Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 6:16-21
Our God knows us by name because we are God’s children. Sometimes we have children and grandchildren and we cannot keep up with their names. However, God knows our names. Jesus says in today’s Bible passage that God knows even our secret piety. When we fast, nobody notices because we put oil on our head and wash our faces. However, our Father who is in secret and who sees in secret will reward us.
Some people these days do not have enough money to pay their mortgages and other bills. Still they go to work and come to church. They dress up with clean outfits and with smiling faces, showing their inner peace. Nobody knows that the person is in deep financial trouble. But God knows and has plans for them. Some people come to church with great physical pain. And even close friends do not sense it. But God feels the pain. Some people come to church with painful burden in their hearts. And even pastors do not know them and passes by. But our heavenly Father tries to lift them up through many opportunities. We are relieved because we know that God knows us, our hearts, our pains, and our burdens. We do not have to pretend anything. God accepts us as we are.
What God wants from us is our hearts. So, Jesus again says, “do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your hear will be also.” Here Jesus actually asks us where our hearts are. That is the only concern God has for us. When we store up our treasures on earth, our hearts are with worries and anxieties. When we put our treasures in heaven, our hearts are filled with joy and peace.
Why do we store up treasures on earth? Because we want security and stability we store up treasures on earth. However, let us ponder about this. In our human history or in our personal history, have any treasures on earth protected us from any harm? NO! Then why do we keep trying to store up treasures on earth? Because we do not feel that God’s promises are trustworthy. God’s promises stand strong and still. We just do not feel that way because our heart is not in fellowship with God.
Do you remember Jesus’ teaching? Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Heart matters. Same principle is applied in our giving. If we want to give more to God, God takes it as real offering. Heart matters. That is why Jesus praised the woman who gave only two coins in the offering plate. If we give our hearts to God, that is enough for our Father in heaven. May our God in heaven give us this feeling of security and peace in spite of our current hardships and difficulties on earth!
1. Pull out your schedule. Where do you spend most of your time?
2. Pull out your check book. Where do you spend most of your money?