Make Up Your Mind


Matthew 6:19-34 (NIV)

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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

INTRODUCTION:

This morning I told you I would be preaching further on the topic of single-mindedness. The reason for this is because I firmly believe it is so important to grasp the importance of this.

I came across an interesting acronym in my studies – J O Y (Jesus, Others, You). In reality how do we see our priorities. Do we see the JOY principal in our lives, in our finances, in our time, and in the everyday decisions that we make? Or do we worry about and serve the unholy trinity of me, myself and I?

In the text for tonight we see that Jesus is dealing with the issue of priorities for citizens of His kingdom. The Christians? priority can be summed up by simply saying, ?Jesus demands single-minded devotion to Him?.

Now is there a difference between narrow-minded and being single-minded?

E. Stanley Jones states it graphically, “If you don?t make up your mind, then your unmade mind will unmake you. Here is the place where there must be no dallying. For any dallying will be the Trojan horse that will get on the inside and open the gates to the enemy. God can do anything for the man who has made up his mind; he can do little or nothing for the double-minded.”

— The Way to Power and Poise, p.258

Tonight we will look at what it means to be single-minded in our devotion to God.

Being single-minded means interest in one treasure. (Verses 19-21)

Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The lives of many people of our day seem to be occupied with no other purpose than amassing an abundance of earthly treasures.

As Christians? are we guilty of holding these type of people up as role models? Are we encouraging our children to be the same way? Do we spend more time and effort trying to prepare our children to seek earthly treasures or heavenly?

A good test in determining the answers to those questions is to ask ourselves this – If we were given a reading assignment and workbook to do by our boss at work, would we make the time to do it? Now, when we have Sunday School work to do, do we make time to do it? When we have to opportunity to teach our children about God do we do it? When we have the opportunity to pray or read the Bible ? do we do it?

Earthly pursuits will not last. Can you think of anything that you will do in the world that will last eternally? Having our interest geared toward heaven is good for the soul!

Dear Ann Landers:

The letter from the woman married to the tightwad — she couldn?t get an extra quarter out of him — reminded me of my wonderful aunt who was beautifully warmhearted and had a great sense of humor.

Aunt “Emma” was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. (The man didn?t trust banks.) The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.

When “Uncle Ollie” was 60, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Em promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to.

They all knew he was a little odd, but this was clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie?s brothers that she was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.

The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later.

This is a true story and our family has laughed about it ever since.

It is the height of folly to live a life without heaven being the goal.

In Jesus? parable of the rich man and Lazarus, ask the rich man how much his earthy pursuits benefited him in eternity.

Being single-minded means our eye set on one thing. (Verses 22-23)


Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

This means focus! (an acronym) Follow One Course Until Successful.

If we do not set our affections upon spiritual things, the time will come when we will not see them.


Titus 1 :15 (NIV)

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

The thought of the power which treasure has in attracting the heart forms the transition to the need of a pure and steady eye heavenward.

The eye regulates the movement of the body. To have an object distinctly in view is necessary in order to correct and regulate the action of the body.

In golf try driving a long distance by looking in the opposite direction that you want to go. It won?t take long to go off course. The same is true with heaven, try to go while you are focused on the world, and you will go off course.

In order that your conduct may be right, it is important to fix you eyes on heaven.

If the eye is looking at the wrong thing, then a person will be in trouble.

Being single-minded means service to one master. (Verse 24)

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Mammon (KJV) is riches.

It is mammon?s interest to be hoarded and loved, but it is God?s interest that mammon be distributed to the needy and be lightly esteemed.

TRY TO BE IN TWO ARMIES, YOU WOULD BE A TRAITOR!

When an immigrant comes to America, before he can become a citizen he must renounce all his commitments and allegiance to his former homeland and pledge 100 percent allegiance to America:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God

Then and only then will the U.S. Government grant him citizenship. That?s the way it is with Jesus. When you accept Christ as Lord and Savior, you renounce Satan completely. You can?t “split time” by serving Satan part-time and Christ part-time.

Being single-minded means seeking one kingdom. (Verses 25-34)

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

By having our affections set on heaven, we find peace, for God is to be relied upon to supply all of our needs.

By double-mindedness we fall into worrying, for riches may fail to supply those things which we need.

1- Birds of the air. Verses 26-27. Food.

2- Lilies of the field. Verses 28-29. Clothing.

3- Grass of the field. Verses 30-31.

4- Worldly pursuits. Verses 33-34.

CONCLUSION

READ VERSES 31-34 for conclusion.

The meaning of seeking His Kingdom first.

The meaning of seeking His righteousness first.

There?s a true story that comes from the sinking of the Titanic. A frightened woman found her place in a lifeboat that was about to be lowered into the raging North Atlantic. She suddenly thought of something she needed, so she asked permission to return to her stateroom before they cast off. She was granted three minutes or they would have to leave without her.

She ran across the deck that was already slanted at a dangerous angle. She raced through the gambling room with all the money that had rolled to one side, ankle deep. She came to her stateroom and quickly pushed aside her diamond rings and expensive bracelets and necklaces as she reached to the shelf above her bed and grabbed three small oranges. She quickly found her way back to the lifeboat and got in.

Now that seems incredible because thirty minutes earlier she would not haven chosen a crate of oranges over even the smallest diamond. But death had boarded the Titanic. One blast of its awful breath had transformed all values. Instantaneously, priceless things had become worthless. Worthless things had become priceless. And in that moment she preferred three small oranges to a crate of diamonds. (quoted in ?Single-Minded Devotion? by Jeffery Anselmi)

It dishonors God for the Christian to always be in a state of anxiety about the basic needs. Jesus has called Christians to seek Him and He will take care of the rest.

A lack of trust in God equals a lack of faith on our part.

Only one object is worthy of our devotion, only one thing will last us for eternity, that is Jesus and His righteousness!

The Christians? priority is heaven, and doing all that we can to serve the one who makes entrance possible for us.

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