3.30.21 – Daily Dose of Worship. A study on Matthew. Part 59. Important.

“‘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.” – Matthew 6:24

The conviction continues but I think many times this verse is misunderstood.

Jesus does not say here that it is wrong to want both service to God and material wealth. What He does say, in crystal-clear terms, is one cannot place ultimate priority on both at the same time. At some moments in life, one must choose which is more important. Christ’s calling forces those who would follow Him into such choices.

Scripture puts this in the context of servanthood. It doesn’t work for a servant to be co-owned by two independent masters—this is why such a thing isn’t practiced. The servant can only prioritize one or the other. They might be “loyal,” in a sense, to both. But separate masters will command the servant in different, competing directions. As a result, the servant will naturally grow to hate or despise one of the two, while growing to love and be devoted to the other.

Jesus is casting human beings as slaves either to God or money. He uses the Greek word mammōna, which comes from the Aramaic word for wealth. Those who surrender themselves to following Jesus become servants of God for life (Romans 6:17–18). Those who prioritize building wealth for themselves on earth surrender themselves as slaves to materialism. As slaves depend on their masters to provide everything that is needed, those devoted to money or to God also depend on their respective masters to provide for them. The demands of those two masters will always compete.

So, Jesus concludes, a person cannot serve both God and money. This does not mean that someone who serves God whole-heartedly will not have money or possessions. Jesus is not suggesting that Christians must be poor, or destitute, or flee from any kind of luxury. It doesn’t mean that being a Christian is incompatible with being “rich.” What He means is that a person sincerely serving God will not organize their lives around acquisition of wealth. Money, for a righteous person, is just another tool given by God to be used for His purposes.

Similarly, this does not mean someone who lives for money can never acknowledge or honor God, in any way. However, there can only be one “most important” thing in any person’s life.

What’s your most important thing?

10 Comments

  1. Suzanne on March 30, 2021 at 5:34 am

    >>>>> Similarly, this does not mean someone who lives for money can never acknowledge or honor God, in any way. However, there can only be one “most important” thing in any person’s life.<<<<<<<<

    'someone who lives for money' ???

    from Webster
    to live is phrasal verb
    1: to wait or hope for (something) very eagerly
    I live for the day when we'll be together!
    2: to think of (something) as the most important or enjoyable part of one's life
    She lives for her work.
    3: to think of (something) as a reason for being alive
    He's depressed and feels as if he has nothing left to live for.

    1 Timothy 6
    9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
    11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

    maybe it is just clunky wording and the source will redeem itself over the next few verses….we shall see

  2. Peggy F on March 30, 2021 at 7:30 am

    This brings to mind two scriptures right away, Psalm 27:4 “” One Thing” , I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek !
    That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life,
    To behold the beauty of the Lord !

    And it puts me in mind of Rich Mullins song, ” My One Thing”…..I can hear it now, ” Everybody I know says they need just one thing, and what they really mean, is they need just one thing more…and everyone seems to think, they’ve got it coming, ….well I know that I don”t deserve it , still I want to serve You more and more, Your my one thing………….Save me from those things that might distract me, please take them away, and purify my heart, I don”t want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing,, so ,what would I have when the world is gone…..if it isn”t for Your love, that goes on and on …….Your my one thing !!!!! love this song! And it says exactly what we are talking about here. and always , this bring me back to …………

    Matthew 6:33 ” But seek ” FIRST”, the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. Amen

    • Peggy F on March 30, 2021 at 9:02 am

      And as the day continues, and I continue some readings, this same theme, thought, message
      speaks out to me so clearly, so I thought I would share, a prayer penned by Brennan Manning
      Dear Abba,
      The ten thousand things are already vying for my attention. Wait, actually, make that ten thousand and one. Some of them are shallow….like what shoes I will wear today..but some of them are legitimate, Lunch with a friend, Drs appointment, responding to a letter. Still they are all earthly things. So startle me , I pray. Burst into the compound of my senses and steal me away from the urgent tyrannies already seeking to keep my eyes fixed on things below. You died for me. For me. Than is the ” ONE THING” ; nothing else compares.

      I love this prayer, and it keeps me singing, O Lord, Be my ONE THING, …..Jesus, my ONE THING………..Amen

  3. Patti S on March 30, 2021 at 10:48 am

    This is a throw back, but it is what I thought of……………………………

    Nicole Nordeman (Contemporary Christian Singer)
    Album, Brave, 2005
    Song, ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’

    Every decision, choice I make. Everything I choose to do. Everything I choose to see, read, engage in……………………….If it does not serve God………who then does it serve?
    (It’s hard to even write the truth, that if God isn’t in it, I am choosing the ‘evil one’).

    Convicting to write it and to ponder on it.

    Because of Him

    • Peggy F on March 30, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Patti, I really like her songs too !!!

      • Greg Schoenberger on March 30, 2021 at 5:18 pm

        Where your heart is, there will your treasure be. My wife bought me a small boat 22 years ago (when she got saved she really appreciated me). I was extremely grateful but I worried that it would become an idol in my life. It almost did but I understand God doesn’t mind us getting nice things as long as we know there place.

        • Dave Pettigrew on March 31, 2021 at 10:49 am

          Greg. So true. As long as it all remains in perspective of our relationship with Him, we’re good….

      • Patti S on March 30, 2021 at 7:44 pm

        She has some amazing stuff. Woven and Spun, one of my favorites

  4. Bruce B on March 30, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    I love the illustration of a servant being co-owned by two masters. I’ve never heard it put that way, and it really brings deeper meaning to the scripture

  5. Sherri H on March 31, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    definitely thinking of where your treasure is there your heart be also , Jesus let me have my thoughts on YOU ALL the time -YOU are EVERYTHING –amen

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