Summary: It is very easy for us to value things on this earth and then become worried about losing them, so we become stingy. But God invites us to see that he unconditionally loves us and infinitely values us. When we do that, God’s generous love transforms us into being generous people.
Big Idea: We exercise the new heart that God has given us by investing in treasure in heaven.
Ice-breaker question: Did you ever have something that was very valuable to you that ended up getting ruined? What happened?
Read: Matthew 6:19-27
Observation (What does the passage say?)
- What does this passage say about where we should store the things that we value?
- What are some examples of treasures that we store up on earth?
- What are some examples of treasures that we store up in heaven?
- What are the differences between treasures that are stored on earth and those that are stored in heaven?
- For what reasons should we not worry?
Interpretation (What does the passage mean?)
6. What does it mean to say that our heart is in the same place as where we store what we value?
7. How does money become a master that we serve?
8. Why cannot someone have both God and money as a master that they serve?
Application (What does the passage mean to me personally?)
Verses 22-23 are using a Hebrew expression that refers to generosity. Using this expression, saying that someone’s eyes are healthy means that they are generous and saying that someone’s eyes are unhealthy means that they are stingy. So Jesus is saying here that if someone is generous, their whole body is full of light. But if someone is stingy, their whole body will be full of darkness. Jesus is also saying that your interior world is where there is supposed to be light. So if there is darkness in the place where there is supposed to be light, then the darkness there is going to be very great.
9. What is going on in your interior world that prevents you from being freely generous?
The remedy for our stinginess is God’s gracious love. Because He loves us, God the Father sent His Son into the world to save us by being our substitute on the cross. Because He loves us, Jesus suffered and died to take away all of our sins and rise from the dead on the third day that followed to give us a new life with Him that will last forever. Because He loves us, the Holy Spirit has lovingly applied all of God’s promises of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life to us personally in our Holy Baptism and gives us the gift of faith to receive and trust in those promises.
The treasure that is (temporarily) stored on earth is God’s. You are His precious treasure, far more valuable than birds who know better than us to trust God to provide for their daily needs. God looks after the birds. God will provide even better care for us in this life so that we are prepared for life in the world to come in which there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away (see Rev. 21:4).
- What will help you to trust more in God’s love for you?
This Bible Study focuses on the same passage as the sermon on Feb 25/18 from Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Langley BC.