Do not lay up treasure is related to do not worry. the more treasure you have, the more you have to worry about.
If we focus in on v 25 – “Therefore…do not worry…” and v33 & 34 “…seek first the kingdom of God….therefore do not worry…” – I think we get the theme of this passage. Don’t worry. And as with Paul’s writing Phillipians 4:6, we are told not to worry (or be anxious) but we are also told what TO DO. And it is not simply the words of that Bobby McFarrin pop song from the 80s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” If our minds and hearts are strongly inclined in a certain direction, we can not simply turn them off. That is like telling an addict – just don’t think about it. Or the man struggling with lust and pornography – just don’t think about it. This does not work. In fact, the opposite effect can result – the more one dwells on not dwelling on something, well you see what happens. So, what are we left with?
Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things you would have worried about will be taken care of.” Paul says, “…in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…”
Jesus knows that our hearts follow our money, and vice versa. If you want to train your heart in a certain direction, start sending your money that direction.
And what’s the big deal about the heart? As Jesus uses it here, the Heart is the seat of faith, so what he is saying is this – whatever you invest yourself in is what you place your faith in.
1. Don’t spend time and effort stockpiling stuff – Instead, invest your time and effort in the Kingdom
Because your faith will follow what you treasure.
2. You can not serve wealth and God –
Because your faith will follow what you serve.
3. Worry about stuff is not a sign of a lack of faith – but of a misplaced faith.
Because your faith is reflected in what you think about.
NOTE: Jesus does not tell us that worry is wrong, simply that it is misdirected energy. He is not judging us for worrying, he is inviting us into freedom from worry. Ultimately, regardless of what we might worry about, Jesus is right – worry does not accomplish anything. And in fact, we now know that worry can actually kill you – depressing the immune system, raising blood-pressure, making you prone to all manner of physical and mental illnesses.
Jesus is trying, as always, to save us from our own brokenness by inviting us into service for the Kingdom. Our faith in God expressed as obedience to Jesus’ teachings leads us away from death and into life, both physically and spiritually, in this world and the next.
There is a parallel text in Luke 12, which includes the following:
Luke 12:31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
And one other note about ministry, which is found in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke – socalled because you can put them together and make a synopsis). When you are called upon to speak for Christ, if you are prayed up and in relationship with Him and under the power of the Spirit, you will not need to worry about what to say – the Holy Spirit will give you the words.
Mt 10:19 – When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time;
Mr 13:11 – When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Lu 12:11 – When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say;
This can be broadened to any decision for the kingdom and building up of the Body of Christ – if we are prayed up, studied up, and living in the power of the Holy Spirit, then God will give us the direction we need to accomplish His purposes! Don’t worry – just live for Him!