[SW340] 8/18/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
The Marks of His Righteousness, Part 2
Text: Matthew 6:16-34
What are the marks of God’s righteousness in a believer? When you are filled with His righteousness, your eye is single — you are focused entirely on Him! But Jesus says those whose hearts have not yet been changed are focused on themselves and their needs and desires.
Heed His words, see the poverty-stricken condition of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it! He surely will, and blessed will you be!
In this passage, Jesus Christ utterly destroys the underpinnings of the prosperity and success gospels that are so popular in today’s church, so that these false gospels collapse into the dust. Amen!
Verses 16-18 —
Those who fast in order to be noticed by others have their reward in full — they are noticed by men and praised for their righteousness. They disfigure their faces with ashes or makeup, so men see that they are fasting.
When they fast, they do not wash, nor anoint their heads with oil (so their hair looks disheveled), to make it obvious that they are fasting. Their outward act of righteousness mean nothing to God, because they are doing it for man’s praise. They will receive no reward from Him. They will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
But those who are filled with His righteousness anoint their heads with oil and wash their faces when they fast. We fast in secret because we do not want our fasting to be noticed by men, but by our Father who is in secret (hidden). Our eyes are on Him whom we love with His divine love! And He sees us, and rewards us with eternal life, here and now! And when our earthly tents fall away, we go to be with Him!
Verse 19 —
Many store up for themselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Preachers of the prosperity gospel tell believers that God wants them to have lots of money, and many possessions. It is an ear-pleasing message, and they have many followers!
But what is the focus of such a gospel? Earthly treasures! Their followers’ eyes are on riches for themselves, not on Christ! The greedy sin nature in them is still alive and well, their hearts are yet poverty-stricken, and they are in danger of losing the true treasure, eternal life, unless they heed, see, and cry out for Him to change their hearts!
Jesus says, Do not store up these things for yourself. They will rust and decay and be stolen. Thus, the prosperity gospel is destroyed, in a few simple words from the Lord. And the success gospel, which says that God wants you to be successful, is simply a variation of the prosperity gospel. If you are successful, you will be rich with earthly treasures. Both gospels play to the sin nature’s greed.
It is as James warned the believers from the twelve tribes, who were scattered because of persecution, and were greedy for personal riches —
James 1:11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away (be extinguished, like a fire).
Verse 20 —
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for those treasures will not be destroyed or stolen. When you are filled with His righteousness, you have sought and received true riches — the infilling of His Holy Spirit, intimate fellowship with the Father and the Son, and a purified heart.
Then your eyes are on Him alone! He will use you greatly to bring many souls to Himself, and set many captives free! And when you stand before Him, He will say to you —
Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”
Oh, the joy of my Master! That is the true reward, beloved! That is the true treasure! Store up treasures in heaven, by being filled with His Spirit and His righteousness! Blessed will you be!
Verse 21 —
Jesus boldly teaches that where your treasures are, your heart will be, also. Where is your heart? What are you seeking?
Are your eyes on Him, or on earthly treasures and pleasing yourself? See the poverty of your heart, and cry out to Him to change it. Then, your eyes will be on Him alone, and blessed will you be!
Verse 22 —
The eye is the lamp of the body. It is the means by which we see, it lights our way. Spiritually, if your eye is clear (single, focused entirely on Him), your whole body will be full of light.
What light? His light! It will shine from you, because His light has filled you. The Father and the Son are light; there is no darkness in them (1John 1:5)! And you now have their divine nature in you! There is no longer any darkness in you — your sin nature has been crucified (Galatians 5:24). Hallelujah!
You are filled with Christ’s righteousness! The Father, the Son and the Spirit fully indwell you (John 14:23)!
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the radiance of your shining (Isaiah 60:3)! Blessed are you, for you have heeded His words, seen the poverty of your heart, and cried out for Him to change it! And He has done it!
Verse 23 —
But if your eye is bad (evil), your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you (what is shown to be in you) is darkness, how great (how much) is that darkness! Your eyes are not focused on Him but on yourself and on worldly desires for honor from men, success, and riches. How great is the darkness that is in you! It is so great that it has filled you and blinded you!
Oh, may you heed, for then you will see His light shining on you, and you will cry out, and He will remove the darkness that is in you, and fill you with His Spirit and His light and His righteousness, just as He did me!
Verse 24 —
Jesus says no one can serve (be in bondage, be a slave to) two masters. He will either hate the one and love the other, or will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon (earthly treasures). You either serve God, or wealth.
If you serve wealth, you love wealth. It is your god. So, you hate God, in comparison to the god of wealth. If you are devoted to the god of wealth, you will despise God, in comparison to the god of wealth, upon which your eyes are focused.
Oh, beloved! Do you see the falseness of the prosperity and success gospels? He is showing you! See, heed and cry out! He will change your heart, and fill you with His Spirit and His righteousness, and your eyes will be on Him alone, and you will serve Him alone!
Verse 25 —
For this reason — because you cannot serve both God and the god of wealth — Jesus says to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
If you worry about such things, you reveal that your eyes are on earthly treasures, so you can have the drink and food and clothing that you crave. Your eyes are focused on your desires, your self, and not on the Lord. Your heart has not yet been changed. Heed, see, cry out, beloved!
Life is more than food, drink and clothing! Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit have obeyed Jesus’ command to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5, 8). They have passionately sought and have been filled with Christ’s life, and He is the Bread of life! They have passionately sought His living water! They have passionately sought to be inwardly filled with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so they are temples for the Holy Spirit! Have you become His temple?
Verses 26-30 —
Jesus shames believers who worry about (take thought of, are anxious about) what they will eat, what they will drink, and what they will wear. He shows you your heart!
The birds of the air do nothing but live, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than them, to Him?
Can you add a single hour to your life by worrying? He knows the number of your days, beloved. He sits above time, so He knows the end from the beginning —
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, “My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure . . .”
And why are you worried about clothing? The lilies of the field do not toil, yet they are arrayed more gloriously than King Solomon in all his glory. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?
You of little faith, Jesus says. Don’t you trust your Father? Your worrying reveals that you are not yet able, because your eyes are focused on your desires.
It was the same with His disciples (and with me) before they experienced their own personal Pentecost and were filled with His Spirit. They thought His kingdom was of this world, and that He was going to free them from Roman rule! That was their desire.
But His desire was to purify their hearts, and establish His kingdom in them! Thanks be to God, when He fills you, He establishes His kingdom in you, and your eyes are focused on Him alone!
When you cry out for Him to change your heart, you will no longer take thought of such things. He will fill you with His Spirit, and your eyes will be focused on Him. You will no longer be littlefaiths, but will be blessed, indeed!
Verses 31-32 —
Jesus commands, do not worry. Those who do not believe into Him worry about such things! They eagerly seek (intensely crave) all these things! Your Father knows that you need food and drink and clothing.
Verse 33 —
But seek after (passionately pursue), His kingdom and His righteousness to be established in your heart! And all that you need will be added (given) to you, by Your Father in heaven.
When your eyes are on Him, and He has filled you with His Spirit and His light and His righteousness, you will not crave what the world craves! The self-centered gospels of prosperity and success will mean nothing to you. And you will be light in the darkness, His witnesses here! Hallelujah!
Verse 34 —
Do not focus your eyes on tomorrow. Look to Him! You will, when you are filled with His Spirit and His righteousness!
You may say, why is it wrong to be anxious and take thought of tomorrow? Many Christians whose hearts are not yet changed do such things. Many of them are so anxious and fearful that they seek psychiatric help and are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Their eyes are not yet focused on the Lord, but on their natural circumstances. Oh, if they would just heed, see and cry out, the Lord would change their hearts, and they would no longer be anxious about anything!
Tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient to each day is its own wickedness That is the original Greek-to-English of, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Each day will have evil in it, for there will be evil in the world until the day of the Lord. He is not the author of evil, but hearts that reject Him are under the thumb of the evil one, Satan, a created cherub who fell from heaven because of his pride.
But if you heed His words, see the poverty of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it, He will! Beloved, He will deliver you from false gospels, and from your sin nature, and He will fill you with His Spirit, His righteousness, and His divine nature! Then, your eyes will be on Him alone, and blessed will you be!
Lord Jesus, may hearts respond to your words, and the gospels of the god of wealth be exposed. Amen!