Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16, 2011 … Serving Your Master

Passage of the Day: Matthew 6: 24 … "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.”

My Journal for Today: Jesus’ teaching and exhortation in today’s passage is straight forward and logical. He says NOBODY can be a slave to two masters. The Greek word for “nobody” means ……… NOBODY!

Now, in today’s world, many people are into “multi-tasking;” and many people get quite good at this method of getting things done (even though this can be a recipe for “burnout,” which is another lesson entirely!). But handling two tasks simultaneously is not what Jesus is teaching about. When he uses to the concept “serve” in today’s teaching, He is referring to the Greek word “douleuo,” which clearly refers to being a “slave” to a master. And Jesus is saying that we cannot be a slave or servant (i.e., disciple) to Himself and to any other worldly or fleshly master, such as money (in this instance). For in bowing down and serving money or some worldly pleasure as our master, we are deferring our allegiance to Satan, the world, or self, which means that we cannot serve God at the same time.

The world and Satan, the world’s [temporary] master, demands that their followers be proud, to walk by sight, to seek the things of the world, and to be anxious over everything, having no power except that provided by Satan. But our Lord, God, demands Christians to be humble, to walk by faith, to seek the things of heaven, and to be anxious for nothing, having all power provided by our God. And as you can read, these two masters are separated by 180 degrees of difference in their demands. So, which will we choose?

Romans 6: 17 – 18 reminds us that Christians, who are now in Christ, were once slaves to sin; but now, anyone who has chosen to believe and make Christ as Lord, becomes a slave of righteousness. Hence, the Christian – the true Christian – will never comfortably be able to choose to be a slave to the pursuit of the world or selfish gain because God’s Spirit will never provide peace in such pursuits. When God’s Spirit is deeply rooted in the heart of any believer, that one becomes a sold-out bond slave to Christ; and any decisions that are made in the flesh or in the pursuit of Satan’s world will produce Holy Spirit generated reactions (i.e., conviction), ultimately leading one to surrender to The Master, Who always wants the best for His servants. But if a Christian chooses to be temporarily mastered by his own deceit-ridden heart, by the world, or by Satan, he can expect to live in the misery of conviction and chastisement from a God who loves that one enough not to let him stay directed toward a sin-directed master.

I know that the concept of being a SLAVE is not one that sits well with the western consciousness, especially in our culture of American individualism and post-modern relativism. But the irony is … we can never find true freedom or God’s peace without being a slave to God’s Truth (see John 8: 32); and Jesus is The Truth (see John 14: 6). So, we, as believers, must decide … do we serve (i.e., become slaves) of Christ; or do we serve Satan, the world, or the flesh?

It is our choice!

My Prayer Today: I serve You, Lord! Amen

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