Concern about material things

People who come into the kingdom of God should not view the material things of earthly life as others view them. They should put God’s interests first and be generous in giving to others. Those who set their hearts on material things are being disloyal to God, and guarantee bitter disappointment for themselves in the end (Matt 6:19-21).

To illustrate the results of right and wrong attitudes to material things, Jesus referred to a local belief about the results of good and bad eyesight. People believed that eyes were like windows that allowed light to enter the body and keep it in good health. Healthy eyes meant a healthy body (light); diseased eyes meant a diseased body (darkness). A healthy view of material things will result in a healthy spiritual life; but an unhealthy view will mean that the natural spiritual darkness already in the heart will become even darker (Matt 6:22-23). A person can be a slave of only one master at a time. If people devote their attention to increasing their prosperity and comfort, they can no longer claim to be loyal to God (Matt 6:24).

Others, however, get into bondage to material things not because they are greedy, but because they worry too much about having enough money to look after themselves. They should realize that if God gives life, he can also give what is necessary to maintain life (Matt 6:25-27). If he cares for lesser things such as birds, flowers and grass, he can certainly care for his people. Believers should not be anxious concerning their material needs. Those who do not know God might be anxious, but believers should trust in God and put the interests of his kingdom first. They are under his rule and they should trust that as day to day difficulties arise, he will provide the answer (Matt 6:28-34).

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