“Do not 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 do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
– Matthew 6:19-23 (Jesus speaking; our 18th segment of the Sermon on the Mount)
The last few days we’ve paid attention to that portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus is mentioning almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. Remember, however, that He is merely using these as examples to reinforce His point that those of us who want to do good should keep in mind that it’s God who is the ultimate judge, not fellow human beings. Recall that He stated His point in the following way:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 6:1
The passage we are reading today builds on this fundamental point.
There are two dimensions to this creation: one we can see and one we cannot. People dwell in the dimension we can see; God dwells in the dimension we cannot. Satan was able to successfully tempt Eve by getting her to focus exclusively on the dimension that could be seen:
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate…
– Genesis 3:6
In focusing on the visible dimension, Eve lost sight of the invisible dimension and forgot the clear command God had given to avoid that one tree. She was seeing the tree merely with physical eyes – not in the light of God’s word.
Our eyes are supposed to enlighten us, but if we only set them on physical things then the “light” they bring us is darkness.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, You whom I cannot see physically are greater than all that I can see physically…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)