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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Servant of Two Masters

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[March 11, 2010]   --"No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth."-Matthew 6: 24

JHardwareesus is talking about balance in our lives.  Just before this passage he has spoken the famous line, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Now this, "you cannot serve God and wealth."  Clearly he was concerned that, as new followers of God, people would not have a clear understanding of priorities.  In our society this is no less a danger.  We live in a culture that values material success above all other things.  There is nothing more important than the big house, the nice car, the beautiful clothes etc.  But Jesus is reminding us that we cannot have it both ways.  We cannot be fully devoted to following Christ will simultaneously committing ourselves to the pursuit of wealth.  At some point the two will become incompatible.

So which will give?  If we take a long range view of things, it is an easy decision.  Our ultimate allegiance is to the eternal, timeless God we worship.  Yet in the heat of the moment, we often choose to serve wealth instead.  As we journey through Lent towards Easter, now is a good time to rethink our allegiances and our loyalties.  What more could we do to serve God?  In what ways are we too subservient of wealth?  Do we accept Jesus' challenge to make God the focus of our lives?  To help in your thinking I will leave you with this image which helps me a lot.  I don't think of my priorities as a ladder with God on top, then family, job, etc... I think of my priorities as an old-fashioned wagon wheel, each prong something that matters to me.  And the hub of that wheel is God, from which all other priorities radiate.  Jesus is not saying that we should never care about money or wealth, he is saying that it should never be the hub of the wheel.  If we make our financial decisions as people of faith then we will find, at the end of the day, we have spent our lives serving God. 

Prayer:  Holy God, help me to serve and love only you.  I ask for your help in making you the most important thing in my life.  I pray in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

[Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]


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