A TALE OF TWO MASTERS
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Preachers are often accused of talking too much about money. Sometimes one hears a few disgruntled people say, “I’m not going to church again. All they ever talk about is money.” You know what is mind-boggling? The preacher who talked the most about money was Jesus. In fact, He talked more about money than heaven or hell. Why is that?
Certainly Jesus didn’t talk about money to try and get people to give more to His ministry. He didn’t have a selfish motive behind the message. Furthermore, He didn’t live lavishly as some prosperity preachers have tried to suggest. (One even went so far in defending his opulent lifestyle by saying that Jesus wore designer clothes. Really? Give me a break!)
Why did Jesus talk so much about money? I believe it is because money is the rival god in every society and in every culture. More people wreck and ruin their lives seeking money than they do anything else. To be sure, money is a wonderful servant … but it is a terrible master. If you fall in love with money, you open up Pandora’s Box to all sorts of evil (see 1 Timothy 6:10). A Christian must be extra careful so that money does not take first place in his or her life. While we surely can have both God and money, we cannot serve both God and money.
THE MONEY TEST
Is there an easy way to tell who your true master is? I mean, most believers would never admit to themselves, much less anyone else, that they are serving money and in love with money. (The only folks who own up to loving money are Thurston Howell the Third from Gilligan’s Island and Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank.) So how does a Christian test himself to see if money has become his master?
The test is pretty simple. After Jesus made His definitive statement in Matthew 6:24, He went on for the next ten verses and talked about worry. In fact, He said three times in those ten verses that we were not to worry about our health, our wealth, and our future material needs. The test to determine your true master is the test of worry. If you are worried about your wealth, you are serving money and not God.
THE PRINCE OF PEACE
The Bible gives us many great names for the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the greatest is found in Isaiah 9:6, “Prince of Peace.” When you and I are fully surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord of all, one of the wonderful byproducts of that wise surrender is peace. There is peace within for those who bow the knee to Jesus. And the reason there is peace within is because the Prince of Peace takes the throne. When He is truly our master, He fills our lives with His peace, regardless of the adverse circumstances we may be facing. The Bible calls this “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension …” (Philippians 4:8).
IT’S GRADING TIME
As you soberly consider your life today, who is your true master? Are you worried and bothered about your finances? Are you anxious about your investments? Are you fearfully wondering how you are going to pay for this, that, and the other? Are you fretting about your financial future? If so, it’s time to do business with God.
Perhaps you need to pray a prayer like this:
Dear God, I am so sorry. Without even realizing it, I have allowed money to take first place in my life. I have put my trust in money to meet my needs, rather than You to do so. Please forgive me for that. Thank You for being a loving Father who knows my needs (Matthew 6:32), cares for my needs (Matthew 6:26), and is able to meet my needs (Matthew 6:30, 33). Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, take Your rightful place as king and master in my life. I choose to seek You and honor You first, foremost, and above all. And I am confident that You will provide for me as I trust You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Following Jesus is much more than just that initial step of faith to believe He is who He says He is. In this insightful and challenging 11-message series by Pastor Jeff Schreve, he takes a close look at what it means to genuinely follow Jesus in day-to-day life as we all await His glorious return. It is not easy, but the rewards are incredible. Click here to find out more!