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. 1 John 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
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
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.
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.
4 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
32 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar.
2 For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.
3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
4 And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;
5 And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the Lord: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.
6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.
8 So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.
11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:
12 And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.
13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying,
14 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
15 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.
16 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the Lord, saying,
17 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name,
19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
20 Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;
21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;
22 And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;
23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:
24 Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it.
25 And thou hast said unto me, O Lord God, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,
27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
28 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:
29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.
30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the Lord.
31 For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.
34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.
35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
36 And now therefore thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
42 For thus saith the Lord; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord.
9 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts.
14 Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.
20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:
21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
94 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.
3 Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
5 They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage.
6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.
7 Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.
8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
11 The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;
13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.
19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.
120 In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.