Matthew 6:19-24 — All She Wants To Do Is Dance! — We Place Our Priorities on The Wrong Things, The Dance!

Posted: October 25, 2015 in 40-Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 6:19-24
Treasures in Heaven

Isn’t amazing how much more money our Federal government spends than it takes in each year. Our national debt is a national shame. We complain about it. We say that we do not understand it. We say that the government should live within its means. The deficits of our government are staggering. Economists tell us that some government spending in excess of collections can be good as a stimulus to the economy but all agree that it should not be a continuous thing nor should it be to the extent at which our government does it. Our government’s deficit persist and take up a more and more significant part of our country’s annual budgets – the paying of interest on our national debt. Foreign countries such as China purchase our government bonds to help finance the debt. We will one day become beholden to China as a result. China will not conquer us militarily but rather financially. We will be become the servants of other nations because we cannot live within our means as a nation.

As we continue reviewing the Sermon on the Mount, we now visit Matthew 6:19-24. This passage is certainly in contrast to the “I gotta have it now”, credit cards maxed to the limit, keeping up with the Joneses world that we see filling the commercials on television in our society today. It has been statistically proven that the majority of Americans live off of more than they make. Through credit, Americans typically spend 104% of what they make each year. Although we complain about our government, we are no better as a people than our government. We spend more than we make every year just like the government. We rarely pay off debts. We simply refinance them and replace them with bigger debts. We want more. We finance more. We then sit at our kitchen tables and wring our hands as we pay our bills as we sit in our houses that are twice as big as we need, with new cars in the driveway that are more than we can afford, with so many toys in the garage that we can’t park our cars in them. We are slaves to our debt just like our nation is. We spend more than we make just like the government. Our economy now has become so dependent on consumer credit that one out of every five jobs would disappear if there were no credit card debt in America. We have forced ourselves into an ever-increasing dependence on credit card debt. When we all are obsessed with this debt and living beyond our means, we are obsesses with that which does not matter in eternity. Satan smiles and Jesus weeps. Let’s read what Jesus has to say here,

“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. 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Jesus is saying here that things of this earth are temporary and fleeting so why would you make these things important in your life? He is saying that our treasures should be living our life in his model. He is saying that we should place our emphasis on living as he lived, loving as he loved, and leaving behind what he left behind. We should be living our lives in service to our fellow man, sacrificing our needs for those of others, and helping others grow into what God wants them to be. However, we all have our earthly treasures that get in the way seeing that. We have our houses, our cars, our favorite little earthly things that get in the way of hearing God’s call. We become obsessed with these earthly things and think that they will make us happy. If I get this one more toy, I will be happy. If I have more money, I will be happy. As the old saying goes, “show me your checkbook register, and I will show you what you worship.” Therefore, particularly, in the first three verses, Jesus is basically saying that you can’t take it with you so with our souls being eternal, what you should be focusing on is on those things that matter eternally – being a just person, a trustworthy person, a person who cares not if his name is celebrated for the good things they do, a person who genuinely does for his fellow man because he cares about them deeply.

In the second half of the passage, Jesus really lays it out there. He is basically saying that if you have areas of your life what God is not number one then the whole deal is off. He is saying that it really doesn’t matter if you do all the right things in all other areas of your life, but there is this one area that you are not putting God first, then you have undone everything. If you love something more than you love God, we have sinned. That as Jesus says is serving two masters. Jesus is saying that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe – everything else should come second.

Can we claim not to love wealth more than our brothers and sisters in Christ when we see them hurting and do not sacrifice what should matter to us less than their need? While many of us pursue status symbols that television suggests are “necessities” evangelical ministries to the poor claim that forty thousand people die of starvation and malnutrition daily. That means roughly twenty-seven a minute, twenty of whom are children under five years old. (This represents a loss of life roughly equivalent to the first atom bomb being dropped again-every three days). There was a song back in the 80’s that describes us in our society where we are awash in wealth beyond measure and the staggering debt that goes with it. It was called “All She Wants To Do Is Dance?” by Don Henley. The song indicts us as Americans in that all we care about is our pleasure when there is a world out there that is hurting and that it will come back to haunt us one day. All we care about is ourselves and our pleasure and entertainment. Think about how strapped our churches are in today’s world. Most can barely get by because all we want to do is dance. On a typical Sunday in American churches today, only 20% of those who attend church actually give to the church they attend. Even then, that 20% only gives less than 2% of what they make. Although Jesus says that we should lay up treasure in heaven through our obedience to our God, we do not demonstrate anything other than being slaves to our entertainment and comfort. All she wants to do is dance. There are needs in our community that we cannot meet. There hungry people in our city than cannot be fed. There are children that live in abusive homes than cannot be fostered. All we want to do is dance. Bigger nicer houses. Three cars instead of two. LCD display televisions. All are considered necessities to us. All we want to do is dance.

So, again, Jesus is asking us to look at our motivations. Do we have our priorities right? Jesus is saying that money, or whatever it is, cannot be king in our lives. What should be king is serving the needs of our fellow man whether its in our neighborhood or halfway round the world. In order to seek the Kingdom of God, we must be willing to part with our earthly treasures – we must give it away to get the treasures of heaven. What’s important to you? What’s important to me? Do we seek the kingdom of God first in our lives? Let us begin now to do that. Let us quit being an example to the lost of the ones who only care about the dance. Let us work on reducing our debts so that were are not subservient to it. Let us see that keeping up with the Joneses is not what we should be after. It is a frustrating merry go round that we must get off. We are slaves to our money just as much as the non-believer. Let us start right now to live our lives in manner that allows to invest in heavenly matters rather than servicing our debt. Let us all begin to pay off our debts one by one, smallest to largest, so that we can live off of 90% or less of what we make. Let us teach our children the same principles. Let us be a people that can give generously to our corporate body of believers called the church. Let us be a people that empowers our church to be a driving force for expanding God’s kingdom. Let us be a people that allows our church to show uncommon and unwarranted love by meeting needs in our community. Let us be a people that gives sacrificially to the cause of Christ. Let us give generously so that others can hear the gospel and be changed by it.

Or let’s be selfish and only care about that which pleases us. Let us seek those things that do not matter a whit in eternity. Let us care about things and not the kingdom of God. All she wants to do is dance!

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