and purpose. Jesus wants all of us to realize this is an empty and fleeting pursuit that is open to decay and to loss.

In our culture, one of the most sought-after ideals is to be financially independent. When someone is financially independent, it means they've worked so hard for so long and accumulated enough money and possessions that they no longer have to work another day in their life. That seems to be a goal that we believe or is put on us in our culture, and that idea is found nowhere in Scripture.

Instead, what we find in Scripture is this call to be faithful stewards of the resources God has given to us, the money and possessions God has blessed us with. God wants us to be faithful stewards of it. I'm going to explain a little bit more about what it means to be a faithful steward of the money and resources God has given to us, but to make sure we're all on the same page, I want to ask you to consider a question.

Do you know that God owns all of your money and possessions? Do you know that God owns every penny in your bank account and everything you own? Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it…" That includes all of our money and all of our possessions. It all belongs to the God of the universe.

If you believe there is a God who exists, as I do, you understand that he is the Creator and Sustainer of this world and that everything we own belongs to him. So, technically, we don't have any money and possessions. It all belongs to God, and he wants you and me to be faithful stewards of the resources he has blessed us with.

So, what does it mean to be a faithful steward? Stewardship can be defined as managing another's property according to the owner's vision and values. If God is the owner of all of your money and possessions, a faithful steward will ask the question, "What does God want me to do with my money and possessions?"

Someone who thinks they are the owner of their money and possessions always asks, "What do I want to do?" but a faithful steward understands their money and possessions do not belong to them, that it belongs to God. Being a faithful steward is inclusive of generosity, but it is so much more. A faithful steward asks, "How much should I give, and why am I giving it?" A faithful steward asks, "How much should I save, and why am I saving it?"

A faithful steward asks, "How much should I spend, what should I spend it on, and why am I spending it?" A faithful steward realizes that God has blessed them with money and possessions as a gift to be enjoyed, a tool to be used to bless themselves and to bless others, but faithful stewards ask the question, "How can I honor the owner with the resources he has given me?"

Just because you give a certain percentage to the church or give to a charity doesn't mean you have free reign with the rest of your money. It's a way of thinking that is very flawed, that, "Oh, if I just give the right amount, then I can do what I want with the rest." God says, "It all belongs to me, and you should be a faithful steward of the gifts I've given to you."

That flawed way of thinking is what leads to Dave Ramsey's quote where he says, "We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like," because we want to experience some sort of blessing and satisfaction that money and possessions were never meant to offer to us. Jesus has a better way.

Jesus says, "Instead of storing up your treasures here on earth where they are open to decay and loss, store up your treasures in heaven where moth and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break through and steal." So, what does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? To store up treasure in heaven is the compassionate use of your material resources to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others.

That makes sense, but even some of us may have the question, "I get that. I understand what you mean by storing up treasures in heaven, but what exactly is a treasure in heaven?" The Bible isn't super clear on this. It remains a mystery in many ways, but what we do know for sure from what Jesus is saying here and in other passages of Scripture is that your financial transactions here on earth have eternal implications.

How you steward your money and possessions the Lord has blessed you with here on this earth has implications in the life to come. Jesus is saying, "Trust me. It is a better deal to store up treasures in heaven than to store them up here on earth." Then he goes straight to the point and says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." What does he mean?

Your heart there represents your mind and your emotions and your will. He's saying if you are fully devoted to storing up treasures in heaven, that will gain the attention of your life, but if you're fully devoted to storing up treasures here on this earth, that will gain the attention of your life. One treasure leads to eternal joy and peace and blessing while the other is temporary, fleeting, and empty.

The apostle Paul agrees with Jesus and restates this point he just made that money competes for our hearts in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. He says, "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root…" So, not money. Money is a tool. Money is a gift. Money is a resource from God, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

"Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Ecclesiastes 5:10 also supports this idea. It says, "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless." Money and possessions compete for our hearts.

If you don't know this, I got married about seven months ago to my wonderful wife Hannah, which is really fun. One of the things that has affected me as I've thought about making sure I'm taking care of my wife and potential future family is this thing in adulthood called an emergency fund, where you save three to six months of salary in case of any emergency.

Guys, over the last season, I've found it so easy to begin to trust in an emergency fund.Oh, if the car breaks down or if this happens, if there is any sort of emergency, I have this money that's set aside for that purpose. It's easy to trust that and not trust that there is a good Father who loves me and sees me and knows my situation and is there for me.

It's so easy for my heart to run toward trusting in resources versus trusting in God. Jesus knows that, and he doesn't want money and possessions to get me, and he doesn't want it to get you either. So he continues on by giving the second truth about money and possessions to continue to illustrate his point.

2.What you see drives what you want. Notice with me in Matthew 6:22-23. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy…" In other words, if you view your money and possessions correctly from the perspective of God. "…your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"

Jesus understood something that is true about every single one of us. There is a direct link between our eyes and our hearts. Our eyes drive our desires. What we see and how we see our money and our possessions drives the way we live, drives the way we choose to steward those resources.

We live in a consumer culture, and we really can't help it. Advertisers have capitalized on the fact that our eyes drive our desires. What we see drives what we want. New York is known for the fashion industry, Boston maybe for intellect, Florida for Walt Disney World. Do you know what Dallas is known for? NorthPark mall. No one is coming here to see the scenes. They're coming here to get some incredible shopping.

We are bombarded with advertisements all the time. Some business journals estimate that the average American is exposed to 4,000 advertisements per day. Four thousand! During the Super Bowl, companies pay about $5 million for their 30-second commercial spot. Why? Because they know that people who don't even care about football are watching it, and they're not even watching the game, but when the commercials come on, they're telling their friends to be quiet because they want to watch this commercial.

The advertisers know your eyes drive your heart, and if they get control of your heart, then they get you. I experienced that in my own life during the March Madness NCAA tournament this past March. As I'm watching all of the games, it felt like at every commercial break this particular commercial came on. You know it. You've probably seen it.

It's the one where there's an ice cream truck racing down one street, and down another street there's a Coca-Cola truck racing down, and then there's also this truck with oranges on it, and they all collide, or whatever, and what comes out of it is an Orange Vanilla Coke. When I saw that commercial, I was like, "That sounds disgusting. Coke plus orange flavor plus vanilla? I'm out. I'm not interested."

However, I kept seeing the commercial. At every commercial break, they kept appealing to my eyes to the point that after I'd seen it so many times, I looked over at my wife and I was like, "We've got to go to Target. We've got to get ourselves an Orange Vanilla Coke." So much so that I got one with me onstage here just to drink it, just so you guys can understand the appeal and that your eyes drive your desires. I'm drinking something I don't even know if I like because I saw it over and over again, and my eyes drove my desires.

Maybe you're in the room and you're like, "No. Those commercials on TV don't get me." For those people who are thinking that right now, how about this? You're on a simple mission to Costco. You're going to go get some eggs. It's just a normal day, like any other day. You walk in, and you see the three-pound bag of beef jerky, and you're like, "I need that."

Then you walk a little farther and you see the sparkling water section. You're like, "I need Waterloo. I need Kirkland brand. I need LaCroix, because they all taste different anyway, so I'll get all three of them. I also need this Kirkland fleece because it looks and feels amazing. I also need detergent to last me the rest of 2019, and maybe I also need an eye exam." So you do all of these things on your trip where you were just going to get some eggs.

Literally, this happened yesterday. My wife was like, "Hey, I'm going to Trader Joe's to grab some bananas to make a smoothie," and she came back with these decorative plants. I was like, "What's with these plants?" She was like, "Well, it was a good deal." I was like, "Exactly. They got you." Your eyes drive your desires. This is true, and Jesus knows it's true in a more significant way. As we see our money and possessions, it drives the way we live our lives.

So, if Jesus hadn't been in our face enough when he said money and possessions compete for our hearts and that our eyes drive what we desire, like, what we see drives what we want, he makes this final truth about money and possessions that is very helpful for us.

3.You cannot serve God and money. There is no loophole. We see this in Matthew 6:24. Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Jesus is driving home the point that serving God with everything you are, with full devotion, and serving money with everything you are and full devotion are mutually exclusive. They cannot happen at the same time.

You can't be committed to stockpiling treasures in heaven and at the same time be fully committed to stockpiling treasures here on earth. They both take a full-hearted devotion. It's like if there are some people in the room who went to a fine college south of here called Texas A&M University, and then there are also some people in the room who went to another fine university south of here, the University of Texas at Austin…

If you went to either of those fine universities, it is highly likely that you do not love the other university with the same love and affection that you do the one you went to. There's no Aggie who's like, "You know what I really love? The University of Texas at Austin. What a great school." There's no Aggie who's saying that. At the same time, there's no Longhorn who's saying, "If I had to do it all over again, I would go to Texas A&M." No way. You can't love both of them with full devotion.

In the same way, Jesus is pointing out to us that you can't serve both God and your money and possessions with wholehearted devotion at the same time. It is impossible. But if you're like me, you've probably had this thought at one point or another: "Wouldn't it be awesome to both be incredibly rich and incredibly godly all at the same time?"

To be sure, there are people who are incredibly rich and incredibly godly. This is possible. But what Jesus is saying is that if your outlook from the beginning is "I want to have all the money and possessions I can possibly have in this life, and I also want to pursue God with everything I have and everything I am…" He's saying it is impossible. You cannot serve both God and money with wholehearted devotion.

Then he makes another point at the end of that verse as he talks about this idea. Money and God are both potential masters for every single one of us. Every one of us serves one of these two masters. You're either a servant of God or you're a servant of your money and possessions. Money is a great servant but a terrible master.

You see, money in your life can play the role of a tool, test, and testimony. That is, money can be a tool you use to pay for things and to live your life or it can be a test of where your allegiance lies, if you're trusting in your money or trusting and having your allegiance in God, or it can be a testimony of God's kindness in your life as you seek to be a blessing to those around you or money can be your heart's greatest treasure, the thing you seek after, the thing that keeps you up at night, the allure that pulls your heart's affections.

If money is your heart's greatest treasure, then it becomes a trap. So, it can be a tool, a test, and a testimony or it can be your heart's greatest treasure and thereby become a trap in your life. As I reflected on this concept, this idea, for myself and how I can allow money to have its proper place (tool, test, testimony) and not be the greatest treasure, I came across this quote I think is really helpful for us as we consider this idea.

It comes from the Puritan tradition, and here's the quote: "How do you dislodge an affection from the heart?" How do you make sure that money and possessions don't win the day in your heart, in your mind, and in your emotions and will? "You replace it with a more beautiful thing." "How do you dislodge an affection from the heart? You replace it with a more beautiful thing."

I want to submit to you that the more beautiful thing is a relationship with the God of the universe who loves you so much he demonstrated that love for you in that while you were still a sinner he sent his Son Jesus to live a perfect life, to die, and to rise again from the dead to offer us a reconciled relationship with God, and one of the benefits and blessings of that relationship with God is that you and I get to view money and possessions through the Spirit and perspective of God.

Jesus wants to dislodge this affection, money and possessions, from your heart, and he is the more beautiful thing. I experienced an example of this this last week. This last week, we took 270 high school students to Camp Barnabas. Camp Barnabas is a camp for individuals with special needs in southwest Missouri. Campers come from all over the country to spend a week at camp where they are taken care of and blessed and encouraged by high school students.

It's such an incredible experience. You would be so blessed to know that the high school students who were on mission at Camp Barnabas served tirelessly and selflessly all week. One of those students who was on this trip… She's 18 years old now, and since she was 13, she had been saving up for a car. She had been nannying and doing other odd jobs to save up for a car.

When this opportunity came to go to Camp Barnabas, she really wanted to go. Her parents said, "We'll pay half, and you will have to come up with the other half." So she decided to take money from her savings for her car and put it toward this experience, because she understood that serving others is a more beautiful thing than owning a car. And who doesn't want to own a car? What 18-year-old doesn't want to own a car?

But she understood that loving others, serving others out of the overflow of a relationship with God is a more beautiful thing than the resources we can have on this earth. So much so that she's going back again and paying for it again later on this summer, because she realized it's so easy for money and possessions to take control in our hearts but that Jesus doesn't want money and possessions to get us. Jesus does not want money and possessions to get you.

So, one final story, and then we'll be out of here. When I was in seminary, one of my friends was getting married. His wedding was going to be in Montgomery, Alabama. Some friends and I planned that we were going to rent a car and then road-trip up to Alabama from Dallas. We had a classmate, a middle-aged man named Jack. I don't remember his last name, but I knew he was an airline pilot, so we called him "Captain Jack." See what we did there?

Captain Jack hears us talking about this trip we're trying to take and that we're going to rent a car, and he says, "Hey, I'm taking a flight. I'm flying all the way over to China over the next couple of weeks. You guys can use my car to go on this road trip." This wasn't any kind of car. This was a Porsche Panamera. Let's throw a picture of it up on the screen. There's the car on the left, and he was offering it to the guys on the right.

The reason you're laughing is because if you owned that car, you wouldn't give it to the guys on the right, and you probably shouldn't. But he did anyway. So, we're taking this Porsche Panamera on this journey to Montgomery, Alabama. We're driving along, road trip, listening to music, talking, everything else. We're approaching this overpass on the highway, and it looks like there's some road construction happening, resurfacing of asphalt, or whatever it might be.

A small chunk of asphalt got projected from this overpass right at the moment our car, the Porsche Panamera, was driving under it, and it hit the windshield. We're like, "It doesn't look like anything happened," and then the crack begins to develop. We were like, "Oh no! Captain Jack is going to kill us. He gave us his Porsche Panamera for this trip, and not even a few hours into stewarding his vehicle, we've already cracked the windshield. He's going to be so mad at us. What are we going to do? We're going to have to pay for this."

So we pull over and take a picture of the windshield and send an email over to Captain Jack. We're like, "We're so sorry. We've already destroyed your car." A few minutes later, he sends back an email where he says, "It's all good. It's just a car." The reason I tell you that story isn't necessarily because of Captain Jack's response but because of my response. Because I had a personal relationship with the owner of this car, I was careful.

I wanted to be a faithful steward of this vehicle he had allowed me to have, allowed me to enjoy, allowed me to use and to be a blessing in our lives. He gave it to me, and because of my personal relationship, I wanted to steward it well. It would have been different if I had a rental car, maybe, because I don't have a personal relationship with Mr. Hertz or Mr. Enterprise, but I do have one with Captain Jack. Because of a personal relationship, it impacted the way I viewed the resource he had given me.

The same is true for every one of us. If you have a personal relationship with the God of the universe, and if you build into that relationship every single day through daily dependence on him, through time in his Word, through time with his people, through surrender to his leadership and lordship in your life, guess what's going to happen: you're going to view the money and possessions he has given you as a tool to enjoy and as a resource and blessing through a different lens, and God wants you to see your money and possessions through his perspective.

Jesus does not want your money and possessions to get you, and the way you experience that reality is by surrendering to him, by seeking the Father, seeking to build into a relationship with him. If you've never had a relationship with God, I pray that today is the day you place your faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and that one of the benefits of it is that you see money and possessions rightly.

In response to Jesus' truths about money and possessions, I'm going to invite you guys to sing this song together. It's called, "My Worth Is Not in What I Own." I pray that it's not just words you sing in this room and forget as soon as you walk away but that this becomes the anthem of your life when you view your money and possessions.

"They don't belong to me; they belong to the God of the universe who saw it in his kindness and goodness enough to give me these resources, and he calls me to be a faithful steward of the blessings in my life. He calls me to view money and possessions in the right way and calls me to serve him with wholehearted devotion." Let me pray that every one of us would be committed to storing up our treasures in heaven.

God, we thank you so much for this reminder from your Word that money and possessions compete for our hearts' affections and that it's so easy to allow ourselves to trust in what we own or what we possess, the money we have. Help us, instead, to dislodge that affection from our hearts by the power of your Spirit and replace it with a more beautiful thing, a relationship with you.

Thank you that you made that possible through your Son Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection. God, help us to realize in increasing measure that we can't serve both you and our money and possessions with wholehearted devotion. Help us to choose, and help us to choose wisely by the power of your Spirit. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.