Scriptures: Matthew 6:19, Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 6:8, 1 Timothy 5:8, Mark 10:21-25, Luke 17:21, John 3:3, John 3:5, Mark 10:28-30, Matthew 6:20, Matthew 6:21, Matthew 6:33
KINGDOM INVITATION: I want to talk to you today about our series on The Sermon On The Mount. Today's lesson isKingdom Treasures. Jesus tells us there are treasures that we can enjoy that will give us a blessed life. There are treasures that we can enjoy in the kingdom of heaven today. Jesus called these abundant treasures "treasures in heaven." He said that if we can keep our focus upon them (Jesus is about to talk about having clear focus - Mat 6:22-23) that Father will give us everything we could ask or think and we can enter the supernatural kingdom called the kingdom of heaven. Concerning these treasures, Jesus said,
Matthew 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
WHY 'DO NOT STORE UP'? :Is it that the Father does not want us to have nice things and to maintain and protect the nice things we have obtained? No, not at all. Are nice clothes bad? No. Jesus dressed nicely. The soldiers gambled for his clothes at the cross (Mat 27:35). Are nice things bad? No. The Bible actually encourages our acquiring nice things and our having wealth. In fact, the Lord himself gives us abilities to produce wealth.
Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Father wants us to have wealth. No place does the Lord every say that we should not have wealth. The problem is when it becomes a treasure. The Bible tells us that we should save and store up for the future and for times when we can't harvest. Proverb 6:8 tells us to be like the ant who needs no one to tell him to obtain and prepare for winter.
Proverbs 6:8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Saving and having stuff is not condemned. Father wants us to save and have stuff. Saving and stuff is not a problem unless it becomes a treasure. Also, the Bible tells us to make certain that we provide for our own.
1 Timothy 5:8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Family is not a problem unless it becomes a treasure. Father wants us to be wealthy. Father wants us to save for the future and acquire things. He wants us to take care of our own.
PROBLEM IS TREASURE:The problem is when ANYTHING BECOMES OUR EVERYTHING - treasure. It's when treasures on earth take the place of God in our lives that a problem is developed. We forget that we can't take earthly treasures with us.
I read this story and thought it would be good to share. "An old miser called his doctor, lawyer, and minister to his deathbed. 'They say you can't take it with you,' the dying man said, 'But I'm going to try. I have three envelopes with $30,000 cash in each one. I want each of you to take an envelope, and as they lower my casket, throw in the envelopes!' At the grave site, each man tossed in his envelope as requested. But on the way home the minister confessed, 'I needed the money for the church, so I took out $10,000 and threw only $20,000 into the grave.' The doctor said, 'I too, must confess. I'm building a clinic. So I took $20,000 and threw in only $10,000.' The lawyer said, 'Gentlemen, I'm ashamed of you. I threw in a personal check for the full amount.'" (1) No matter how we try, we cannot take it with us. Our treasures will hardly survive our burial.
RICH YOUNG RULER:Allowing earthly treasures to take the place of God in our lives will actually block our entrance into the supernatural kingdom. There is a story in the Bible about a man referred to as "The Rich Young Ruler." He came to Jesus asking what is necessary to get into this kingdom that Jesus had been talking about and obtain eternal life. The man said he had kept the ten commandments all his life. Jesus told him that he still lacked one thing.
Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
See, it's not a commandment thing. We don't get God's best even if we keep the commandments. It's a heart thing. The man had kept the commandments, but stuff - treasures - had his heart and had actually blocked his entrance into the kingdom. The real problem is that treasures on earth will block our entrance into the supernatural kingdom of God. Here is what happened to that man, but it didn't have to be this way.
Mark 10:22 At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Mark 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
Mark 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
Mark 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
It's not that God doesn't want us to have things. It's that he doesn't want things to have us. Things actually stopped that man from entering the kingdom and receiving eternal life. He had kept the commandments. He was a good person and probably had done a lot of good things. But his treasures on earth had blocked his entrance into the supernatural kingdom of heaven.
Jesus desires desperately that we live in the supernatural dimension of the kingdom of heaven. If he can get us into his kingdom, we will never need to worry about going to heaven when we die.
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN? It's a supernatural dimension that we can enter and enjoy right now. It's enjoying God's best for our lives. It's experiencing life like we have never experienced it before. It's allowing the Holy Spirit to take us places that we could never imagine we could go. The Bible says that our natural eyes have not seen and our natural ears have not heard what God has prepared for us, but those wonderful things, EVEN THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD, are revealed to us by the Spirit (1Co 2:9-10).
This supernatural kingdom is here and we are now able to enter it.
(NASV) Luke 17:20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;
Luke 17:21 nor will they say,' Look, here it is!' or,' There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."
The kingdom of God is all around us all the time. The kingdom of God is within us if we are a Christ follower.
Jesus told Nicodemus that if he were born again, that he could see the kingdom now.
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
This supernatural kingdom can be seen. The purpose of being born again is so we can begin seeing the supernatural dimension of the kingdom of God. But how do I see it? What does it look like? Do you know how it is when you are born again that, to begin with, it's the greatest thing since ice-cream, but then you begin wanting more? You know there is more, so you beginLOOKING. That's the Lord trying to show us his kingdom. Nicodemus didn't know either, so Jesus tried to help him.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
How do we enter this supernatural kingdom? Let me show you this chart that will help us. There is the natural kingdom where we all exist. Beyond that kingdom (realm) there is another kingdom (realm). That kingdom is so large that the Bible says that it is without end. The Christ follower has access into both kingdoms - the natural kingdom and the kingdom of God. The Christ follower can see beyond the natural into a spiritual, supernatural kingdom. The Christ follower can enter the kingdom of God because of water baptism and the spiritual birth.
In the kingdom of God there are supernatural gifts, supernatural healing, supernatural faith, supernatural wisdom, supernatural knowledge, supernatural deliverance, supernatural peace, supernatural joy, supernatural abundance and on and on. It's life at a far greater and higher dimension. It's the abundant life that Jesus said he came to give (Joh 10:10). That is the kingdom that Jesus lived within. He was living the supernatural life on this earth as he lived in the kingdom. That is the kingdom he is inviting us to enter.
TREASURE WILL BLOCK OR OPEN:Jesus is telling us that treasures of earth will block the entrance to the kingdom of heaven. It is when this happens - when anything, other than the kingdom, becomes #1 - that a problem exists. The rich young ruler's treasures blocked his entrance. But the lesson of that story doesn't end with the rich young ruler walking away. Peter was fascinated by the things that Jesus said about how difficult it was for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. So, Peter made a statement to Jesus.
Mark 10:28 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
Mark 10:29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
Mark 10:30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age [KJV - now in this time] (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
See, Father wants us to have things a hundred fold. He just doesn't want things to have us. Peter's treasures opened the kingdom for him. Keeping our treasures correct will open the supernatural kingdom to us.
NOT FOR WHEN WE DIE:Laying up treasures in heaven is not for when we die. Eternal life is for when we die, but laying up treasures in heaven is for this present age - now, today! I mean, think about it, what will you need with treasures after you die? My point is, the supernatural dimension of the kingdom of heaven is the location of the treasures that you need today. Just as the local bank has some of my earthly treasures, the kingdom has my heavenly treasures. Jesus said,
Matthew 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Awaiting us in the kingdom of heaven is a hundred times as much as we have in the natural kingdom.
SO, HOW DO WE ACCESS THOSE TREASURES? Jesus said,
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
The Lord wants us to enter his kingdom. It's not difficult if we keep our priorities concerning treasures correct. All that is required is that we be born of water and the Spirit. There must be a spiritual birth and water baptism.
EUNUCH:ONE day the Angel of the Lord told Philip to go to Gaza. There, Philip came across an Ethiopian eunuch who was in charge of the treasures of the queen of Ethiopia. But this guy was looking for greater treasures. The Bible says that Philip got into the chariot and began to tell him about Jesus and entering the kingdom. A little ways down the road, they came to some water and the man from Ethiopia said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" Philip baptized him and the Bible says that the man from Ethiopia went away rejoicing. He had entered the kingdom.
Water baptism is vital. We must die to this world and be raised in newness of life. That is why we must be born of the Spirit. There must be a spiritual awakening within us. When that awakening happens, we are able to see and enter the kingdom of God. We begin to see spiritually. We begin to see as Jesus saw. We begin to see as Peter saw, as Paul saw, as Father sees. We can see beyond the natural and into the supernatural kingdom of God.
The hindrance that blocks our seeing the entrance or reveals the entrance are our treasures.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What happens to our treasure happens to us. The location of our treasure tells the story. No one can deny that where their physical heart goes, they go. It is impossible to remove my heart from my chest cavity and the remainder of me go another direction. The heart is the center of the being and where I find it, I find me. The rich young ruler's heart was found in the treasure of his stuff found in the natural world. Peter's heart was found in the treasure of the kingdom in the supernatural world. The eunuch heart entered the kingdom. Our heart determines the kingdom in which we exist and our treasure determines the location of our heart.
I promise you this. If we do our part to make certain that we keep our hearts focused on the kingdom, God will do his part and give us everything we need.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
What is it that you need today? It's available and accessible. Is there a mountain - a problem - that you need moved? In this kingdom, you can speak to it and it must obey you. Do you need a better job? You have the favor of God on you. You are a child of the most high God. Decree it. In this kingdom, you can speak it into existence. Do you need healing in your body? There is supernatural healing in this kingdom. It doesn't matter what it is that you need. It's available in the kingdom of God. Jesus said, ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU!
God wants to show us things that we have never seen. God wants to tell us things that we have never heard. He wants us to understand the deep things of God. God bless you and let's get into that kingdom.
We could look at the following questions and thoughts to find our treasure.
1. What occupies my thoughts when I have nothing else to do? About what do I daydream? Could it be money? Lust? Position? Sport? Then that is a treasure and reveals where my heart truly is located.
2. What do I fret and tend to overprotect the most? My children? House? My time? My job?
3. What things do I use to measure others? We measure others by our treasures. For example, education, size of house, automobile, marriage, children, clothes, physical physique, success, etc. This is a most revealing mirror when it comes to our personal treasures.
4. What is it that I cannot be happy without? My money? My spouse? My grandchildren (ouch!)? My job?
1. R. Kent Hughes, The Message of the Kingdom, page 207