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MATTHEW 6: 19 – 23

TREASURE


What I wonder, what we have or want that we treasure most. Let's think about it.

Is it some jewellery? Or is it a certain gift that holds special significance for us?

 Is it a person; for example, a child, a husband, a parent or perhaps, a particular friend.


Is it our savings? Money put aside for something?


Is it our good names, our reputations?


What or who is the most important treasure we possess?



Our Gospel reading for today is part of the Sermon on the Mount.


One writer suggests that Jesus seems is saying that what is most important for us is often the affirmation and our value and identity we receive from possessions, or wealth.


In another section, Jesus had said that seeking to receive our identity and value  from others and from God, at the same time, is impossible.


Here Jesus makes the point that the person who does anything he or she can do in order to acquire wealth or earthly treasures cannot at the same time serve God and His values.


Let's ask ourselves, what is most important or what is most valuable to us.

Is it what we acquire upon earth for ourselves, or what we acquire for the Kingdom of God.


Someone said that a measure of how valuable something is, is to ask how we would feel if we lost it? That shows just how important it is to us?



How many like I have, have wondered how they would manage if the washing machine broke down and we didn't have one.  


Or, how would we feel if the car broke down and we couldn't afford another!


I am sure we all have at sometime had little worries like this.


There is of course another treasure, that is our health.


 Most of us worry about how we would cope if we were ill or disabled and yet when we are, we find by God's grace, we cope.


The truth is, that if the most important person in our lives is God, and our purpose in life is to serve Him, whatever happens to us, He will help us through.


When our values become God's values and the coming of His Kingdom is the most important thing we feel we cannot do without,  then the whole purpose of our life changes.

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We are different people.


We cannot seek wealth and acclaim for ourselves and for God at the same time.


It is not the accumulation of wealth that is the problem, but for what we use that wealth.


It is not position or fame that is the problem, but how we use that position and fame to witness to God and to encourage others into His Kingdom.


I'll end today with a story about how one person used His status and wealth to further the coming of the Kingdom of God.


The late R.G. LeTourneau, the great Texas industralist, had the gift of giving. In his autobiograbhy he said this, 'The question is not how much of my money I give to God, but rather how much of God's money I keep.'

He answered his question in his life by turning 90% of the assets of the company over to the Christian foundation, and then he and his wife gave in cash 90A% of the income that was realised from the share of the business that he kept. He and his wife never lacked.


(Taken  from Graham Twelftree's book, 'Drive The Point Home'.)




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THE STAR

We have seen His star as it arose.

Matthew 2: 2b


Stars; what do they mean to you and to me?


    I can think of two sorts of ‘stars’, those twinkling in the sky at night, or our super stars of stage screen and football pitch! Which ever comes to mind they have this in common: they all stand out, attract our attention and make us want to follow them in order to know more about them!


     Whatever it was, the star of Bethlehem was particularly large and newly discovered and it certainly stood out from the others, attracting the attention of the magi, (those who studied the stars, among whom were our ‘kings’), and made them want to find out more about it.


    To these men, the rising of such a star meant either someone very special had been born or that a great event in history was about to take place. In this case they were correct on both counts. For them it seems their immediate task was to go out and to search for this person.   


    From the time the star arose, to their finding of Jesus, has been estimated as taking about two years. This idea is reinforced when the jealous Herod ordered the slaughter of baby boys aged two years and under.

    

    Paul in The Letter to the Philippians, while speaking to the new Christians about the other people in the area, says in Ch. 2, V: 15b – 16a, (Good News Bible), ‘You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, as you offer them the message of life.’ The same applies to us in the darkness in the world today.


    We too, are expected to stand out from the crowd and not to be afraid of being Christians. We ought to be clearly ‘shining’, or, ‘glowing’ with the ‘Love of Christ’, in what we are, in what we say and in what we do! Such should be these ‘Outstanding qualities’ that people will want to know why. Then if they ask us for an explanation, we have the opportunity to lead them to Christ Himself.

 

            Will anyone want to follow us today?

                                                                                                      AMEN.