Matthew 6:24 – “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.” NKJV
Almost every time I’ve heard a sermon from this text it was about money. It is talking about money, wealth, and/or possessions but it is about much more. It is addressing “divided hearts” or “divided allegiance.” That is one of the central messages of the Gospel, in my view. The verbiage of this passage is quite interesting to me. Let’s examine it if we might.
Notice, Jesus said, that we could not serve Two Masters. Think about that for a moment, He called possessions, wealth, money or whatever divides our hearts and allegiance a MASTER. That would imply that we are ‘slaves’ to whatever that is. Some are enslaved by their sexual addiction, some by drugs or alcohol, some by the quest for power, some by fame, some by public opinion, and many other things. If we allow anything to become a Master or Lord in our lives and divide our hearts and allegiance, we become the person of James 1:8 “double-minded” and thereby UNSTABLE in ALL our ways. He did not say some of our ways but ALL of our ways and an unstable man cannot be depended on. Proverbs 25:19 says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.” Paul told the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Why do I use Proverbs 25 in addressing the person with a divided heart and divided allegiance? Read the next words of our Lord about the person attempting to serve Two Masters, “he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” That which keeps us from what we want or reminds us of our primary duty when we want to split our love and loyalty is almost always despised. God will not share His Glory with anyone or anything.
1 Samuel 12:21 declares, “You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile.” That speaks of a divided heart and results in a lack of productivity. The writer of Hebrews declared in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” John warned in 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things of the world if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them.” A divided heart results in robbing one of the Joy of the Lord.
God is not pleased with a Divided Heart as we can see in Hosea 10:1-2 – “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. 2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.” Some seem to think they can live with a divided heart and God or others not notice but God sees and knows. I suggest you read these passages: “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart… Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins… Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart… The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good… Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts… If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works… I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings… For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things… And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works” (I Samuel 16:7, Psalms 7:9, Psalms 44:21,Proverbs 15:3, Proverbs 21:2, Proverbs 24:11-12, Jeremiah 17:10, I John 3:20, and Revelation 2:23).
God is a jealous God in the sense that He has given us UNCONDITIONAL LOVE through Jesus on the Cross and seeks to bring us into the NEW BIRTH and translate us from the kingdom of darkness to His kingdom of Light. He wants to include us in His Body which requires exclusivity of commitment. Come out from among them and be separate is the plea. If we ‘seek first’ God and His kingdom we have the benefits and promises of God if divide our heart, love, and loyalty we separate ourselves from God and find nothing but futility.
God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!