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Of Highest Value
Sunday 8th March


Matthew 6.21

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 

 

Three points 

 

First When Jesus spoke saying “where your treasure is there is your heart”

 

Second what is keeping our attention is often what we value the most 

 

There is a wisdom we need to ensure we have the right value systems. We can have all the knowledge but lack the wisdom to apply it. Someone once said take my advice as I’m not using it

 

Finally a quick look at Christ’s order of values.

 

The treasure we seek.

 

What happens when we place the value of earthy things over the value of heavenly things 

 

There is a treasure that we have in Christ that nothing can take away.

 

Paul spoke so well in Romans 8 nothing not even death can separate us from the love we have found in Christ,

 

The kind of attitude that looks a the love of God we have in Christ cannot be lost even though we walk through the valley of death. 

 

As a noun “to value” something is 

 

“the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”

 

In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or some action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live.

 

There are many ways a person can live but it’s wrong to say that out of all these ways there aren’t ways that are higher than others.

 

In post modernity, after parts of society declared we don’t need a higher value, like God to govern our ethics and people began to decide for themselves what is considered of ethical or moral value.

 

The birth of morale relativism saw the popular phrase “you do what you do and I’ll do what do” coincided with a decline in morale biblical standards.

 

Are we better off today, in almost every way, these are the best days to be alive, are we plagued by heath issues, mental instability, broken people.  We may live in the most prosperous times and the most peaceful times. People are being brought out of abject poverty by their thousands on a daily basis, less starving people okay more obese people in the world.

 

Could we return to simple times, not really. We have our smart phones our technology and it’s here to stay and we need to learn to cope with it  and not loose real social engagement for virtual.

 

Could we place more importance on people rather than things, could we value kindness over selfishness.   Can we make sure we include others and their feelings

 

Could we be more centred on the spiritual rather than earthly, in Colossians paul wrote fix your eyes on what’s above.

 

You can tell by how much time or money is spent what we value the most.  

 

Where is your treasure 

 

A definition of a Value system is a certain belief; it affects ethical behaviour of a person or are the basis of their intentional activities. 

 

What someone believes or purposes in their heart that is shown in the way they act.

 

Jesus said “Out of the abundance of heart, the mouth speaks”

 

He continued in regard to Jewish dietary laws and when it comes to us to falling short, missing the mark, it’s more important what comes out of our mouth than what we put into it.

 

Of course we want to be good stewards of our bodies and taking harmful chemicals into them causes problems. Which in turn would cause people to question our beliefs.

 

We all know what is good for us, yet we all struggle to take our own advise.

 

The moral Ethics of the kingdom of God is not defined by what eat or drink right standing, peace and joy in the spirit of God.

 

In our lives, our values influence our attitudes and behaviour and these types include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. 

 

James spoke about faith or belief influences the way we live

 

Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

James 2:18

 

Or act in a way that shows you believe in God.

 

Paul’s higher value 

 

Philippians 3 8

 

Consider things Worthless and damaged compared to the superior and excellence of knowing Christ.

 

We too have a hierarchy of values but do we value the knowledge of God above all else.

 

Where is our focus, What grabs our attention? 

 

What are we looking at as the source of our purpose.

 

Do we need to repurpose ourselves. And Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus 

 

Matthew 6

 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Matthew 6:22-23 

 

We value things by the way we look at them.

 

To know if something is of value it has to be true.

 

Where Jesus says knowing the truth the truth brings freedom 

 

But not, as Aristotle said, seeking a knowledge of truth for its own sake.  

 

Jesus said that his purpose in coming to dwell with men was to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).  

 

God, of course, is the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16) and those who reject God, suppress the truth (Romans 1:18).  

 

In addition, those who have no knowledge of God (as truth resides in God) actually destroy themselves (1 Corinthians 1:34).  

 

We are seeking revelation from the Father God 

 

When Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God, Jesus’ response is not to congratulate him on that knowledge, saying it was the highest virtue, but Jesus instead said, 

 

“Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah” for this knowledge came from “my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).  

 

First of all, the primary source of the knowledge of God is God himself, not something gained through a human pursuit—and if something has a source, or a precursor, it ought not be seen as the “highest” virtue.  

 

We cannot substitute what people say about God for a meeting with God himself,

 

They said to the woman at Samaria “we once believed because of your witness now we know for ourselves.”

 

Job 42:4-6

You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. I will question you, and you shall answer.’ 5 My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You. 6 Therefore I retract my words, and I repent in dust and ashes.”…

 

Ephesians 1:17

and asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him.

 

Ephesians 1:18

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 

 

 

Jesus does not say, “virtuous are you,” but he says, “blessed are you.” 

 

Our virtue refers to our moral excellence or other attributes that make one praiseworthy.  

 

Yet, blessedness, has to do with our internal state as a result of our relationship to God.  

 

So, Jesus can say, “blessed are you when you are persecuted for my name’s sake…”  

 

Similarly, Peter’s blessedness does not come from anything he has done, but because of what has been done to him.

 

Wisdom is a gift from God, those who lake it James writes should ask.

We are told in scripture that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both wisdom.

 

Psalm 111:10

Proverbs 9:10

Proverbs 1:7  

 

The fear of the Lord gives life and health not only to the individual believer, but it is also a sign of a healthy church 

 

Acts 9:31

 

And then, out of the fear or reverence for the Lord proceeds the pursuit of the other Christian virtues.

 

When we value what God thinks we should do above our own selfishness our own desires we begin to put things in their proper order.

 

Then we don’t need to be concerned about all the rest, if we are more concerned or fearing the loss of things more than the loss of Christ 

 

Christ said w can “Gain the whole world loose our soul”

 

You store up in barns stuff you can’t take with you, when even tonight you life is taken from you.

 

Matthew 6:

 

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (v. 24)

 

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?” (v. 25)

 

Jesus poses us with questions. Not hard questions. In fact, he’s already hinting what the right answers are. 

 

All we need to do is to answer his main question: “Which one is more important to me?” 

 

Which one will I choose to have a higher priority in my life?

 

Because according to Jesus, God is more valuable than money, life more valuable than food, and our bodies more valuable than clothes. 

 

This is Jesus’ hierarchy of values:

 

1 . God – God is more valuable than life.

2.  Life – Life, or that which has breath (i.e. relationships).

3 . Body – Our health, safety and security.

4.  Money – Our finances and its instruments.

5 . Food – What we enjoy; the things that comfort and fulfil us.

6 . Clothes – Clothes have value, but are the least important.

 

Perhaps the most ironic thing about this is, deep within us, we already know what the hierarchy of values is… and yet our lives reflect otherwise. 

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