Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus emphasized the fleeting value of worldly wealth. The larvae of the “moth” could quickly destroy valuable fabrics that were treasured by the ancients. The word “rust” is literally “eating”. It can refer to the pitting of metal coins or to vermin that ruin valuable food stores. The whole point being to not put your faith, hope and trust in things that will not last forever, but instead to put your faith, hope, and trust in God who will last forever.
Jesus, also, taught that one’s “heart” truly belongs to what it most treasures. Since a disciple is to love God with all their heart (Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:4), the love for material possessions and riches is a subtle form of idolatry. And remember idolatry is simply giving anything or anyone a higher value than God. That is why Jesus said this in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” That is why Paul would to his protege Timothy these words:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
What is Paul saying here? He is telling us the opposite of greed is contentment, which means being satisfied with food and clothing. And he is condemning “harmful desires”, and not the possession of things. This warning is not simply that “love of money” can be harmful, but that this “craving” has led some people to deny the faith and show themselves to be unbelievers. Paul is not telling us that money is evil in and of itself, because money is neutral it can be used for both good and evil. But what he is telling us is that “the love of money” or the giving to money a higher value than God is what makes money evil. When you make your material possessions the things that you place the most value on, then you have made them into an idol. You have replaced the one true God, who is suppose to be your object of love and worship, with a false god. And the way to break that bondage is repent of your love of money, by confessing it God and asking him for his help in not turning back to your old ways. And the best way to do that is through this simple prayer:
Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you. Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place. I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life. Please begin to direct my life. Thank you for giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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