Where Is My Heart?


Matthew 6:19–21 (NASB95)  19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Wesley preached frequently on the Sermon on the Mount (Ch. 5-7), calling the teaching of Jesus within it “the sum of all true religion.”  (Sermon 21:  Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount).  How does the Sermon on the Mount apply to the Christian life?  Wesley saw it as a backdrop for the social ethic of the New Creation.  He used the ethic of the Sermon on the Mount to support the Christian’s involvement in building the Kingdom of God on earth as well as in Heaven.
In vv. 19-21, Jesus gives a common image used frequently by the Jews in the first century, that of a storehouse for treasure.  v. 20 introduces a second theme in ch. 6, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”  And the principle is stated in v. 21, “Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”  I heard Larry Burkett, the popular radio personality of Money Matters who has now gone to be with the Lord say that if he saw your checkbook, he could tell what was important to you.  What we spend our money on shows what is important in our lives, and conversely, what is not important.
The storehouse was the place where a wealthy person or a king might store their treasures.  So metaphorically, Jesus is speaking about the storehouse of spiritual treasures in heaven.  How do we store up treasure in heaven?  In the Jewish context, storing up treasures for oneself in heaven meant doing good works, that is, works of charity.
This is what it is like in the Kingdom of Heaven, we should not store up treasures on earth which are subject to decay and theft.  Rather, we should store up spiritual treasures in heaven which are eternal.  They neither decay nor can they be taken from us.
John Wesley preached a famous sermon entitled, “The Means of Grace.” (Sermon 16, Mal. 3:7)  In that sermon, he identified the means of grace, that is, “any means ordained of God, as the usual channels of His grace.”  Wesley taught that our becoming and growing as Christians is enabled by grace.  Salvation is from grace to grace.  Through grace we are invited into a transforming relationship with God, which largely takes place as we participate in the means of grace.
The means of grace are practices that the Holy Spirit uses to draw us to God (prevenient grace), to enable us to know our sins are forgiven (justifying grace), or to grow in love for God and our neighbor (sanctifying grace).
He identified two broad categories by which Christians receive God’s grace:  works of piety and works of charity.  Works of piety are devotional practices such as reading and studying the Bible, prayer, fasting, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, Christian conversation, and hearing the Word of God preached.  Works of charity are works of love expressed to our neighbors:  feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and those in prison, caring for widows and orphans, ministry to the homeless and the immigrant.
It is in the means of grace that we encounter the grace of God in all of God’s transformative and loving power.  AS we faithfully participate in the ministry of the means of grace through worship, sacraments, daily devotions, fellowship and service, God recreates in us the image of God, the divine image of love in which we were created.
Lord, help us today to keep Your Kingdom first in our minds and hearts today.  Help us to remember daily to honor You with all that we have and all that we are, and not to forget to use the means of grace that you have given to us to build us up.  So that through the ministry of the means of grace, we will grow up to maturity in Christ.  Amen.

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