Key Verse | Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Scripture | Matthew 6


Giving to the Needy

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lord's Prayer

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. 1

10  Your kingdom come,
your will be done, 2
    on earth as it is in heaven.

11  Give us this day our daily bread, 3
12  and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil. 4

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Fasting

16 And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust 5 destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 6

Do Not Be Anxious

25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 7 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Footnotes

[1] 6:9 Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
[2] 6:10 Or Let your kingdom come, let your will be done
[3] 6:11 Or our bread for tomorrow
[4] 6:13 Or the evil one; some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
[5] 6:19 Or worm; also verse 20
[6] 6:24 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions
[7] 6:27 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

That Longing for Attention Means You've Lost Sight of the Almighty



Devo | Matthew 6

Growing up, I tended to base my behavior on those around me and the approval I could earn. Today, people pleasing and a legalistic lens remain a daily struggle. In this passage, Jesus continues His teaching with...

Growing up, I tended to base my behavior on those around me and the approval I could earn. Today, people pleasing and a legalistic lens remain a daily struggle. In this passage, Jesus continues His teaching with a focus on the three acts the Pharisees were exploiting to build themselves up: tithing (Matthew 6:2), praying (Matthew 6:5), and fasting (Matthew 6:16). I love it when others notice my acts of service; but if the boasting of self is the "why" behind my actions, then I need a heart check. As Paul writes in Galatians 1:10, Are we "seeking the approval of man, or of God?"

Jesus gives us a great model:

  • Matthew 6:9: Remember to whom we are praying: our Father! We know that we are heirs of the Creator of the universe (Galatians 4:6-7).
  • Matthew 6:10: His will be done. We can trust in the fact that His plans and timing are far greater than ours.
  • Matthew 6:11: God is our provider and sustainer. We must rely on God daily and have a Proverbs 30:8 mindset.
  • Matthew 6:12: Forgive as He forgave. If we are to be Christ-like, how more like Christ can we be than forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Matthew 6:13: His help in temptation. Going to God in prayer during temptation should be our response (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Jesus finishes this section talking about money and worry—two things likely at the forefront for most folks. I know for me it is easy to get caught up with chasing financial goals or having the latest and greatest. I daily need the reminder that having wrong treasures leads the heart astray (Matthew 6:21) and that we can serve only one master (Matthew 6:24). My worries whether great or small are in vain knowing the Creator of the universe who sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins is a trustworthy Father. What better news than that!

Discussion Questions

1. When looking at your daily/weekly activities, are there any "Christian" activities that are being done to "check the box" or to have others view you in a better light?

2. How can you change the heart behind and action of your "acts of righteousness" to not be seen by man?

3. What would your best friends or spouse say is competing with your relationship with Jesus as your top treasure? This could be based on your time, money, thoughts, etc.

4. How can you practically change from a worry to a prayerful mindset throughout your day (2 Corinthians 10:5)?

Meet Todd Stutzman

Hi, all. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some time with you today. I didn't get to Texas as quickly as I should have as an Indiana native, but better late than never. I've had the privilege of serving with the Watermark middle school and high school ministries—Wake and Shoreline, respectively—and I've seen firsthand both the spiritual and physical growth (as most of my students have passed me in height) of the now-sophomore group of guys I've been able to co-lead. I love spending time with my wife whether outdoors or at the next hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Forward those recommendations my way!

11 Comments available

Linda Green 9 days ago

Like how you connected heart attitudes and behaviors to Jesus’ prayer! Sometimes it’s easy just to recite the Lord’s Prayer without going deeper.

Matthew 6:14-15 is a very convicting verse- forgiveness of those who have wronged me is not optional if I want God to forgive me. And I definitely need His forgiveness.

When all my jewelry was stolen, including several family heirlooms, the Spirit immediately reminded me of Matthew 6:19-21 that I had memorized as a child. And then Jermaine Harrison preached that next week on Matthew 6:19-24! God is so good! https://www.watermark.org/message/6506-is-money-your-servant-or-master

Wray Miller 12 days ago
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Thank you Hugh for all the supplemental links you provide.

Peyton Martin 12 days ago

This is good! Unfortunately, I have less trouble proclaiming Christ for attention than giving in to worldly values for attention- but I think it’s interesting that both of these stem from the same lackluster fruits of the spirit- pride, lack of self confidence, and idolatry in people pleasing. Thank you Jesus for saving me! It’s so interesting the irony that in my weakness I resort to things easier in the moment, because that’s all it is- a worldly earthly decision moment. If I’m pursuing Christ, these decisions may be more difficult, I can lose favor with friends, or jobs, or peer groups. Ultimately though these decisions are more difficult because they were made to fix our eyes on eternity with Christ! Choosing the right thing in God’s eyes isn’t always easy, but it’s always simple- and we have a God bigger than anything standing in our way!

Michael Scaman 12 days ago

You should not practice your works before men to be seen by them. Matt 6:1-3

You should be like a city on a hill, not like a lamp under a bushel. Matt 5:16

Not contradictions. It’s all about motive whether it’s about self glory or about God’s glory.

Scott Sengbush 12 days ago

I like how Jesus starts off with observations of piety and Public Religious practices. He talks about how when people do that that received their reward (or treasure?) . It makes me think that in doing those disciplines publically we are stealing the righteousnous from Heaven on Earth which will never be an equal weight…and that’s why he goes into Money and anxiety next.

Sue Bohlin 12 days ago

Thanks, Todd! We can practice acts of service in private by keeping our eyes open for trash on the floor in public restrooms and throwing it away when no one is looking. What a great lesson to teach kids.

This highlight of this chapter for me is now the question, “Who of you by worrying can add a single cubit to your life?” One of our elders brought up Jesus’ question in the midst of the Covid crazy. It’s not that we don’t want to be wise, but there was–and is–no reason to be consumed with fear. I am still so thankful for this beacon of light and truth in the midst of the darkness.

Greg Jones 13 days ago

1/1

Great devotional, thanks for highlighting Matthew6:12

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew5:14-16

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”Matthew6:1

That’s tension.

Greg Jones 13 days ago

2/2

Be aware of tensions, they lead to right acts practiced. Jesus about 30CE

If your brother or sister has something against you, go and be reconciled to them first.

That act potentially rewards.

Beware of practicing your righteousness…

If your brother or sister has something against you, leave, and present your gift at the alter first.

If that is the habitual act practiced it will continue to reward.

Q2 You are the light world, our acts or non acts will be seen. How I view my rightness in light of tension, the light of my eyes, impacts my acts. Matthew6:22-23 if….then…I’m drawn to the wisdom of that.

Jermaine Harrison 13 days ago

Let’s go Stutz!!! Love your thoughts on Matthew 6! I love the challenge over and over in this chapter: If my goal is to be seen & celebrated by those around me, I might get that recognition, but that’s all I’ll get. Praise from others is nothing compared to the reward of our Father.

Hugh Stephenson 13 days ago

1/2

GM Todd. Longing for attention and money. Biggies for me. Love the link to Galatians 1:10.

What I love about this passage, (and so many others), is that the Lord gives me a clear choice of two opposing options. Interestingly each of the these dichotomies are framed as commands. Even so, they highlight for me that they are all a choice between a worldly focus or a present focus.

Give quietly or visibly

Pray quietly or visibly

Fast quietly or visibly

His Name or my name His Kingdom or my kingdom His Will or my will His provision for today or mine for today and tomorrow and… Forgiveness or Revenge Deliverance from temptation or succumb to it.

Eternal reward or earthly treasure

Trust or worry

And then the final command:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

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