[Chadwell's 630th sermon at this website]
LIFE'S TWO BANK ACCOUNTS
Matthew 6:19-34 Do not store up for
yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so
then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your
whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is
the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the
other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat
or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food,
and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap
nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much
more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And
why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil
nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like
one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow
is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry
then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'
For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you
need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these
things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
How are your investments going? Was the stock market up or down this week?
What interest rate do you have on your biggest loans? Is it true the owning your own
business means that you will never be unemployed again? If a person beginning college
studies were to ask you what career path he or she should take to have a good future, what
advice would you give him or her?
May I share an observation with you? If you have a lot of money or possessions, it
takes more time than you have to manage them. If you have a little money and few
possessions, it takes more time than you have to manage it. If you have no money or
possessions, the lack of money and possessions likely consume your time and life as
much as money and possessions consume the lives and time of people who have both. It
makes me wonder who serves whom: does money serve us, or do we belong to money?
Life focuses on investments. Every person, man or woman, makes those
investments: some out of necessity and some out of choice. One of the biggest questions
every man and woman faces is this: in what are you investing?
- Centuries before Jesus was born into this world, God said these
second generation Israel through Moses:
Deuteronomy 8:1-3 All the commandments that I am commanding
you today you shall be
careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord
swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God
has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to
know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He
humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor
did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread
alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
- Moses referred to an experience in their lives that happened when many of them
- Their parents had not yet reached Sinai.
- The parents were very dissatisfied with living in the wilderness and stated
- They had been in the harsh wilderness environment for a month and a half.
- They had dreams about all the good food they had in Egypt (like us, they
forgot the horrible things).
- They even said that the only reason they were in the wilderness was for them
to die of hunger.
- It was in that context that God provided them quail in the evening and manna in
- The people to whom Moses spoke ate manna for 40 years!
- Manna began on that occasion at the middle of the second month after their
departure from Egypt.
- God's provision of manna ended about 40 years later when they crossed the
Jordan River, camped at Gilgal, were circumcised, kept the Passover, and
ate some of the produce of Canaan.
- In Moses' statement, quoted centuries later by Jesus (Matthew 4:4), I find several
- God brought them to severe hunger and provided them manna for two reasons.
- First, to know if obedient trust was in their hearts.
- Second, to teach them that there was a greater issue in survival than food.
- Or, there is more to life than physical survival.
- Following God's guidance is more important than food.
- Food is terribly important to most of us!
- The issue: is spiritual survival really more important than physical survival?
Let me call your attention to Jesus' words in tonight's text.
- First, we need to establish a context.
- In the over-all context of the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) my conclusion is
this: Jesus was contrasting God's concept of righteousness in human existence
with the Jewish concept of righteousness in human existence (particularly the
- The Pharisees would have said there was no difference in their view and
- Jesus said there was an important, basic difference.
- Just before our text tonight, in Matthew 6, Jesus discussed the importance of
motives in righteous deeds.
- He used three accepted, common acts of righteousness in a Jewish
community: benevolence, prayer, fasting.
- Every devout Jew did all three things.
- Jesus even did all three things.
- However, Jesus point is seen in these two questions: Did you do these
things privately to cement your dependence on God? Or, did you do these
things noticeably to others to attract human attention to yourself?
- The primary issue is this: "What is the basic focus of your life?"
- How does a person determine the primary focus of his or her life?
- He or she determines it by looking at the way he or she invests life.
- Jesus said, "Do not invest yourself in physical things."
- Physical things are temporary and uncertain.
- Forces beyond your control can take your investment from you!
- Invest your life in eternal things!
- The eternal is permanent and is as certain as God Himself!
- God is in charge of that investment, and nothing can destroy anything in
- Jesus' basic truth: Our hearts belong to what is important to us!
- Jesus illustrates that truth in several ways.
- The importance of the eye's focus.
- The impossibility of serving more than one master.
- The realization of life's purpose--it is more than physical survival: clothes,
and food and drink.
- He declared some basic truths about God.
- God feeds the birds.
- God clothes the grass.
- God knows and understands our physical needs.
- He also made some statements about human limitation.
- People can change nothing by worry.
- Worry cannot make life longer.
- The godless let worry drive them in their pursuit of the physical.
- He also made some statements about focus.
- Put the rule of God above everything else in your life.
- Put your confidence in God when you face a physical need.
- Be righteous by God's standards and values.
- Take care of the present day rather than worrying about the future.
- I would be among the first to acknowledge that all of this is much easier said than
Tonight will be the last time that I, as a regular Sunday evening responsibility,
will have the joy and pleasure of sharing a lesson with you.
- I knew this moment was coming as soon as my physical condition was diagnosed.
- My physical condition declined very rapidly from July to late November last year.
- From Thanksgiving until now the decline has been very slow.
- My primary issues remain the same.
- The basic cause degenerates very slowly now, but it degenerates.
- The shrinkage of my cerebellum cannot be treated.
- Basically all I can do is exercise sensibly and be carefully.
- I wish to thank Dena Jenkins and Rebecca Holloway (both trained in speech
therapy) for the volunteer help they have give me for months.
- In spite of Dena's commitments, she came to my office many Tuesday mornings
to assist me with my speech problems.
- Rebecca monitored me from the audience and gave me notes to help me be
aware of my specific problems.
- Even with their help, I could not improve the speech problems.
- Please listen to me very carefully--the last thing I want to do is start rumors.
- If you do not understand something I share with you, come ask me or ask Joyce.
- No, I did not wish to stop preaching to you--I have done this all my life.
- Yet, I knew this was what I needed to do--it was not a matter of desire, but a
matter of necessity.
- I will continue full time on staff here until January 1, 2007.
- I will continue teaching the Wednesday night auditorium class until the end of the
- I will continue teaching my Sunday morning class indefinitely.
- A reassessment of (a) my physical condition and (b) the needs of this
congregation will be made in December of this year.
Joyce and I deeply appreciate your prayers, your encouragement, and your friendship.
[Now, one of our elders will speak to you.]
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 4 June 2006
Link to next posted sermon
Link to other Writings of David