一起读经 | 马太福音 6:19-24

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马太福音6:19-21 不要积攒财宝在地上

6:19不要为自己积攒财宝在地上,地上有虫子咬,能锈坏,也有贼挖窟窿来偷。6:20只要积攒财宝在天上,天上没有虫子咬,不能锈坏,也没有贼挖窟窿来偷。6:21因为你的财宝在那里,你的心也在那里。

Matthew

Listen: Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

针对这几节经文,作家Michael Dunn 曾这样说:“如果我们开始把耶稣没有禁止的事列出来的话可能会大有帮助。首先,耶稣没有禁止我们积攒财富。其次,耶稣没有禁止我们‘未雨绸缪’。圣经夸赞蚂蚁在夏天储存食物以备冬日之需,并宣称一个不供养自己家庭的信徒还不如一个非信徒。第三,我们不应该厌弃美好的事物,而是应该享受造物主丰丰富富赐予我们的一切美好的事物。耶稣禁止的是门徒们出于私心积攒财富,过奢侈浪费的生活,对世上穷苦之人的基本需求熟视无睹/铁石心肠,愚蠢地幻想一个人的生命在于他所拥有的财富,以及把我们的心捆绑在地上的物质主义。我们的财宝在哪里,我们的心就在那里。换句话说,这里的积攒财富在地上不是不让我们为将来做合理的筹备,而是不让我们贪婪。

积攒财富在天上的意思是凡在地上做的事,其效果都应该是永远的。耶稣这里所讲的财富应该是指发展基督一样的品质,不断坚定的信心/盼望和善行,在基督的知识不断长进(我们最终都会亲眼得见基督),欲通过祷告和见证把别人带到基督里的积极努力(以便他们也能承受永生),为属基督的事宜使用我们的金钱(这是唯一一项分红永远存在的投资)。这些都是暂时的行为,但却又永恒的效果。”

祷告:亲爱的天父,我感谢你赐给我的一切物质上的祝福。请让我永远记得这些祝福临到我是唯独出于你的恩典,因为我确信我是不配得它们的。求你使我的心只在乎你,而不是世上的财富。请你提醒我,凡属于这个世上的都将会消失退却。但是我在天堂里所拥有的永远都不会被拿走。我奉耶稣的名祈求。阿门。

Author Michael Dunn says this about these verses.  “It may help if we begin by listing what Jesus was not forbidding. First, there is no ban on possessions in themselves. Secondly, ‘saving for a rainy day’ is not forbidden. Scripture praises the ant for storing in the summer the food it will need in the winter, and declares that the believer who makes no provision for his family is worse than an unbeliever. Thirdly, we are not to despise, but rather to enjoy, the good things which our Creator has given us richly to enjoy.

 What Jesus forbids His followers is the selfish accumulation of goods; extravagant and luxurious living; the hard-heartedness which does not feel the colossal need of the world’s underprivileged people; the foolish fantasy that a person’s life consists in the abundance of his possessions; and the materialism which tethers our hearts to the earth. Our heart always follows our treasure. In a word to lay up treasure on earth does not mean being provident (making sensible provision for the future) but being covetous.

To lay up treasure in heaven is to do anything on earth whose effects last for eternity. It seems that Jesus was referring to such things as these: the development of Christlike character; the increase of faith, hope and charity, all of which abide; growth in the knowledge of Christ whom one day we shall see face to face; the active endeavor (by prayer and witness) to introduce others to Christ, so that they too may inherit eternal life; and the use of our money for Christian causes, which is the only investment whose dividends are everlasting. All these are temporal activities with eternal consequences.”

Remember that God’s bank in heaven is the only bank that is fully insured.  Your real treasures are hidden with Christ in God.

Prayer:  Father, I thank you for all the material blessings you have given me. Let me always remember that they come to me only by your grace, because I surely have not deserved them. Keep my heart focused on you alone and not on any earthly treasure. Remind me that what is of this world will always fade and disappear. What I have in heaven will never be taken from me.  I ask this for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

马太福音6:22-24 能又事奉神,又事奉金钱

6:22眼睛就是身上的灯。你的眼睛若瞭亮,全身就光明。6:23你的眼睛若昏花,全身就黑暗。你里头的光若黑暗了,那黑暗是何等大呢。6:24一个人不能事奉两个主。不是恶这个爱那个,就是重这个轻那个。你们不能又事奉神,又事奉玛门。〔玛门是财利的意思〕

你有没有注意过在超市买完东西排队结账的时候,收银员旁边的货架上摆满了口香糖、巧克力,而且基本上都摆在儿童的视线高度?就在排队等着结账的时候,孩子们就盯着这些甜食。很快,他们就会哭着闹着要求家长给他们买;如果你不给他们买,他们会闹得更凶。然后每个人就都会盯着你。这个家长真小气,连个小吃都不给孩子买!

这看起来好像小事一桩,与人无损,但其实这可不是无害之举。如果你向孩子的欲望妥协了,给他们一切他们想要的,那么你是在惯养他们,无论他们看见什么糖、想要什么,就都可以得到。说实话,对我们成人来说,这有什么不一样吗?商场在与你的视线齐平的地方放了什么,好让你看见了就像要?这段经文中耶稣想要告诉我们,不光拿走不属于我们的东西是罪,甚至想要那些我们其实并不需要或者并不应该有的东西也是罪。第九和第十条诫命都讲的是欲望和贪婪。

耶稣还指出,第九和第十条诫命是连结在一起的。我们要么爱钱和钱能买到的东西,要么爱上帝。你一定会热忠于其一,而轻看另一个。我们怎么才能爱上帝,轻看世俗的金钱物质呢?我们怎么学习轻看我们在这世上的东西,而又最爱上帝呢?与其说我们要训练我们心去厌恶世上物质的东西,不如说我们要学习如何爱上帝更多。花更多时间在十字架下。清晨醒来时,要思想感谢我们的救主,并向他祷告。夜晚也以同样的方式安然入睡。如此,你就可以学会如何更爱那一位,轻看世俗之物。

祷告:主耶稣,这个世上没有什么比你更有意义。这个世上也没有什么能比你更能填补我心里的渴望,并给我盼望。你就是我永远的帮助,我的力量!请你教我把双眼聚焦你身上,好让着世上的物质都只是一片虚无。我奉你的名祈求。阿门。

Matthew

Listen: Matthew 6:22-24: 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Have you ever noticed at the check out line in the grocery store that the candies are down low so that they are eye-level for the children? As wait in line to be checked out, the children are looking at the candies. Pretty soon they start asking and begging and crying because you won’t let them have some candy. Everyone is staring at you. Who is this mean parent who won’t buy their children candy?

That may look harmless, but it is not so harmless at all. If you give in to your children’s desires to have whatever they see and want, you are training them that they can have whatever they see and want. And to be truthful, is it any different for us as adults? What does the store place at the level of our eyes so that we can see and want? Jesus is showing us in this sermon that it is not only a sin to take what doesn’t belong to us.  It is a sin even to want what we don’t need or shouldn’t have.  The ninth and tenth commandments call that coveting.

He also points out that the last commands and the first commandment are tied together. Either we will love our money and the stuff that it can buy or we will love God.  You will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  How do we do that?  How do we learn to despise our stuff in our world and love God the most? It’s not so much training our hearts to despise the materials things in this world as it is to learn how to love God more. Spend more time at the foot of the cross. Wake up in the morning with and prayerfully think about your Savior. Go to bed at night the same way. You will learn how to love THE ONE and despise the other.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, there is nothing in this world that means more to me than you. Nothing in this world can fill the longings of my heart or give my despairing heart hope more than you. You are my Portion and my Strength forever! Teach me eyes to focus on you so that the material things of this world will always only be a blur.  I ask this in your name.  Amen.

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