What a lot of practical commands there are in the Bible concerning preparation. How often are we warned of the foolish consequences of ignoring them.. yet how many of us really heed such cautions? How many of us truly obey His Word? “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… we are warned where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20
This is not an airy-fairy tales of princesses and peas – or dungeons and dragons. This is no cute little bed-time fantasy to escape from the drudge of a hard life. This is the reality of God’s plans and purposes for each blood-bought child of His. Heaven and its wonders will still be rich and glorious in the future ages to come. Heaven will still be a fact when this world has slipped into a distant bygone age. And we are charged to store up treasure in the world to come – our heavenly home, and if we comply with this directive, we will be blessed both here and there.
But what does it mean to store up treasure? Should we give everything away, like the rich young ruler was instructed? Should we eat husks; sleep under cardboard; retire to a cave? – I doubt it.. but God does desire an undivided heart.. and He does know the evil intent of man’s mind.
God knows that your possessions; your home; your bank balance can become your god. He knows that in a divided heart, mammon and God cannot reign together, and mammon is so much more than money – much more than dollars or pounds. Mammon is the whole realm of riches, possessions, property, and commerce.. and God knows if our eye is not single – for God knows the inner heart.
But if our eyes are on Him, our vision is unimpaired and we walk in His Light: and if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1John 1:7
Treasure is not to do with whether we have much or whether we have little. It is not to do with whether we have goods or money; houses, career, or position. It is whether we have become so attached to them, that we prefer them to Him. It is a choice between the two – for only one can rule your heart and life.
Master or Friend
So what does it mean to make friends with mammon? Why in Luke 16, are we instructed to: “make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon” Luke 16:9 Does this not contradict scriptures, which warn us against the love of money? No, it does not contradict scripture, but is does have an important meaning. God has entrusted us with many things, one of which is our money – mammon. Mammon is not to be our master – but we are to master our goods and wealth.
The world is shrewd in the way it conducts itself – and we must be shrewd too. But they are shrewd in an ungodly way and make mammon their god. We too must be shrewd with all we have by dealing with it a godly way. We are to act wisely with all that has been entrusted to us. God translates faithfulness into a faithful and wise servant in His service. He is watching to see if we are faithful and wise in all that He has entrusted to us… waiting to see if we fall into the category of a divided heart – waiting to see if He is all in all.
It is only when a crisis arrives in our lives that our true attachments surface. It’s only when we truly recognise our position in Him that we can remain undivided. This world is not our final resting place – we are sojourners, passing through, and these little warning words against a divided heart have a deeper meaning. They are unmistakably linked to the any-day return of our Lord Jesus for His own.
Seek Him First
We are entreated in all things to have our hearts set upon Him. We are implored to, seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; for if we do: all the things we need shall be added unto us. But life, from start to finish, is made up of many choices. We can choose the good or we can choose the evil – but we cannot have both. We cannot serve God AND mammon. The choice is God OR mammon.
A Single Heart
Do you remember Lot’s wife? Do you remember what she did as she fled the wrath to come? She looked back – all she had built up over the years was back in Sodom, and she couldn’t bear to let it go. She compromised the grace that was afforded her – in the day of her crisis. Her actions and attitudes demonstrate the realities of a divided heart. She had not come to terms with true singleness of heart.
Treasure in Heaven
How important singleness of vision and an undivided heart is in this day of crisis. Whosoever shall gain His life shall lose it.. but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall gain it. “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” we are warned, “where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
16 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5 So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: