Thursday, September 15, 2005

Laying Up Treasure ~ Only One Master

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)
There are three decisions we must make about the treasure of our heart.We must choose where we will lay up our treasure — on earth or in heaven. We must choose whether our eye will be evil or good, whether we will be greedy or generous. We must choose which master we will serve — God or mammon.

“Mammon” is an ancient word that refers, not just to money, but to the god of money. The Greeks had Plutus as their god of money. The Jews never formalized such a deity, but there were some who idolized money just the same.

We cannot serve both God and money. For one thing, God will not share His glory with any other — the First Commandment declares, “I am the Lord your God … you shall have no other gods before me.”

For another thing, our hearts are not made to be divided. If we try to serve both gods, we will end up loving one and hating the other. It is the source of great confusion in both the inner and outer realms of our lives.

It is not money itself, but our attitude toward that is the problem. Some people think the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil, but what it actually says is that the love of many is the root of all evil (or all kinds of evil). Many people love, serve and put their trust in money for their welfare. They have made it their god. Money can be a wonderful servant, but it is a tyrannical master.

A rich young man came to Jesus asking, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (He did not realize that good works do not gain us eternal life — they flow out of eternal life.) After establishing that the young man had kept the commandments — the six out of the Ten Commandments that deal with loving our neighbor as ourselves — Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” The Bible says, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (This account is found in Matthew 19:16-22.)

This man failed in the very First Commandment. He did not trust in God alone and love Him with all his heart. He had already made a prior commitment to the god of money. His heart was chained to his possessions. He affected a fine religious tone, but he loved and trusted in his wealth and was unwilling to truly put his faith in God.

He could have treasured up his treasure in heaven, trusting God with everything in his life and serving Him alone — and he would have been full of joy. Instead, he remained the slave of his money, laying up his treasure on earth, and went away full of sorrow.

Who or what will you love, serve and trust? It will determine where you lay up your treasure, and whether that treasure will endure.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.