Matthew 6: 19-24
This text is one that if you are a preacher and you want to be liked, you better stay away from. I’m reminded of a story I heard some years ago. If the story reminds you of a preacher you used to know, it is purely coincidental.
A new pastor was preaching his first sermon to his new congregation. Being young he was very enthusiastic and his congregation was very excited to hear his first sermon. He began by telling his parishners that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we can’t expect everything to be accomplished immediately. He said in order to walk, we have to first learn to crawl. To first learn to run, we have to be able to walk. Before we can have our church be what we all want it to be, we all have to learn to tithe first!
On their way home after worship, Edith asked Oscar what he thought about their young minister’s sermon. He thought the sermon wasn’t too bad until he got to the part of ‘having to tithe’, then, her husband said, “The preacher began to meddle.”
In this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he is coming very close to meddling. But it’s a good meddling because Jesus is only thinking of us, he is concerned we may be working too hard for the wrong things. Things which Jesus said are nice but things that will not keep. Jesus gets right down to the heart of the matter when he said; “You cannot serve God and wealth.” A diamond or a new car cannot love you, but Jesus can and does.
O loving Savior, thank you for your gift of love, which is a gift forever, no one can steal, nor will it rust or be broken, it is forever. Amen.