Click to enlarge
Amplified: Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
NLT: Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Philips: "Don't pile up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can spoil them and thieves can break in and steal (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: Stop accumulating treasures upon the earth for your selves, where the clothes-moth and corrosion destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Wuest: Expanded Translation: Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Treasure not up to yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust disfigure, and where thieves break through and steal,
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal: Me thesaurizete (2PPAM) humin thesaurous epi tes ges, hopou ses kai brosis aphanizei, (3SPAI) kai hopou kleptai diorussousin (3PPAI) kai kleptousin; (3PPAI): (Job 31:24; Psalms 39:6; 62:10; Proverbs 11:4; 16:16; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 2:26; 5:10-14; Zeph 1:18; Luke 12:21; 18:24; 1Ti 6:8, 9, 10,17; Hebrews 13:5; James 5:1, 2, 3; 1Jn 2:15,16) Now Jesus addresses the correct attitude His kingdom citizens should have toward temporal possessions.
Ironside explains that…
Wilmington entitles this section
"The only bank that’s fully insured."
Charles Simeon wrote that…
C H Spurgeon's comments…
G Campbell Morgan…
Do not store up - Do have this habit! Some of His listeners were doing this! Jesus does not say we cannot have a retirement plan but is saying that the retirement plan is not to be the object or goal of our life's work. As an aside, it is difficult to find Biblical support for retirement per se. I am "retired" but am now busier in the Lord's work than I was in medical practice (be stimulated and encouraged by Paul's words in 1Co 15:58). Remember that in this section Jesus is giving us His divine advice on how to handle anxiety and worry. He is fully aware that anxiety and worry often have their genesis (pathogenesis!) in regard to financial matters. And so He begins by advising us not to be in the habit of treasuring up treasure for ourselves. As Wycliffe rendered the Greek…
Do not treasure to you treasures
Spurgeon - Hold not earth's treasures with too firm a grasp. Our bereavements would not be half so sharp if we always viewed our friends as being lent to us. A man does not cry when he has to return a tool which he has borrowed.
MacDonald comments on the radical nature of Jesus' advice noting that…
These ancient words by Jesus are so appropriate to our wealthy Western culture where possessions often end up possessing their "owners". Or stated another way, it is not wrong to possess things, but it is wrong for things to possess us. The desire of many in our society is to build our lives around the "things" we own. In Jesus' day Luke records that the Pharisees were "lovers of money" (Luke 16:14)
Matthew Henry had a pithy statement regarding riches writing that…
Keener writes that..
Not uncommonly we make an arbitrary division of our life into that which is spiritual and that which is material. Jesus demolishes that division in this section declaring that in the final analysis one's heart attitude toward material things is a mark of one's true spiritual condition. Material and spiritual cannot be separated. As an aside, attending church on Sunday (the "spiritual activity") should not and ultimately cannot be separated from how one conducts themselves Monday through Friday. This latter in fact is probably a more genuine assessment of one's spiritual condition then their regular attendance at church or Sunday School. Religion that is not real is just that… lifeless religion! Religion that involves a vital relationship with Christ 24/7 is real life!
G Campbell Morgan…
Martin Luther wrote that…
Leon Morris quotes Glover who
Matthew Henry introduces this section commenting that…
John Piper summarizes Mt 6:19-34 writing that…
Adam Clarke - What blindness is it for a man to lay up that as a treasure which must necessarily perish! A heart designed for God and eternity is terribly degraded by being fixed on those things which are subject to corruption… Take care not to shut up your bowels of compassion against a brother in distress; if you do, the love of God cannot dwell in you.
John Stott - Worldly ambition has a strong fascination for us. The spell of materialism is very hard to break (Stott, John: Christian Counter-Culture. The Message of the Sermon on the Mount. 1978. IVP)
This heart illness takes on a macabre humor in the popular bumper sticker which reads…
Store up (2343) (thesaurizo from thesaurós = treasure) originally meant to amass or reserve, keep in store, lay, store or treasure up goods for future use. Later thesaurizo was expanded to denote a chamber or chest in which treasure was kept. Throughout the ancient Middle East it was especially applied to a temple storehouse, where temple taxes were stored. People were required to give a portion of their produce to the temple, and this was stored in a treasury. Finally thesaurizo also meant private money boxes, the early versions of home safes.
The root word thesauros means that which is deposited = a place where something is kept and gives our English word thesaurus, a treasury of words. In secular Greek thesauros means a treasure chamber, a storage room, storehouse, granary, strong-box or a treasure per se. Sometimes thesauros was used metaphorically of the treasure itself (Mt. 2:11; 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lk 6:45). Even at a very early period temples were built with treasure chambers, where gifts and taxes in kind and money could be stored. The practice appears to have spread from Egypt to Greece. Collecting boxes were also known (cf. 2Ki 12:10).
The verb thesaurizo is used similarly in the sense of (1) storing up as treasure or offerings of money put aside (1Co 16:2 = teaches proportional giving, regular giving, and the church's role in receiving gifts.) or (2) putting it in safe keeping. Keep something in store (eg, present heavens and earth are being kept in store for future wrath in His day of judgment - 2Pe 3:7-note)! Paul has a similar figurative use referring to God's wrath which is being "treasured" up (Ro 2:5-note)!
Thayer writes that thesaurizo means primarily to to gather and lay up, to heap up, store up: to accumulate riches (Jas 5:3, Lk 12:21, 2Co 12:14, 1Cor 16:2).
John MacArthur - The Greek also carries the connotation of stacking or laying out horizontally, as one stacks coins. In the context of this passage the idea is that of stockpiling or hoarding, and therefore pictures wealth that is not being used. The money or other wealth is simply stored for safekeeping; it is kept for the keeping’s sake to make a show of wealth or to create an environment of lazy overindulgence (cf. Luke 12:16-21). (MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Macarthur New Testament Commentary Chicago: Moody Press)
Thesaurizo - 8x in 8v - Mt 6:19, 20; Lk 12:21; Ro 2:5; 1Cor 16:2; 2Cor 12:14; Jas 5:3; 2Pe 3:7
Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Luke 12:21 "So (Conclusion based on the parable in Lk 12:16, 17, 18, 19, 20) is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Who are you "rich toward"? The transient world or the eternal God?
Romans 2:5-note5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up (present tense = continuous - pictures the cup of wrath continually being filled to one day poured out upon the one whose filled it with evil thoughts and deeds! What a dreadful picture!) wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
1Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper (this teaches the principle of proportionate giving), that no collections be made when I come.
2Corinthians 12:14 Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
James 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!
2Peter 3:7-note But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Thesaurizo - 9x in the Septuagint - 2Ki 20:17; Ps 39:6; Pr 1:18; 2:7; 13:22; 16:27; Amos 3:10; Mic 6:10; Zech 9:3
Here are all 16 uses of the root noun thesauros - Mt2:11, 6:19, 20, 21 12:35, 13:44, 52, 19:21 Mk10:21, Lk 6:45, 12:33, 34, 18:22 2Co 4:7, Col 2:3, Heb 11:26.
Richards writes that this word group (thesaurizo/thesauros)
Detzler writes that…
Mt 6:19 is a play on words and is more literally translated
Here in Mt 6:19, the present imperative with a negative (me) is a command to stop some action already in process! Don't have the habit of storing up temporal treasure on earth! Stop storing up temporal, perishable treasure, which you cannot take with you to heaven!
Have you ever seen a U-haul trailer attached to the hearse? Did you know that funeral shrouds (burial garment) don't have any pockets? Why would they need them?
Job understood these truths and upon loosing unspeakable wealth including his children, he declared…
The saying is true… You can't take it with you!
See related comments by Warren Wiersbe on Psalm 49:13 - Don't Trust in Wealth
Jesus is not advocating financial poverty as a means of attaining spirituality. The problem He is addressing is when one accumulates wealth for "yourselves", for that is when money which is otherwise neutral becomes one's "god" or "idol".
Charles Simeon adds the caveat that…
Jesus is not teaching that believers are to be careless in handling their money. Solid financial plans produce good stewards of the earthly resources that God has entrusted to us.
Simeon commenting on treasure on earth wrote that…
Spurgeon advises believers to…
Moth… rust… thieves - Jesus' point in this passage is that there is no absolutely firm, unshakeable security to be found in material things, which is ironic as "securities" is a financial term defined as instruments giving to their legal holders rights to money or other property. Securities include stocks, bonds, notes, mortgages, bills of lading, and bills of exchange. Jesus is not condemning good stewardship and wise investment in "securities" but is addressing our heart attitude towards our "securities". Beloved, ask yourself… "Where is my treasure?" (If you need help answering this question, just take a look at last month's credit card charges or look at the checks you wrote over the past 6 months!) Your answer will tell you indisputably where your heart is. And where your heart is will impact your level of anxiety and/or worry. Beloved, I pray we as believers each invest wisely placing our funds (including our time and talent) into the "bank of heaven", which returns dividends now (e.g., affecting one's level of anxiety and/or worry over money and possessions, etc) and will continue to pay "interest" throughout eternity! Have you ever heard of such a fantastic, "sure", "can't miss" deal! But like most "bargain deals" there are no "rain checks" available! Once this life is over, the opportunity for this "sale" ceases. Invest now in the only true security! Invest for eternity in Jesus Christ! You will never regret your decision if you respond affirmatively!
MacDonald minces no words declaring that…
Warren Wiersbe offers some wise words on this section…
As background to help understanding Jesus' words in this section it is notable that in Jesus' day men would invest in possessions like clothing, grain, gold, and precious stones, which then comprised a source of security with which they sought to lessen anxiety about the future. The irony of possessions is that instead of minimizing anxiety, the possessions become a source of anxiety (sometimes even great angst!), since they are always vulnerable to the vagaries of decay and loss! How true is the paradox of insecure security!
Brown adds that…
Moth (4597) (ses) is from the larger division of order Lepidoptera (Moths, skippers, and butterflies all belong to this order for all have scale-covered wings) distinguished from butterflies by generally nocturnal activity and antennae which are not club-shaped. The moth larva in many cases spins a cocoon for the protection of the pupa or chrysalis, which is never the case with butterflies. In the Bible the clothes-moth (species of genus Tinea) are relatively tiny insects which lay eggs in woolen clothes upon which the larvae later feed. Have you not experienced this distressing truth on Sunday morning when you pulled your suit pants on only to see several large irregular holes exposing your skin?! The moth larva feeds and composes a cocoon of its silk together with fibers of the wool it is eating, so that the color of the cocoon depends upon the color of the fabric! Only the larval stage injures clothing. Take my word for it - a significantly moth eaten garment is virtually beyond repair or at best must be re-knit which is not cheap!
Ses - 3x in 3v in the NT - Mt 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33
The NET note says that ses…
James minced no words in his address to the worldly rich instructing them to…
Moth occurs 7 times in the Septuagint (LXX) always as a figure of speech to illustrate that which is destructive (Job 13:28; Psalms 39:11; Isaiah 50:9; 51:8; Hosea 5:12) or frail (Job 4:19; 27:18).
Why would Jesus mention "moth"? The ancient world greatly valued clothing and it was to some extent a measure of an individual's wealth. Today, most people can buy mass manufactured clothing with little difficulty, but as one can imagine such was not the case when clothing was made by hand. In fact sometime the rich would have golden threads actually woven into their clothing, to display as well as store their wealth! The best quality fabrics were woven with wool, one of the favorite entrees of moth larvae, making their fine clothes vulnerable to destruction.
Job used the metaphor of "moth eaten" declaring…
God uses the destructive nature of the moth to describe His effect on rebellious Israel and Judah declaring…
Rust (1035) (brosis from bibrosko = to eat) literally means something that eats ("an eating") or gnaws. The main NT use refers to the act of partaking of food (eating) (Ro 14:17, 1Co 8:4, 2Co 9:10, Col 2:16). Brosis can refer to that which one eats (In Lxx - Ge 25:28, Jer 41:20, 2Sa 19:43), and thus can mean a "meal" as in (He 12:16). Jesus uses brosis to mean food but with a figurative meaning in Jn 4:32; 6:27, 55.
In Mt 6:19, 20 brosis is used figuratively to describe that which causes erosion or corrosion (Compare the interesting derivation of the English word corrode from Latin rodo = to gnaw.)
Strictly speaking rust is the red oxide of iron formed by the corrosion of that metal, but by extension it has come to mean corrosion produced on any metal. The word brosis, while possibly alluding the effects of rusting, also refers to the diseases which attack such wheat, grapes, cucumbers, etc. In no country is the saying "where moth and rust consume" more true than in Syria. Any metal subject to corrosion seems to rust faster in that country than anywhere else. There are also many rusting fungi which the people have not learned to destroy and which do much damage to the crops. Given the fact that wealth in Jesus' day was often measured in grain supplies one owned, the allusion to the destructive effects of various agents (fungi, molds, rats, mice, worms, etc) on the granaries.
Brosis - 11x in 10v in the NT and translated by as eating(2), food(6), meal(1), rust(2).
Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
John 4:32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
Comment: For Jesus, doing God’s will is His inner nourishment and should be ours beloved!
John 6:27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal."
John 6:55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
Comment: In the previous two uses of brosis, Jesus feeding of physical food spoke to the deeper need of man, the need for spiritual food, which nourishes to eternal life and is received by faith in Him ("the Bread of life" - Jn 6:35, 48)
Romans 14:17-note for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Comment: The kingdom of God does not consist in observing or not observing days, eating or not eating meats, or any other secondary issues of religious scruples. The kingdom of God is not externals but eternals. What really counts in the kingdom of God is not EXTERNAL REGULATIONS but ETERNAL REALITIES. Are you focusing on the externals of religion or the eternals?
Ralph Earle adds that "The principle is clearly stated, though too often forgotten. The kingdom of God, or true religion, is not a matter of externals—how we dress or eat. It is rather "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Those who major on externals are prone not to show a right spirit, nor to maintain peace. And too often their lives do not radiate the joy of the risen Christ." (Earle, R. Word Meanings in the New Testament)
1 Corinthians 8:4 Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
Colossians 2:16-note Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--
Expositor's Greek Testament comments: ‘eating and drinking,’ not food and drink, for which Paul would have used broma and poma. The question is not altogether between lawful and unlawful food, but between eating and drinking or abstinence. Asceticism rather than ritual cleanness is in his mind. The Law is not ascetic in its character, its prohibitions of meats rests on the view that they are unclean, and drinks are forbidden, save in exceptional cases, and then not for ascetic reasons. But these injunctions stand along with ordinances of the Law itself, partly, because they may have been regarded as extensions of its principles, partly, we may suppose, because, like the Law, they were attributed to the angels by the false teachers.
Hebrews 12:16-note that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
Brosis - 43 uses in the Septuagint (LXX)- Gen 1:29f; 2:9, 16; 3:6; 9:3; 25:28; 47:24; Lev 7:24; 19:7; 25:7; Deut 32:24; 1 Sam 2:28; 2 Sam 16:2; 19:42; 1 Kgs 19:8; Job 33:20; 34:3; Ps 14:4; 44:11; 53:4; 78:30; 104:21; Isa 55:10; Jer 7:33; 15:3; 19:7; 34:20; Lam 1:11, 19; 4:10; Ezek 47:12; Dan 1:10; Hab 3:17; Mal 3:11;
Luke records an example of the ancient association of grain with wealth in Jesus' parable…
Barclay writes that brosis…
The Exegetical Dictionary says that brosis "refers not only to eating as a human activity and consumption by insects, but also the food itself, particularly in John (then in proximity to broma). Especially in John the level of literal meaning is lost, and brosis is used in a fig. sense. In the aphoristic saying in Mt 6:19, 20., brosis, in connection with ses (moth), can only mean eating by insects (cf. Mal 3:11), whose activity works destructively and therefore prohibits the hoarding and collecting of earthly things. (Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. 1:229. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans)
Destroy (853) (aphanizo from aphanes = hidden or literally "not appearing" from a = without + phaino = to appear) means to cause to vanish, make disappear. To make unseen. To render invisible or unrecognizable. Aphanizo can also mean to destroy in the active voice and in the passive voice to be removed out of sight or to become invisible (Jas 4:14).
Vine adds that aphanizo means…
Metaphorically, the idea of aphanizo is to destroy (as the value or use of something), to corrupt, to spoil, as does the moth or canker. The process does not result in annihilation but simply changes whatever is affected from one state to another. Destruction means the cessation of being what a thing is and taking another form of existence, but in context a form that is no longer useful to the owner! This truth makes the following Proverb even more poignant…
Solomon one of the richest men of antiquity exhorts the wise reader to…
Aphanizo - 5 uses rendered in as destroy(1), destroys(1), neglect (1), perish(1), vanishes away(1).
Matthew 6:16 "And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance (NET = they make their faces unattractive; ESV = they disfigure their faces) in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Comment: In this verse aphanizo means to make unsightly, to disfigure, to make ugly, to cause to be unattractive.
Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Acts 13:41 'Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; For I am accomplishing a work in your days, A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.'"
Comment: Here aphanizo means to be so completely destroyed as not to be visible.
James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears (phaino - has light, shines forth, and thus is seen. Literally phaino is a participle = "appearing") for a little while and then vanishes away. (Literally aphanizo is also a participle = vanishing. Note word play with phaino since aphanizo = a + phaino)
Vincent commenting on aphanizo adds that this is…
Aphanizo has 78 uses in the Septuagint (LXX) - Ex 8:9; 12:15; 21:29, 36; Deut 7:2; 13:5; 19:1; Judg 21:16; 1 Sam 24:21; 2 Sam 21:5; 22:38; 2 Kgs 10:17, 28; 21:9; Ezra 6:12; Esther 3:6, 13; 4:17; 9:24; Job 2:9; 4:9; 22:20; 39:24; Ps 94:23; 146:9; Prov 10:25; 12:7; 14:11; 30:10; Song 2:15; Jer 4:26; 12:4, 11; 47:4; 50:21, 45; 51:3; Lam 1:4, 13, 16; 3:11; 4:5; 5:18; Ezek 4:17; 6:6; 12:19; 14:9; 19:7; 20:26; 25:3; 30:9; 34:25; 36:4f, 34ff; Dan 2:44; 7:26; 8:25; 11:31, 44; Hos 2:12; 5:15; 10:2; 13:16; Joel 1:17f; 2:20; Amos 7:9; 9:14; Mic 5:14; 6:13, 15; Hab 1:5; Zeph 2:9; 3:6; Zech 7:14. Here are a few uses of aphanizo in the Lxx…
Thieves (2812) (kleptes from klépto = steal) is literally a stealer: The kléptes steals by fraud and in secret whereas the related word for robber (lestes) steals by violence and openly. Kleptes is used metaphorically to describe false teachers or deceivers who "steal men away" from the truth as in John 10:8, 10; Hosea 7:1.
Break in (1358) (diorusso from diá = through, + orússo = to dig) means literally to "dig through". To break through a wall or barrier, normally by the process of digging through. Digging through a wall in Jesus' day was an activity that was made relatively easy to do through ancient dwellings often composed of mud walls or sun-dried bricks.
Diorusso - 4x in the NT - Matt 6:19, 20; 24:43; Luke 12:39
Diorusso - 4x in the Septuagint - Job 24:16; Ezek 12:5, 7, 12
Stealing is the act by which the victim is deprived of property or possessions secretly and without consent, and implies deception and dishonesty, in contrast to robbery which denotes taking away of something from someone by force.
The Greeks called a burglar a “mud-digger”. (Compare Job 24:16, “In the dark they dig through houses.”) which is why many people buried their nonperishable valuables in the ground away from the house.
In view of these mud-diggers, well-to-do people usually tried other methods to safeguard their wealth including investing money with moneychangers, depositing it in a temple for safekeeping (interestingly even most robbers balked at “robbing gods”) or burying it in the ground or in caves. And yet in these "secret" place moth could still destroy expensive apparel or rust could destroy the value of coins over time.
You may say "I've never been robbed. Besides I have the best burglar alarm system money can buy." That may be true, but have you thought about the erosive effects of inflation, oppressive taxation, bank failures, stock market crashes, expenses of a prolonged illnesses, all of which can have the same effect devastating effect as a robbery?
When someone asked an immensely rich man whether his wealth had brought him joy, he replied, “No, nothing tastes now.”
Job (a very rich man) declared…
In fact where was Job's trust?
The psalmist writes…
The Narrow Way
Solomon writes these sayings that we might live wisely…
When someone asked one of the richest men in the world what it would take to make him happy he replied in all sincerity "One dollar more!"
No amount of money will genuine contentment, the kind that God alone gives.
John Calvin lamented that…
John D. Rockefeller once said,
Cornelius Vanderbilt added,
Millionaire John Jacob Astor described himself as
Henry Ford at a time when he was immensely wealthy once remarked,
A Roman proverb says that money is like sea water, the more you drink the thirstier you get
In light of these somewhat depressing quotations it is not surprising that Jesus spoke of "treasure" or money quite frequently. In fact, Randy Alcorn has estimated that
It was Jesus Who asked the piercing question…
Jim Elliot said that
On another occasion Jesus instructed His disciples to…
Charles Simeon wrote that…
Augustine wrote that…
MacArthur rightly reminds us that…
Kent Hughes presents a sad illustration of an ironic tragedy of hoarding material wealth…
Matthew Henry wrote that Jesus gives us…
Pastor Ray Pritchard addresses the practical application of Jesus' negative command in his consideration of three areas…
Loosening Our Grip - Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be? --2Peter 3:11
An American tourist traveled to Poland to visit with a respected religious teacher who was known for his wisdom. The visitor noticed that the man's room had nothing but a table, a chair, and some books. Puzzled by such austerity, he asked, "Where is your furniture?" The teacher answered, "My furniture? Where is your furniture, my friend?" The American protested, "Furniture? But I am only a tourist passing through." "So am I," said the man.
Take my silver and my gold,
As Jean-Jacques Rousseau rightly said…
That’s All Mine! - George W. Truett, a well-known pastor, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.
PARTING OR INVESTING? (Read 1 Timothy 6:3-12) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, but… in heaven. Matthew 6:19, 20
This youngster may have completely misinterpreted his uncle's generosity, but we would do well to let his experience remind us that there's a world of difference between a fool who thoughtlessly parts with his money for the fleeting, selfish pleasures of this life, and the wise man who in-vests it in Heaven. Jesus told the rich young ruler,
Such giving is not the "parting" of a fool, but the "investing" of a wise man.
The Sunday school lesson had to do with keeping our minds and bodies clean. As the teacher held up a bar of soap to emphasize the point, one little tyke was heard to comment, "Oh, oh, here comes the commercial!" Isn't that the way many feel about the offering?
After the morning service, dad was knocking the preacher, mother was criticizing the choir, and sister was running down the organist. But they all quieted down in a hurry when little brother piped up, "I thought it was a pretty good show for a dime!" This family had never discovered that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35, cp Phil 4:17-note)
What are you doing with your possessions? Are you foolishly "parting" with them, or wisely "investing" them in everlasting securities?
You may lay up vast riches of silver and gold;
To be rich in GOD is better than
David Livingstone - The body of David Livingstone was buried in England where he was born, but his heart was buried in the Africa he loved. At the foot of a tall tree in a small African village the natives dug a hole and placed in it the heart of this man who they loved and respected.
ANYTHING LEFT?: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him … 1 Corinthians 16:2
What a difference it would make if every true Christian really believed this. This matter of "investing" in Heaven would then occupy a much more important place in our prayers. Daily we would ask the Lord what we should do, how much we should give, and where we might wisely expend that which has been committed to our trust. Only in so doing can we be assured of an "abundant entrance." The apostle Paul tells us,
How are you investing? When you leave for the eternal Home will there be "anything left"? (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
O the plaudits of men may be sweet to your ears;
Treasures in Heaven are laid up
THIEVES AND INFLATION: Lay not up … treasures upon earth, … where thieves break through and steal. Matthew 6:19
Thieves and inflation have much in common! In fact, when it comes to their effect upon a person's "nest egg," they are almost synonymous. Both rob and deprive the unsuspecting victim of his resources.
A few days ago, while thumbing through an old 1922 almanac, I came across this suggestion for becoming financially independent: "If a person, at 20 years of age, would religiously put aside one dollar per week and invest it every 6 months at 6 percent compound interest, by the time he reached 60 he would have established a fund that would- make him independent of help from others for the balance of his life. His bank book would show the tidy sum of approximately $10,000." How times have changed! Today, although a lot of money, this amount can no longer be considered sufficient to make a person financially in-dependent.
Jesus said, "Lay not up … treasures upon earth." If spoken in 1970 I can well imagine our Lord adding the words "where thieves [and inflation] break through and steal." We certainly have an obligation to prepare in a sensible way for the future, and to do what we can to avoid becoming a burden to others in our declining years. Yet, in every person's savings program, pro-vision should be made for deposits in the Bank of Heaven. It offers security. It provides a foolproof hedge against inflation. It guarantees the best returns.
If the insecurity of earthly investments troubles you, "lay up … treasures in heaven," where neither thieves nor inflation "break through and steal." (H G Bosch) (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
It has been said with wisdom true,
Offering - At our 1987 church picnic someone went through a number of cars and stole various items. Donna K.’s purse and glasses were taken. Later, someone found her purse intact, except for some missing loose change. She’d put all her money in the offering plate that morning! (Later, her glasses were also found.) (Source unknown)
Determined Thieves - There are few things that determined thieves can’t steal. In the fall of 1988 three paintings by Vincent van Gogh, including his early masterpiece, “The Potato Eaters,” were stolen from a museum in Europe. Experts had shielded the museum with a silent alarm system and two guards. Yet thieves got to the paintings, estimated to be worth about $50 million.
Amplified: But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
NLT: Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Philips: But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is neither moth nor rust to spoil it and nobody can break in and steal. (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: But be accumulating treasures in heaven where neither a clothes-moth nor corrosion destroys and where thieves do not break in nor steal, (Wuest: Expanded Translation: Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: but treasure up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth disfigure, and where thieves do not break through nor steal,
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal: thesaurizete (2PPAM) de humin thesaurous en ourano, hopou houte ses houte brosis aphanizei, (3SPAI) kai hopou kleptai ou diorussousin (3SPPA) oude kleptousin; (3PPAI): (Mt 19:21; Isaiah 33:6; Luke 12:33; 18:22; 1Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 10:34; 11:26; James 2:5; 1Peter 1:4; 5:4; Revelation 2:9)
But - Introduces a striking contrast with laying up treasures on earth.
Store up (lay up) - The Puritan Thomas Watson rightly explained that "The way to lay up is to lay out."
Someone else put it this way…
C H Spurgeon's comments…
Paul has similar advice for his young disciple Timothy writing…
This reminds me of the story of how to catch a monkey -
Store up for yourselves - J Vernon McGee comments that…
Jon Courson has an interesting observation that…
Never try to save out of God's cause; such money will canker the rest. Giving to God is no loss; it is putting your substance in the best bank. Giving is true having, as the old gravestone said of the dead man: "What I spent I had; what I saved I lost; what I gave I have."
John Wesley rightly said that…
Note carefully that the question is not whether we will store up wealth. Everyone will. That’s a given. The vital question is where we will do our "banking", on earth or in heaven?
Note that storing up treasure in heaven does not yield benefits based on merit (our "works" or self effort), but instead yields future rewards as a result of present faithful service.
Charles Simeon wrote that…
Jameison writes that…
Pastor Pritchard observes that…
HOW TO DAILY INVEST
Beloved it is time for the people of God to wholeheartedly, unreservedly invest in the Kingdom of Heaven. If God is speaking to you as you read this note, please do not close your ear. Our Father knows best and He desires to bestow bountiful, undefiled, imperishable treasures upon you in Heaven. Heed His soft whisper… do you really need to move to that nicer neighborhood? do you really need a new house? do you really need ______? Let me suggest a practical way to invest in heaven and specifically in the people who will be there, and you can even do it free of charge! Click on one (or both) of the following links every day for the rest of your life on earth and our Father (I believe) will reward you some day in a way that we could not even understand now… here they are (earmark them in your favorites so you can begin your day interceding for the souls of men and women from every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation… you will eternally not regret your decision!) …
Treasure in heaven - Some Jewish rabbis had written that treasure in heaven was associated with keeping the law or charitable deeds (cf. Sir. 29:11-12; Tob. 4:7-11), but clearly a treasure which is the result of one's efforts (a works based righteousness) is not what Jesus is advocating.
John Henry Jowett made an interesting statement that…
Robert Guelich comments that…
Charles Simeon wrote that…
Treasures (2344) (thesauros from títhemi = put, set) is a deposit or place where something is kept and thus can represent a treasure chest or a storehouse. Thesauros is a receptacle for valuables. In the ancient writers it meant “treasury” (1 Macc. 3:29). In their “caskets” the Magi had gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
In context, the treasures refer to whatever it is you most value.
VAIN ARE ALL TERRESTRIAL PLEASURES
Heaven (3772) (ouranos) in a physical sense is the portion or portions of the universe generally distinguished from planet earth and thus describes the over-arching, all-embracing heaven beneath which is the earth and all that is therein. In the present context ouranos describes where "our Father… art" (Mt 6:9-note), where Jesus came from (Jn 3:13, et al), where the true tabernacle stands (Heb 8:1, 2, 3, 4, 5-note), where the "throne of God" stands (Mt 5:34-note) and is synonymous (as the abode of God) with the "third heaven" (2Cor 12:2 - Click for more discussion of The Third Heaven). The first use in invitation of both John the Baptist and Jesus was the cry "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." In one sense genuine believers are already citizens of this great state, for Jesus said of the "poor in spirit" (believers) and those "who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness", that "theirs is (present tense) the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3-note, Mt 5:10-note). Jesus encouraged citizens of the kingdom of heaven who were undergoing suffering to…
He explained that one the main functions for believers left on earth, the kingdom of darkness, is to
Jesus opened the present segment of the sermon with a warning to…
Jesus is not saying that one can earn his salvation by laying up treasure, for that would deny the central doctrine of justification by faith alone. Instead what Jesus is saying is that believers are positively rewarded in eternity according to the way they live their lives here on earth. Paul echoes this same truth writing…
Peter spoke to treasures in heaven in his introductory remarks of his first letter writing…
John MacArthur reminds us that…
A W Tozer made the poignant statement that…
Matthew Henry rightly comments that…
Les Miserables - In Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables, Jean Valjean serves nineteen years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. After his release, the bitter ex-prisoner comes to the home of a kind bishop, who serves Valjean a meal using his best silver and gives him a bed for the night.
That evening, Valjean steals the bishop’s silver and is caught. Brought to the bishop by the police, he expects the worst, only to hear the bishop say, “I gave them to him. And Jean, you forgot to take the candlesticks.” A shocked Valjean is brought to true repentance by the bishop’s extraordinary kindness.
How many people would be willing to trade their silver plates and candlesticks for the joy of seeing a broken life restored? We’d better not take a poll—we might be disappointed in the results. (Copyright Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)
Pleasures In Heaven - The renowned 19th-century English preacher C. H. Spurgeon told this story about King Cyrus, the man who conquered Babylon and freed the Jews from captivity: A visitor who was admiring Cyrus' gardens said it gave him much pleasure. "Ah," said Cyrus, "but you have not so much pleasure in this garden as I have, for I have planted every tree in it myself."
Spurgeon then commented, "One reason some saints will have a greater fullness of heaven than others will be that they did more for heaven than others. By God's grace they were enabled to bring more souls there."
Those words should cause all of us who know the Lord to do some serious thinking. How many people will be in heaven because of us? Our desire should be that when we reach our eternal home, some will say to us, "I'm so thankful for you. It was your testimony, your life, your invitation to accept Christ that accounts for my being here today." The apostle Paul anticipated the joy in heaven of seeing people who were there as a result of his ministry (1Th 2:19, 20-note).
Yes, heaven's joys will be the fullest for those who have helped lead others to Christ. So do all you can to bring to Jesus those who are lost in sin. That's how you can lay up pleasures in heaven! —Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
We will not know until we reach
Misplaced Treasure - I once read about a man who bought a luxurious house and filled it with expensive and impressive furnishings. After taking a friend on a tour through the mansion's many spacious rooms, the owner asked proudly, "Well, what do you think of it?" He expected to hear lavish praise, so he was stunned when his guest replied, "It is magnificent; but to be perfectly frank, things like this make a deathbed terrible."
If we live for wealth and fame,
A Wealth Of Poverty - A band of gangsters in France got away with more than $3.5 million. But the thieves had a problem. The loot was in French coins worth only about $2 each and weighing a total of 17 tons!
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
A New House - The Lord Jesus is now in heaven, the “Father’s house.” He has gone there to “prepare a place” for all who have put their trust in Him. There is a sense, however, in which believers may have a part in preparing that place. That thought was brought to my attention as I read these observations by an unknown writer:
Going to Our Treasure - A woman met a friend of her father’s who had not seen him for many years. The woman’s father was a devout Christian, so she found great joy in telling his old acquaintance about her dad’s trust in the Lord, and the way he faced suffering, trials, and even the prospect of death.
IT'S NOT MINE! - AUSTRIAN violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) was one of the greatest of all time. He thrilled audiences around the world with his skillful playing. Although he could have commanded the highest fees, he refused to do so and never became rich.
What a challenge! We call ourselves disciples of the One who voluntarily left the glory of heaven to become homeless (Mt 8:20), yet few of us show as much concern for the homeless as did Fritz Kreisler. If we are unwilling to give people the bread they need for physical survival, can we claim the right to offer the Bread of Life, which they need for spiritual survival? Can we even claim to have tasted it ourselves? —V C Grounds
Amplified: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
NLT: Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Philips: For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!" (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: for where your treasure is, there will also be your heart. (Wuest: Expanded Translation: Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for where your treasure is, there will be also your heart.
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be alsO: hopou gar estin (3SPAI) o thesauros sou, ekei estai (3SFMI) kai e kardia sou: (Isaiah 33:6; Luke 12:34; 2Corinthians 4:18) (Mt 12:34; Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 4:14; 22:17; Acts 8:21; Romans 7:5, 6, 7; Philemon 1:3,19; Colossians 3:1, 2, 3; Hebrews 3:12)
For (gar) explains why where we lay up our treasure is such an important decision. Remember also that this section is in the context of dealing with anxiety, so what Jesus is teaching here clearly relates to how we handle anxiety.
WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE?
John MacArthur points out that…
Your treasure - It is worth noting that in the two previous verses you is plural, but in this verse you is singular which signifies Jesus is calling for each one of us to make a personal application of the truths He has just taught. Will you heed His words, dear reader or has His teaching just made you smarter without changing your thinking on this subject?
You can mark it down as one man well said
Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote that…
Spurgeon comments that…
C H Spurgeon's comments…
Adam Clarke wrote that…
Wiersbe writes that…
treasure used for God’s glory is invested in heaven where it lasts eternally. The way people use wealth is an indication of the condition of their hearts. If we spend our time and money only on business, and neglect God, then our hearts are in business and not fixed on God. (Wiersbe, W. W. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
The concept of laying up treasure in heaven is not pictured as a meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service.
The ultimate destiny of our lives is either earthly or heavenly and the concentration of our efforts will reveal where our real treasure is. The point is that what you cherish most shows where your heart's deepest motives and desires lie, either earthbound or heavenward, with no in between possible. James emphasized this same eternal truth writing…
Charles Simeon wrote that…
John Calvin commenting on Where your treasure shall be wrote that…
Heart (2588) (Click for in depth word study on kardia) refers to the whole inner man, the core of our total being, the wellspring of all we do. The heart of the issue regarding wealth and possessions is the heart. If our heart is rightly focused on the things above and not on the things of the earth, we will gladly, generously give to the eternal work of the Lord. Do not misunderstand what Jesus is saying. He is not saying that if put our earthly treasure in "heaven", then our heart's location will follow suit. He is saying that where our treasure is located is a clear indicator of where our heart is focused.
Our heart is used figuratively to describe the very center of our lives and thus it follows that it cannot be in heaven and on earth simultaneously. Jesus says the heart of the matter is that it is an "either-or proposition!"
To the Jew, the heart was considered the center of the person and as such expresses the totality of one’s self.
Ironside rightly observes that…
Spurgeon writes that…
Stated another way, our heart follows our treasure, either up to heaven or down to earth. In simple terms our heart follows our money. And so it follows that we should put our money where you want your heart to be. If we want to know where the center of our being is, all we have to do is honestly admit where our treasure is.
Give us Thy grace to rise above The glare of this world’s smelting fires;
Henry Ward Beecher once said that…
Charles Simeon writes the following comments regarding our hearts…
William Barclay records that…
Ray Pritchard expounds on this point explaining that…
If it is wrong to gather treasures on earth, is making provision for future physical needs wrong? Is it wrong to be rich? Clearly the answer to these questions is "No". Jesus is not forbidding material possessions in and of themselves, the private ownership of property, saving money for the future, investing for a greater return, owning insurance or owning nice things.
Joseph had grain stored for future use (Ge 41:33-36). Abraham was a very rich man and yet was known as the friend of God (Ge 13:2). Money can be a great blessing, if it is not an end in itself but a means to an end.
Those who have their hearts fixed on heaven
will hold loosely the things of earth.
For yourselves is a key phrase indicating that Jesus is telling His audience to stop the selfish, self-centered accumulation of goods as one's major goal in life.
Augsburger writes that…
Kent Hughes minces no words writing that…
Don't misunderstand Jesus' instructions because it is not about what God wants from you. It’s about what God wants for you.
Warren Wiersbe cautions that…
To focus one's efforts on the accumulation of wealth (earthly treasure) is a "slippery slope" fraught with danger as Paul explained Timothy writing that…
John MacArthur in his comments on 1Timothy 6:8 offers the following practical principles will help keep life free from the desire for more material possessions…
John Wesley said…
The late Chaplain of the United States Senate, Peter Marshall (1902-1949) once said…
Detzler wrote that…
The renowned British preacher G. Campbell Morgan puts Jesus' words in proper perspective declaring that…
Solomon gave wise advice regarding wealth (irregardless of the "size" of our portfolio) encouraging us to…
Paul adds that…
Luke records Jesus' words with a similar message exhorting disciples to…
W A Criswell told the following story as he ended his sermon on Matthew 6:19-21,
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
GUARDING AGAINST MATERIALISM - Junior wanted a dump truck, and he let everyone in the store know it. When his mother said no, the little boy threw a temper tantrum. He howled louder and louder until the embarrassed mother bought the toy. As I watched, I thought of what my mother told me when I was young. "Don't hang your heart on things!" she said. At times I rebelled against that idea, but today I'm deeply grateful for her advice. And I think it should be displayed as a motto in every home.
The apostle Peter warned that the earth, and all “the works that are in it, shall be burned up” (2Pe 3:10-note). With this truth in mind, he went on to say, “Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness.?” (2Pe 3:11-note). Because material things are transient, we ought to set our affection on “things above” (Col 3:2-note).
In a day when we're bombarded as never before by appeals to buy and have, it's difficult, even for believers, to stand firm against an excessive desire for things. Beautiful full-color spreads in magazines, scintillating radio commercials, and persuasive television ads combine to make us feel that we can't get along without certain products.
Hold lightly to the things of earth
THE TROUBLE WITH TREASURE - The trouble with storing up treasures on earth is that they are so temporary. Some of them, such as buildings or jewelry or certificates of deposit, can be so easily destroyed. A little spark, a theft, an economic downturn, and they are gone.
I do not ask for treasures here,
CHECKBOOK CHECKUP - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:21
The entries will read like a family history book. They chronicle every major event - births, deaths, and illnesses - and quite accurately reflect your tastes, habits and interests.
They record your vacations, travels, and other moves. They also tell much about how expensively you dress or how extravagantly you eat. The total spent in each category will pinpoint the things that make the greatest demands on your income - either because of need or by choice.
Such a checkbook checkup might also show our spiritual temperature. The contributions given to the work of the Lord compared with the expenditures for the unnecessary things of life offer some clues. If nothing has gone to the church or to people in need, but large sums were spent for personal gratification, we need to examine our values.
Does your checkbook indicate that you've been "rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share"? (1Ti 6:18).
Try doing a checkbook checkup today. -- Richard W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
It's not what you'd do with a million
A Terrible Deathbed - I once read of a man who bought a luxurious house and filled it with expensive and spectacular furnishings. After taking a friend on a tour through its many spacious rooms, the owner of the mansion asked proudly, “Well, what do you think of it?” He expected to hear lavish praise, so he was stunned when his quest responded, “It is gorgeous; but to be perfectly frank, things like this make a deathbed terrible.”
Don’t Hang Your Heart on Things - One day I saw a little boy throw a temper tantrum in a store. He wanted a dump truck, but his mother said no. So Junior howled louder and louder until the mother, embarrassed, bought the toy. As I watched, I thought of what my mother told me when I was young. She said, “Don’t hang your heart on things!” I’ll admit that at times I rebelled against that idea, but today I’m deeply grateful for her advice. And I think it should be displayed as a motto in every home: DON’T HANG YOUR HEART ON THINGS.
Where is your focus today? If your hand is closing tighter and tighter around what you have, reread Jesus' words until the Spirit begins to transform your thinking and loosen your grip on your possessions!