Matthew 6 contains a number of warnings:
- Don't do your acts of righteousness to be seen of men
- When you give to the needy, do it secretly rather than drawing attention to yourself
- The same with praying -- no need for showy prayers to impress the masses with your piety
- Don't babble on and on and on thinking your words are impressing God
- Forgive others so God will forgive you
- Anoint yourself, wash and look pleasant when you fast -- there is no need to draw attention to yourself by looking as if you are miserable
- Don't store up earthly treasure which molds, rusts, and gets stolen -- you cannot serve both God and Money
A few mentionables from this passage for me:
If I seek to please God rather than men, I can do good things without the need for drawing attention to what I'm doing. I don't have to say "Hey, y'all, look at me! See how much I gave to this charity last week? See how proper I am in doing my prayers? Annnnnd how many times per day that I do them? See?"
Ah no, that's not necessary when you seek the approval of The One -- and no one else.
Jesus said to store up heavenly treasure so that got me to thinking "what is heavenly treasure?" and "how do I store it?" Could it be the rewards from God that Jesus mentions in this passage (vs. 4, 18)? Rewards from God could be heavenly treasure. What do you think?
It's also interesting that Jesus mentions heavenly treasure, warns us against accumulating corruptible earthly treasure and then declares no one can serve two masters, one of those being Money. Does he know the tendencies of the human heart or what? How many of us have much more stuff than we really need? Furthermore in verse 25 he instructs us not to worry about our lives and what we will eat or drink and what we will wear. He reminds us of the birds of the air, the flowers in the fields and how God cares for both. In fact Jesus says not even Solomon in all his kingly splendor was as dressed as a beautiful lily!
The birds don't worry and fret. The flowers don't wonder if God will be faithful in providing today. Jesus told us we are more important to our Father than these things and we don't need to worry!
He tells us to first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And if we recall lessons we've learned in past weeks about righteousness being a state of our being declared right BY GOD, we know this is a great place to be! A great gift!
In fact Jesus says when we seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness, "all these things will be given to us."
So instead of worrying about material things, we need to change our priorities: seek God's kingdom and trust Him to do what He promised. Paul writes in Philippians 4:19,
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."