This week in our daily devotions we are looking at what Jesus said about money. We will be looking at ownership, stewardship and discipleship from Matthew 6 (The Sermon on the Mount)
Matthew 6 v 19 – 34 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This is part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus makes clear to his followers the lifestyle he wants them to follow – the pivot or key principle is submitting to God found in verse v 24
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus is saying here that human beings have a master who controls them and we can only serve one master. A master by definition is a master because they have servants.
The Jewish people would have known this and part of their teaching was to serve the one true God. God had a claim of their lives and they would have been able to recount Psalm 24 and understand that God was their master by virtue of His creation.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”
I am pleased that God is a gracious all loving master. God is our rightful master but it is possible to choose other masters.
Jesus says very clearly that you cannot serve both God and money – you can not serve two masters.
Money is a created thing and has great power and can be used for great good or great evil depending on what we do with it. At its heart it will only ever be a created thing. It is not and can never be God.
I am not saying that every night we bow down and worship a golden calf but if we look at the fact servants are controlled by their masters then are we controlled by money? Is money our master?
Are our decisions, life choices, sacrifices and fears motivated by money? Are we looking to money to be our security rather than God?
Money is a wonderful servant but it is a terrible master.
As a Christian, God is our two-fold master by creation and by redemption. Even Christians can allow themselves to become enslaved again to created things like money.
God doubly owns everything we have – all we have is His. We need to understand this in our minds and in our hearts. This principle is our firm foundation when it comes to talk about money.