The third reason Jesus Christ warns His followers about an improper concern for possessions occurs in verses 22 and 23. It has to do with our spiritual vision. Jesus said, "The lamp of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be healthy, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" 

In yesterday’s study we said that it is not a requirement that Christians give up their possessions; rather, we are to use them for the benefit of others and for the advancement of the Gospel. This is precisely what Jesus himself was teaching in the verses concerned with money and possessions from the Sermon on the Mount. For Jesus was not speaking against possessions. He was speaking against a ruinous preoccupation with them. He said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21). 

 

In this, as in all other areas of the Christian life, the true solution does not lie in abstinence or withdrawal. It lies in the proper use and the proper estimate of the things that God has provided. In other words, we are not called upon to relinquish things but rather to use them under God's direction for the health and well-being of ourselves and our family, for material aid to others, and for the great task of proclaiming the Gospel and promoting Christian verities. 

After the great teachings in the first half of Matthew 6 about the spiritual life of the Christian, the Lord Jesus Christ turned to warnings about the personal failures that most often deprive a believer of spiritual victories and nullify his witness. In these verses (Matthew 6:19-7:5), Jesus warns against a love of possessions, anxiety, and a judgmental attitude toward others.

Sometimes, our fasting will lead us away from such things as entertainment, perhaps from television. This was the experience of David Wilkerson, whose story is told in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade. Wilkerson had been the pastor of a small Assemblies of God church in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, but although the church had grown and the congregation had been able to erect several new buildings, the pastor himself was restless. One night as he sat watching the “late show" on television, the idea came to him that he might profit from spending the time he usually spent watching television, praying. In other words, he might fast from television and then see what happened.