Abundant Living: Making Money in a City (Part 1)

January 29, 2024

Series: Abundant Living

Book: Matthew

This sermon is part of our Abundant Living series. You can watch more here.


Sermon manuscript:

This morning we are going to be in Matthew 6.  You can turn to page 66 and 69.  I left some verses from last Sunday, so you might need to flip back and forth or you can turn to Matthew 6 in your bible.  Our passage this morning had me thinking about this song.  I will read the lyrics, see if you can guess.


Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me
I think they’re okay
If they don’t give me proper credit, I just walk away


Any guesses?  Next line.


They can beg and they can plead
But they can’t see the light (That’s right)
‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mister Right


Any guesses?  Next line.


‘Cause we are living in a ______________ world
And I am a __________ girl
You know that we are living in a ____________ world
And I am a ______________ girl


The bulk of our passage is talking about spiritual disciplines that help us grow strong in our faith.  Last Sunday Jesus talked about prayer.  This morning Jesus is going to speak to fasting and money.

If you are new this morning, we don’t talk about money every Sunday.  We teach through God’s Word and periodically God’s Word talks about money.  So, let’s start with fasting in verse 16:

Matthew 6:16, “16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

It’s possible you might not be familiar with the spiritual discipline of fasting.  You can write this down in your devotional, “Fasting is abstaining from food so that we might commit the time we would usually eat to prayer.”

“Fasting is abstaining from food so that we might commit the time we would usually eat to prayer.”

Fasting from food sounds like some serious commitment but we need to be clear that fasting from food is not a way to impress our Heavenly Father or gain His favor.  This is the whole point of our passage.

Why would we need to impress our Heavenly Father?  Through faith in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we are ushered into His Kingdom.  Through faith in Jesus we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  Through faith in Jesus we have the eternal attention of our Heavenly Father.  How could fasting from food possibly give us greater approval than what we have already been given in Christ?  Amen! (DON’T READ)

Matthew 6:16, “16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Therefore, in verse 16 Jesus teaches us, “We don’t have to put on a gloomy face to look hungry.”  We don’t have to fast from food to gain the approval of our Heavenly Father.  We’re already in Christ!  Look at verses 17-18:

Matthew 6:17-18, “17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

In verses 17 and 18 Jesus encourages us to fast but it’s possible some of us have never been exposed to fasting from food in our lives, therefore, let me give some practical direction, because I would encourage us to incorporate fasting into our devotional life to help us grow in the Lord.

  1. Determine the purpose for the fast. (Making a decision, adoration to the Lord, gospel opportunity, physical or spiritual healing, or seeking God’s will for our life.)
  2. Determine the type of fast. (We can fast from food but we can also fast from things like the Internet, social media, movies, etc.)
  3. Determine the length of time for the fast. (You can start with a meal, then a day, maybe a few days. The goal is to finish the fast.)
  4. Determine what how you will commune with God during your fast. (Prayer, journaling, Scripture, reflection, confession)


The idea is that we are denying our physical cravings to focus to become aware of our spiritual cravings.  The same way our physical body hungers for food, so does our spiritual soul hunger for nourishment but we often times don’t discover that spiritual hunger until we fast.  Look at verse 19:

Matthew 6:19, “19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” 

In verses 16-18 Jesus focuses on fasting.  In verses 19-21 Jesus is going to focus on money but I want to acknowledge this is the second time we see the command, “Do not.”  Did you see it back in verse 16?

At first glance, it could sound like Jesus is like a frustrated parent barking out orders, “Stop rambling in your prayers, stop blowing the trumpets, stop bringing attention to yourself.”  Stop it!

Listen to me, Jesus is not a frustrated parent.  It could sound like Jesus is just rattling off a bunch of rules but we have to remember the whole of Matthew 5 and 6.  Some of us are just hearing this part of the passage for the first time and we forget Jesus taught Matthew 5, 6, and 7 in one sitting.

In Matthew 5 Jesus invites us to live in His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  The invitation is not based on us following or not following the rules.  The invitation into His kingdom isn’t based on religious behaviors.

Jesus has made it clear, the invitation into His kingdom is based on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection alone.  And now, in Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching us what life is like in His kingdom.  Does that make sense?

It’s as though Jesus is saying, “In the kingdoms of this world you used to do this and that to get attention from others…but in My kingdom, you don’t have to store up treasures for yourself, because you’re in His kingdom and that means our relationship with money is completely different in His kingdom.”  Does that make sense?

I know money is a sensitive subject.  Especially in the local church.  We get nervous because we have this image of those people in churches taking advantage of people.  Send me a $1 for prayer cloth.  Send me $10 and God will send you a $100.

But Jesus doesn’t need our money.  I am not trying to get your money.  Money is just a realistic part of this world and Jesus is teaching us how to interact with money in His heavenly kingdom on earth.  Does that make sense?  (Go slow)

First, did you know we are all living in kingdoms?  This is a little abstract, but right now we are all living in our own personal earthly kingdom. We all have our own castles we call our homes, we have our own armies we call our bank accounts, right, when our bank accounts are strong we feel safe.  And in our own personal earthly kingdom we can feel this pressure to try to build up our kingdom, protect our kingdom, and strengthen our kingdom.  Right?

But in verse 19 Jesus is teaching us, “In Christ, you’re in His kingdom.”  Our personal kingdoms are vulnerable.  Our personal kingdoms are fragile.  There is a reason married couples argue about money. There is a reason a car breaking down sends us into a tail spin.  Our kingdoms feel strong but their vulnerable.  Write that in your notes, “Our personal kingdoms feel strong but they are fragile and vulnerable.”

Therefore, Jesus, in His grace and mercy, knows our personal kingdoms are going to let us down.  Jesus knows a virus can stall an economy.  Jesus knows a drop in the market 10% can leave people unemployed.  Jesus knows the threat of invading armies is possible, therefore, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where something as simple as moth and rust destroy, thieves break in and steal.” Look at verse 20:

Matthew 6:20, “20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”

In verse 20 Jesus says, “But.” The word, “but” is to show contrast from verse 19 to verse 20. In verse 19 there is a command, “Do not” and in verse 20 there is a command, “Do” so that Jesus is calling all men, women, and children in His Kingdom to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

Therefore, when we get to verse 20 we need to be asking ourselves, “How do we build into Jesus’ Eternal Kingdom on earth?”  What does that look like practically?  Nobody here wants to be the material girl.  Nobody here wants to put our trust in the economy of the day but what does verse 20 look like practically?

Is there a Bank of Heaven where we can open heaven accounts?  Does that mean we all need to become pastors or missionaries because surely pastors and missionaries are making some deposits?

Does that mean we should only be friends with Christians?  Does that mean we only do business at businesses that are owned by Christians?  Does that mean we never own anything?  How do we build treasures in heaven?

Throughout the Scriptures we see the New Testament authors introduce a concept known as biblical stewardship. Write that in your notes, “Biblical Stewardship.” (Luke 12, Romans 16, 1 Corinthians 4, Galatians 4, 1 Peter 4.)

The word, “steward” comes from the Greek Word, “Oikonomos” and it means someone who doesn’t own the house, but manages the house.  Write that in your notes, “A biblical steward is a manager.” A “biblical steward” is given responsibility by the owner to manage what ultimately belongs to the Lord.  Does that make sense?

It’s possible you are just thinking about money and valuables at this point but biblical stewardship is looking at the whole of life.  Everything we have is from the Lord, belongs to the Lord, and entrusted to us for a season.

1 Corinthians 6, “Our life is not our own, we have been bought for a price” therefore, the perseverance we have to work hard is from the Lord.  The ability, talent, skill we have is from the Lord.  The parents we have, that gave us the DNA we have to be born at this point in history is from the Lord.  The ability to create, sale, relationally connect is from the Lord.  It’s biblical stewardship.

How do we build up treasures in heaven?  First, we see that when we come to faith in Jesus, the whole of our life belongs to Jesus and as biblical stewards we are wanting to turn from building into our personal kingdoms and build into His kingdom.  Just like with fasting, let’s look at a list.

  1. Personal vision. (What’s your calling in life?)


Some of us are passionate about helping children.  Some of us are passionate about helping others grow in Christ.  Some of us are passionate about the homeless community in Austin.  Some of us are passionate about the poor.  Some of us are passionate about worship.  Some of us are passionate about those who have never heard the gospel.

Listen to me, it’s possible that some of us are thinking, “I am passionate about watching Netflix.”  In the most loving way, there’s nothing wrong with Netflix but Jesus has a call on your life that is greater than Netflix.

In our church in Austin, we use this resource called Yearly Rhythms to identify our personal vision.  I will meet with you, our elders will meet with you, but we start to make deposits into treasures in heaven when we know our personal vision.

  1. Personal inventory. (Are you on vision?)This is getting really practical; what’s getting the chunk of your time?  What’s getting your emotional energy?  Where’s your money going?  Jesus is pressing in on our soul with these words.


We can say, “I love Jesus, I want to give my life to Jesus” but if we don’t see the things of Jesus showing up on our calendar, in our thoughts, or on our bank statements, then it is likely that our words are just words.  Look at verse 21:

Matthew 6:21, “21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Verse 21 is a little cryptic, but Jesus is simply saying, “If you want to know what kingdom your investing into, eternal or earthly, look at what you treasure, look at where you spend money, what you think about, and where you spend your time.  Does that make sense?

I am guessing that some of us are thinking, “When I get home, I’m tired!”  I get it, but when you know your personal vision and how that vision lines up with Jesus, I promise, you are going to tap into a level of energy you’ve never seen.

Listen to me church family, we live in Austin, career in Austin is a big deal and it would be easy to pour our lives into our career but you need to know our career is a place where thieves break in and steal, it’s the place where moth and rust destroy.  Someday your career will be done with you, they will slide your name off the title and that’s it!

Therefore, in light of God’s Word Jesus is teaching us, “In His kingdom, you really have two jobs.  In Christ, we have our first job, which is investing heavenly treasures into His kingdom and our second job is engineer, sales rep, counselor, pastor, barista, teacher, construction.  Does that make sense?

We just finished off 2023.  Can you imagine you are coming for your yearly review and you tell your employer, “This job isn’t my primary focus?”  I will work hard.  I will give my best effort but in Christ, I have a higher calling, a higher purpose.

Therefore, write in your notes, “Where’s my money going?”  Look at your expenses.  Put it into a pie chart and see who much of your money is going to your personal kingdom, which is going to come and go compared to His kingdom.

Where are you spending your time?  It’s great to relax, it’s great to have hobbies, but every person has 8 hours of discretionary time a day, therefore, we need to consider, what we are doing with our time.

What’s getting our emotional energy?  What do we daydream about?  What prayers are we praying that only God can answer?  Maybe this is why we need to fast, so that we might hear from the Lord and live for Him?

Matthew 6:22-23, “22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, 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 that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

We will go fast here but our eyes are the window to our soul.  If our soul is living for our earthly kingdoms then our eyes will be darkened, weighted, anxious, tired, overwhelmed.  But if our eyes are living for our heavenly kingdom then our eyes will be lit up!

The word “clear” literally means single-minded.  It means there’s no double agenda on what really matters in life. We’re crystal clear but if our eye is bad then we are going to stumble.  We are going to get distracted.  We’re going to waffle as we go through life.  Don’t we want clear focus for His kingdom?  Look at verse 24:

Matthew 6:24, “24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Listen to me, every person in here thinks we can do both.  We hear the urgency of Jesus’ words and yet we tell ourselves, “I bet I can do both.”  I do.  I think I can chase after all the extra perks of my personal kingdom and His kingdom and so daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly I need to hear Jesus’ words in verse 24, “You can’t. It’s one or the other.”


North Village Church

This sermon is brought to you by North Village Church, a non-denominational church in Austin. established in 2009 and built around Jesus and Bible teaching.

Are you looking for a church in Austin? At North Village Church we put Jesus at the center of our church family. We worship together every Sunday at 10:30am, encourage Christ centered fellowship through groups, and host special events such as Bible studies and Theological Training, to ensure that we are rooted in in God’s Word. We also serve our local community in association with several Austin based organizations.

North Village Church is made up of professionals, married couples, singles, and families who are wanting to experience the life-transforming power of Jesus. If you are a family with children or teens, we can support you with either or both our Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry.

Check out our North Village Church calendar highlights such as our Christmas Eve Service and Easter Sunday Service.

You are welcome to contact us if you would like more information.


NVC Online

Unable to attend this Christian Church in Austin? Don’t worry, because, through God’s provision, we have created NVC online, an Online Church streaming a worship service every Sunday from 10:30am Central Time. You can also watch our short, powerful sermons on demand and follow us on Instagram for daily Christ centered content.