In our third look at the sermon on the mount Jesus challenges our treasure. In the first half of the chapter he warns us not to use spiritual things to gain approval from other humans. Giving, prayer, and fasting are all important aspects of our discipleship, but they are things that we can misuse to gain by trying to look spiritual to those around us. The second half of the chapter contains a warning that we not worship our material possessions. Our worries and fears reveal what we have placed at the center of our heart.
It is an interesting contrast. Our temptation is to use religion for our personal recognition, and to treasure our earthly possessions as the most important things in life. To say it simply: we use religion and we worship money. Jesus tells us that is backwards. God has designed it to work in reverse. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus calls us to worship God through giving, prayer and fasting... and use our money for service in God's kingdom.
In what ways is it tempting to use spiritual practices as a means of showing how good we are?
In what ways do our worries and fears about money reveal the way we have placed it as our supreme treasure? -MK