Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving God More Than Things

Matthew 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.

IMG_0301I remember when I was a little fellow – living in the country – walking up and down the road I lived on picking up soda bottles.  I would collect them and take them to the gas station on the corner and get 2¢ for each. I would turn around and buy some baseball cards with my new found riches!  I was learning early on that money bought the things you wanted.  I introduced my cousin to this way of making money and we spent a summer working the roads.  We didn’t even need one of those signs applauding our work for cleaning up the roads – we simply wanted the 2¢ per bottle!

Can you remember your first job?  My first real “official” job was one summer when I worked for the druggist near my home in Annapolis.  I was a Soda Jerk behind his counter (I can hear the jokes now).  I would make sandwiches and sodas (that’s with ice cream and soda pop for those who don’t know) and stuff like that a few days a week.  I also had a paper route that summer and was officiating baseball games too.  It was a busy summer and I kept the counter position into the school year.  A little bit of money for a youngster is cool.  I already had a savings account (started in my younger years) but I moved that account to my new home town and began to save in earnest.

A good work ethic is important in this life.  Growing up I cannot remember a time when I was not shuffling several jobs and school.  Even when I began in ministry I was still working other side jobs here and there to help make ends meet and to save for the future (it came in handy when we were able to build our home).  There are several philosophies about money – so I won’t go into all of them – but I will say that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:10) Money is a tool – and work is a way that most of us get that tool.  We work at a job or jobs and we are paid for our endeavors.  Sometimes we’re paid more than we should be paid (like 120 million for playing a sport) or at times less than we should be paid (see the starting salaries for our police officers – teachers – fire fighters – and others).

I want to urge folks to think about how they use the money that God has blessed them with in life.  Today we examine a statement made by Jesus.  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. Jesus draws a line in the sand between serving God and serving the things of the world.  We cannot serve both.

Most of us wouldn’t say we serve money – but if we examined our priorities we might find that we actually do serve money.  I’ve heard financial experts tell folks to examine their checkbook and see where their money goes (or our online banking and credit card statements).  How big are the checks we right for our wants rather than our needs?  How much do we give away to others who are in need?  Another way to approach this subject is by asking the question – do you own your things or do your things own you?  Do we live to gain more and more or do we live to celebrate where we are and what we have?  Have we learned to be content – as Paul wrote – Philippians 4:11-13 – 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Paul also writes this about our trust in God rather than in money – Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hope this helps us to reflect on today’s passage.  I know writing it helped me.

We should love God more than things.  We should spend more time with God and less time on ourselves.  We should sacrifice self for God and desire in our hearts to serve Him more and more each day.  Loving God more than things should be our daily goal.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 14, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , ,

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