"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24
We may not like to think of ourselves as slaves and servants, but the fact is that we do serve a master in this world. We live for, work for, and devote ourselves to something whether we realize it or not. For many, it is the things of this world that we serve, whether that be our job, money, house, property, pleasure, power, honor, or other such things.
Jesus points out that we are unable to serve two masters because we will either hate one and love the other or be loyal to one and despise the other. And, how true this is! If we devote ourselves to one master, we will neglect another. If we live to be successful in business and become wealthy, we will likely neglect our families and fail to spend time with our spouses and children.
The point of Jesus' illustration, though, deals with our relationship to the LORD God. It is impossible to serve both God and mammon. Mammon is a word that encompasses the money, property and things of this world. Jesus' point is simply this: we are unable to live for God and serve Him and at the same time be living for the money and things of this world. Either we will love one and hate the other, or live for one and neglect the other.
Oh, people try to serve both but it just doesn't work. One who truly lives for the LORD God will trust in Him to provide the needed goods of this world and will use the goods of this world to serve Him. The one who is living for earthly mammon will neglect the service of God and will even attempt to use God to gain earthly goods and protect the things he has! But, as Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."
The question which each of us needs to honestly answer is this: "Who is our master?" Are we living for this world's goods and attempting to use God to gain and keep them? Or, are we living for and serving the LORD God and using the goods He gives us to live for Him in accord with His Word?
Jesus' words give us all cause to reconsider our ways and turn to Him for forgiveness and life. All of us have failed to put the LORD God first -- to live our lives for Him and serve Him. All of us are easily distracted and lured into living for the things of this world. In Jesus and the blood He shed for us on the cross we are offered forgiveness for all our sins and a new life through faith in Him!
Dear Lord Jesus, holy Son of God and the atoning sacrifice for our sins, forgive us for serving earthly mammon and neglecting to learn of You and live for You. Change our hearts that we might love You, trusting in Your shed blood for the forgiveness of all our sins and relying upon Your merciful goodness to care for us and provide for all our needs. Move us to live for You and use the earthly goods You have entrusted to our care in accord with Your will and for Your glory and honor. Amen.
Editor's note: Devotion is by Randy Moll. Scripture is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Moll may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.