Today’s Reading: Matthew 6:24 (HCSB)
No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.
Today’s Question: Do you own your possessions or do your possessions own you?
Everyone follows someone. Everyone has a “master” and serves that “master” faithfully. Many people attempt to divide their allegiance. They will seemingly devote themselves to more than one, but in the end, no one has the capacity to serve more than one master at a time with fervency.
Most people are slaves to a master Jesus identifies as “Mammon.” You may or may not be familiar with this name, but you will know this master well when I mention his minions: money, fancy houses, fast cars, exotic vacations, surgically altered bodies, and retirement funds. What do these have in common? For most people, these represent a relentless pursuit of materialism.
For the record, it is not a sin to have wealth. I have met a few people who have a clear focus on the Lord Jesus and happen to have obtained a larger sum of money. But the difference is that money is not their master. I am convinced that these few people would be just as content in Christ without wealth. They do, however, seek to use their resources to “fund” Kingdom work in incredible ways. It is possible to live sacrificially in the midst of great resources.
On the other hand, it is not necessary to have money for “Mammon” to be one’s god. Every time I turn on the television, pick up a magazine, or visit a website, someone is telling me that I deserve more than I have. These advertisers prescribe that my life would be much better if I obtained their product or service. Certainly, a few of these conveniences would be nice. Yet, their lure is endless. The enemy to our God sets a trap that is a vicious cycle. One will never be satisfied with the god of “Mammon,” for one can never have enough material things to satisfy his or her deepest needs. Only God can fill this void.
Pastor Ray Pritchard offers a great diagnostic test in his book, The Treasure Principle, by asking the question: “How do you know when something ‘owns’ you?
- When you need that “thing” as a major source of happiness or fulfillment in your life.
- When you can’t imagine living without it.
- When you get angry at the thought of losing it.
- When you find yourself thinking about it in every spare moment.
- When you find yourself bringing it up in almost every conversation.
- When you plan your schedule around it.
- When worries and concerns about your possessions crowd out the joy in your life.”
“Follow One, Lead Others” Principle #40: Following Jesus requires a loyalty to Him that is undivided.
Today’s Prayer Point: Pray for those you know who are consumed by the god of “Mammon.”