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The Man Who Needed Nothing (part 2)



I think Jesus’ most helpful words concerning contentment are found in the Sermon on the Mount. Upon examination of these verses, it would appear that Jesus is giving three independent thoughts. But something larger is at work. I want to break down the three thoughts and then help synthesize them into Jesus’ point.

1. Your heart will follow your treasures.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”. (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT)

We can easily understand that treasures are things of great value. The word conjures up images like jewelry, gems or gold that people pursue like pirates with a treasure map. But there’s something deeper going on than valuables. We value treasures, but then make them our identity and find security in them. Your heart will follow your treasure, whatever it is.

2. Your desires and wants will influence your heart.
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (Matthew 6:22-23, NLT)

Jesus understood culture then and he understands it now. We want what we see. As I think about it, I don’t ever think about buying new clothes until I go to the mall. Then I want all kinds of shirts, slacks and shoes. I don’t ever think about buying a new car, but if I start hanging around car lots, look out! Whatever we take in through our eyes informs our hearts and shapes our wants and desires.

3. You will serve your treasures.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24, NLT)

Whatever we treasure will become the object of our worship and service. While we think we can have it both ways, serving God and serving our treasures, Jesus plainly said its just not possible. He didn’t say we shouldn’t serve both. He said we can’t.

So how does all of this fit together? Whatever we give our attention to will shape the desires of our hearts, which will establish the treasures that we value and will ultimately serve. And when our treasures are established as the object of our worship and service, we will worry. That’s tomorrow’s post.

Categories : Contentment


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