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Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Materialism or God?

Have you ever worked for a business where there were two owners with both giving you tasks to do? It’s difficult because at times, even though you might have a job description and even if there is a line of command in place, one owner will always overshoot the structures and make your life “hell” on earth. This is a mild illustration of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 6:

Mt 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.”

This verse captures the thrust of Jesus’ teaching in the verses

Mt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

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.”

We have dealt with verse 19 in the context of the Bank on Earth already. Now we come to …

1) The Bank of Heaven.

Mt 6:20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

This is where true Christianity is so counter the world. It refuses to allow Materialism to be god. The God of Creation, who is the God of the Bible is the only true, living God who must be loved, adored, obeyed and worshipped. Everything that falls under the umbrella of the Religion of Materialism, such as wealth, money and possessions … needs to be looked at and appreciated from a distance. Nothing may intervene and block the way to God.

(1) God is possessive in the most righteous way

Ex 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them”

He will not share His people with another god of any shape or form or idea. Be it made of material that God made or some imaginary.

(2) God is Jealous.

Ex 20:5b “for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

This is holy jealousy. So when a child of God … a professor of Jesus as Lord succumbs to the attractions and offerings of Materialism [or any other idol), God’s possessiveness kicks in and He is jealous. Consider one of God’s names”

Ex 34:14 “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

God’s name and His character are synonymous. Every one of His people are directly associated with and carry His name. This reinforces one’s association with God and it says we as His people, saved by grace, may not hanker after another god … even the god of Materialism.

(3) God requires whole hearted commitment.

Mt 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.”

On the lower level, it is impossible for a man to love two or more women equally (polygamy). If one man struggles to love one woman in the Biblical way, how can he love more than one women equally … in a Biblical way? Transfer this to the highest level of the soul … how can a child of the Living God, who is Jealous because His name is Jealous, love God and love an idol or love idols? That is verse 24 … it is impossible to serve God as Master and Materialism as master! Materialism requires total commitment just as God does. You cannot give this to both … and because Materialism is tangible … you can feel it, touch it, see it and use it … and its magnetic power is far superior to your resistance and then couple the temporal excitement of the moment. Although the power of God is omnipotent … the effects of the depraved disposition within tends towards the immediate pleasure and you will never say you hate God or despise Him, but your actions declare that!

(4) God requires you visit Him who is the Great Spiritual Optometrist.

Mt 6:23 “But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Jesus is referring to spiritual vision. Should you be in spiritual darkness you are actually filled with your idol god … which in this case would be Materialism. That god prevents true spiritual light from entering your soul because the passion for wealth, possessions and money prevents true Christianity. The fog is too thick. Satan’s magnetism bewilders. The only way to break out of this jail is to return to Jesus through confession and faith. The soul who is sincerely genuine will be broken hearted, pierced deeply in the soul, plead for forgiveness of idolatry, breaking the attachment and willingly and intelligently surrender to Jesus as your only Sovereign. He is waiting to receive you. He wants to pardon you. His desire is to have you back to your previous bond of love. Listen to the Psalmist:

Ps 18:28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

When you are sincere He will not just turn the darkness the idol caused into light … He will keep your lamp burning.

(5) God is pointed in His requirements.

Mt 6:24 You cannot serve both God and Money.

This sentence seems to be saying … God wants you to follow and serve Him … but you … make up your mind. You chose who will be your God … the true, living God or Mammoth (wealth, possessions and money) … Materialism. Please get this sorted in your heart and mind. You need God, He does not need you. He wants you but does not need you to exit. He is self-existent. You need God because without Him you will lose all your wealth, possessions and money … and your soul!

Father, forgive me for drifting towards the sin of Materialism. Deliver me from such evil and cause me to serve and follow only You. Instill within my heart and passion for Your Word, Prayer and Worship. Amen.

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