“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” Matthew 6:24
Jesus’ next statement in the Sermon on the Mount is challenging for us. We live in a society that is totally focused on money. We are urged to climb the career ladder to earn more money. Banks tempt us with loans to help us get that car or house we think we need. Billions are spent on adverts to encourage us to hand over our money for the clothes or the holiday or the fast food meal or the drink that will complete us and bring us inner happiness (or so the adverts claim…). And if we don’t have the money now we can put it on our card and let our future selves worry about it .It becomes a vicious cycle. We wanted more money to get the things we think will complete us. But the things are never enough. So we want more things, and so we need more money. Which leaves us either working crazy overtime or racking up credit card debt, chasing ways to get more money to buy the stuff we think we need and cover all our bills. Without us realising it we let money become our master, controlling what we do, letting it effect the choices we are making, looking for ways to give off the impression to everyone else that we have lots of it.
And that’s where we have a problem, for Jesus tells us we can only serve one master. And we know that as Kingdom citizens the master we serve should be God. But Jesus warns us we “cannot serve God and money” Matthew 6:24. Is He saying that as Kingdom citizens we should reject money and flee from it? No! Simply that we cannot let it control us. For when we are devoted to money it means we neglect God. When we go chasing extra overtime to buy nice trinkets that will soon break it leaves less time to go about the Father’s business. Less time to work on expanding and advancing the Kingdom. Less time to invest in others with love. Sure we might give a little extra tithe, but is that really the best way to use our time for the Kingdom? Yes we need money to live, but we must be devoted to God, not money. We need to seek God more than we seek our next paycheck. We need to desire Him more than any material thing. We need to get the Kingdom mind-set that He is Lord over all and all we have is given to us by Him to be used wisely for the Kingdom. When we run all our spending and financial decisions through that filter things change. “Essential” purchases suddenly become less essential. When we let God have His rightful place as master He is able to use us in greater ways for the sake of the Kingdom than we could ever ask or imagine.
Focus Verse: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” 1 Timothy 6:10
- Who is your master – money or God?
- In what ways are you tempted to let money control you?
- What would be different if you ran every purchase/financial decision through the filter that all you have is God’s given to you for the sake of the Kingdom?