By Jenna Walmer
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves 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. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, 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! 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.” – Matthew 6:16-24
All around us there are signs of materialism: the newest trends of phones, clothes, makeup, and other hot items that people fall for the trap of conformity. People look forward to the newest version of phones and upgrade early so they can be the “cool kid” on the block. They change their style so they can “fit in.” But really, are they “fitting in” to God’s kingdom?
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he explains how earthly treasures destroy us. “Moth and vermin” can destroy the items and “thieves” can break in and steal it. There are so many consequences to building up a great pile of “stuff” on earth that, in reality, is temporary and vanishes once God takes our lives and we are no longer on earth.
He suggests an alternate path to take instead of purchasing a lot of “stuff” and having many earthly treasures that hurt your relationship with God. He wants us to seek eternal values and “store our treasures in heaven.” If money and possessions become too important to us, we must reestablish control over this out of control behavior and get rid of the items that are inhibiting our relationship with God.
So how do we store up our treasures in heaven? It is not limited to just tithing! It can be accomplished by doing good deeds to those in need and being obedient to God. We must seek fulfillment of God’s intentions of our lives. It is our job to live on earth to fulfill his purpose for us, because we have a “predestined plan” that he created, and he wants to see us complete it (Ephesians 1). So, to build up our treasures, seek out your plan and go for it, no matter how far out it may seem.
If we continue to build on earthly possessions, our sight for our plan will be clouded; we will only be able to see what WE want to do for ourselves. However, if we serve God in our best capacity, our vision will be restored and our spiritual vision will give us the sight to see what God wants us to do—we will have a “healthy” eye that is fixed on God and can continue to fulfill is plan for us.
Also, this portion addresses “the master.” We live in a materialistic society. But, we want to live for God. If we spend our whole life collecting and storing “stuff” that will only be left behind once we die, what good in God’s eyes did our life do? Did we fulfill his purpose?
Our main priority, and one master, should be to what doesn’t fade, what cannot be stolen, and what cannot be destroyed by moths and vermin. We should store our treasures in heaven, focus on Him, serve Him to our fullest potential, and go after His purpose. Let go of the earthly possessions because they are fog in front of you skewing your bright future. Look to God for everything because He leads us on the right path.
Jenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
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