Matthew 6:24 24 “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Jesus implies that people will serve something – it’s what humans do. There are any number of things one might serve, but a clear problem area for people is the trap of serving “wealth”. I might call it “stuff”.
Americans like stuff. I like stuff. That’s not necessarily a problem, but it can be. Especially in a culture like ours in which accumulation of stuff equates to a sort of scoreboard. People are often judged based on what they own, or where they live, or what they wear, or how they look. And the crazy thing about using wealth as a “score” in life – is that whatever you have is never enough. Someone else always has “more”, which means the pursuit never stops.
Pursuits of “stuff” never really satisfies the deepest of human desires. It’s like pouring water into a bucket that has a hole in the bottom.
Jesus offers a better way. When we devote ourselves to the Lord, getting to know him through prayer/scripture/worship (UP), investing in relationships with other Christians (IN), serving the world around us (OUT), something marvelous happens to us on the inside that makes the outside stuff inconsequential. When we serve God first, our deepest longings are satisfied. We discover our reason for living. We make use of God’s grace that gets extended to others through us.
When we pursue the Lord first, we discover life as it was intended from the beginning. If you’re gonna be a slave to something, it’s awesome to be a slave to the Lord!
Heavenly Father, give us grace to turn away from the pursuit of “stuff” to pursue you instead. This is such a simple idea that is hard to do. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.