My Money Where My Mouth is 4.
The Eternal Investment
Key Text: Matthew 6:19-21 and Colossians 3:1-3
I would love to see the differing ideas of what heaven would be like if I was to ask this church what they thought of heaven.
Most of us picture intuitively a cloudy wispy, harpy (in terms of we'll be playing on harps all day long) kind of heaven.
Out of all the instruments of all the world how did the harp become the heavenly instrument! I guess it's better than everyone getting drums or bugles.
If we don’t have that in mind we have a place of indulgence. All day golf, or all the best food and we don’t get fat etc.
These ideas do nothing to actually change us and I believe are as far from the reality as can be.
Us comparing heaven to these things is like saying a mud pie taste as good as a black forest cake because we have never tasted a black forest cake.
We must realize that the heaven realities are so beyond us and so incredible that to trivialize them to earthly things is to do them injustice.
What we can hope in is that in the life to come we will be free, we will be with Jesus and we will have peace!
It will be more real that we could ever imagine and more wonderful than we could ever dream of.
Why I bring this up is that we are finishing off our series tonight on "My Money where My Mouth Is." Tonight looking at the eternal investment. Effectively the whole series has been leading to this point. Because this life and all it entails is fading away and the only thing that truly is investing our lives in the life to come.
Won't you turn with me to Matthew 6:19-21 and also find and keep your finger in Colossians 3:1-3. As you're turning there
I want us to be real about this tonight; I don’t want to have a pie in the sky discussion on how you need to be high and mighty and only have concern for the world to come; because that is simply not real.
I want to address the reality that we live in this world and therefore the problems of this world and the worries of this world do affect us.
But what I hope to show you by the end of tonight is that it is when we truly focus on the world to come we find hope for this world that we find ourselves.
When we live for the next that we find life in its abundance here and now.
But let us start by looking at our passages;
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
And in Colossians Paul says something similar when he says;
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Both of these verse address our current reality and ask us to keep our hearts by focusing on that which is more. To understand let's look at our first reality which is
1. Real World Problems
I could just tell you tonight; stop stressing about your life and your things simply focus on the stuff to come, focus on God and His glory and His kingdom.
But That would not really help you and would be, I believe, would actually be disconnected from the passages that we have just read.
Both these passages remind us of the fleeting nature of the things of this world. Money can be stolen, lost or destroyed, our current lives are with Christ in heaven because you have been raised.
You see the things of this life do matter to us because they are real to us here and now.
Tell someone who is struggling to pay their bond not to worry about money but rather store up treasures in heaven and they might punch you.
Why because to them that need right now is overwhelming and pressing! They can see nothing else!
The problems of this world are real to us are they not?
What I want to show you and what Paul and Jesus are reminding us are that our problems our worries are not as real as the realities that await.
What we spend our lives chasing can be an illusion and all along we end up missing the true reality that was staring us in our face.
The reality is we are children of the age to come, the illusion this world will last forever. The illusion is that our problems are insurmountable.
We can get so wrapped up in the problems of this age that we forget our reality this is not our home; we were not made for this.
I often get caught up in this; where my concern is solely for my well being and happiness. You know, we have all been there; will I be safe in SA? Will my kids be able to find jobs? How will I pay for school fees next year? Etc etc.
These thought are real to us and overwhelm us; but in the scope of eternity; when I get my perspective back they really do seem silly.
Why? Because we are destined for resurrection;
2. Resurrection Life Realities
That is what Jesus and Paul are trying to make clear to us; why invest in something that is going to fade away; why put all your energy into something that will end?
Invest in that which is real, that which will last, that which is secure.
That what we do for this life will pass away with this life; that what we do for the life to come will never pass away.
We bog ourselves down with worries of this world, but in the light of eternity does that really matter?
What is more profound and real? How am I going to pay for school or "Get away from me you wicked and lazy servant be cast out into the pit where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth for all eternity!"
If I am honest with myself and actually take a step back; themoney thing will be sorted out; you make a plan, but I can never make a plan once eternity has happened.
The realities of the life to come always trump the realities of this world. Because they carry so much more weight.
And so I have to remind myself to not concern myself for the things of this world by focus on His glory and the life to come.
I have to put my money where my mouth is and invest all I have in the life to come! Why because at the end of it all that is what will truly matter.
And you know what happens when I do this? This life starts to fall into place.
I can make this life the focus and get all stressed about money and you know what I will become a horrible person, snappy with my family. I will start scheming on how to make more money and might even lose myself completely in the pursuit of getting more.
Or I could rather pursue God and His glory; trusting in His promises to care for those who love Him. I could make His glory my chief concern and that would drive me to be an honest person, someone who honours relationships. Someone who is more concerned about doing what God desires of Him over anything else.
And in this I become a better person, a better father and husband. I am a more contributing person in society. In all this my life and my worries are cared for and I do find although sometimes it is tough I always have what I need and so the things of this world are added to me as well!
You see the realities of the life to come are greater than the realities of our lives now.
So why waste your life over invested in something that is already lost.
It is like you trying to invest in the Titanic. Not before it sank I mean like trying to invest in it now.
It's already at the bottom of the ocean no amount of investment is going to make that boat sail the oceans again.
This is why Jesus asks his audience; why build up treasures for yourself in this life? What's the point?
It is why Paul urges the Colossian Church to see that everything they have is with Christ in heavenly places; so don't look down look up!
Church this life is short; it is what everyone keeps telling me. And at 30 I am slowly starting to believe the hype. So if the rumours are true and life indeed does go by in a flash; why waste it on that which will have no reward.
Why don't we invest ourselves in that which we can celebrate for all eternity in?
I have said this before, but my greatest hope that which I long for more than I think anything else is to hear the word of my saviour saying "well done good and faithful servant!"
To me to hear that would mean that all this was worth while. Imagine hearing that all you spent yourself on was a waste, all your effort was done for nothing.
If you are spending yourself only on this life, you will come to find when it is too late that your investments were for nothing and count for nothing.
Church let us remember that we are destined for the life to come and so let us live as if that is true. Let us put our money where our mouth is and live for Him first! Live for the Kingdom of God!
So let us take stock of what really matters:
3. What Truly Matters
God's glory over ours
When we understand that eternity is what awaits us what takes precedent? God's glory or ours? This is a simple act of giving over our selfish desires to be known and famous and impressive and letting Him be
Caring for others over self
The ultimate expression of loving God and giving Him glory is when we see others better than we see ourselves.
Church let us strive for making others and their concerns more important than our own/
His Kingdom over mine
Ultimately it all comes down to what am I building; and if we understand that we are made for the life to come then indeed all seeking of building our own kingdom seems pointless and all that is left is to give ourselves over completely to His Kingdom and His glory!
To live for God completely!
As we go out into the week let us seek Him over us. Let us seek His glory over our own let us love people and build the kingdom of God as we go.