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SERVING GOD OR MONEY

March 20, 2017
By Martin Luther

No one can serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth.
MATTHEW 6:24

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THE LITTLE WORD serve is key to this verse. It isn’t sinful to have money and property, a spouse and children, and a house or home. But don’t let these possessions control you. Rather, make them your servants and be their master.

Remember what people say about a kind and generous individual, “He is master of his money.” Money doesn’t control him, unlike a greedy miser who ignores God’s Word and everything else God wants. A miser would rather withhold a helping hand than let go of his money. This kind of greed is the mark of a tight-fisted, childish, and insensitive individual. That type of person doesn’t put his resources to good use or even enjoy them. He ignores eternal treasures for the sake of money. He pursues his own selfish goals and neglects God’s Word, thinking he can get around to it at a more convenient time. Meanwhile, he scrambles to get everything he can, without a penny to spare for the work of God. If left unchecked, he will sink deeper and deeper into greed and jealousy, moving further and further away from God’s Word. Eventually, his heart will be filled with cynicism, and he will become an enemy of God.

So, Christ spoke sternly when he said, “He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second.” This is the same as saying, “The love of money makes people enemies of God.” That’s ultimately what happens when we serve wealth. Christ also said, “Your heart will be where your treasure is” (Matthew 6:21). We pursue what we love. We talk about it because that is where our heart and thoughts are. Augustine came right to the point when he said: “Whatever I love is my god.”