“No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)
As I read this verse, the first commandment flashes through my mind. It is a simple call for submission in every area of one’s life to the rule of God:
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Deuteronomy 5:7)
This begs the question of us all–to what or to whom do we cleave? To what or to whom do we allow our devotions to become attached? What commands our attentions, consuming our thoughts? Just exactly where do our loyalties lie? Jesus tells us in Scripture that a divided house will not stand. We cheat our own souls when we seek to divide our loyalties between God and the world, between treasures on earth and treasures in heaven, between pleasing God and pleasing man.
Scripture does not say we must not or we should not, rather we can not serve both God and the things of this world. Christians are to resist the seductive influence of the glitz of the created. John tells us:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
(1 John 2:15-17)
The psalmist says:
I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. (Psalm 123:1-2)
I find it extremely interesting that the words translated “devoted to” in our verse for today are from the Greek word antecho meaning: “to hold firmly, to cleave to and to be loyal and devoted to. The word portrays one holding an object directly in front of himself before his gaze, squarely across from himself before his face, and thus closely or near, in order to give his attention to the object.” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New Testament Lexical Aids.)
I am confident that is why Paul tells us that we are to strive earnestly to focus our attention on things above, concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
We must individually choose what, who, or whom we will serve as we abide in that choice. Just as Joshua told the Israelites:
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Take It to Heart
“We make our choices and then our choices make us. Our everyday choices reveal what we really desire. The essence of sin is pride. The heart of sin is independence and the core of sin is demanding my own way instead of God’s.” (Pat Singleterry)