Only One Master

Most of us spend our lives investing in this world’s goods. All day long, we plan, work, and worry about getting enough possessions to live and even to live comfortably. In the process, we often neglect God and His kingdom. Jesus shows us the folly of such shortsightedness. For one thing, all earthly treasures will either decay or be stolen from us. Furthermore, the pursuit of things steals our heart and blinds our eyes to spiritual realities. Finally, we end up in bondage to a master who cannot satisfy and who cannot save us from eternal death. The alternative? Lay up treasures in heaven. But how? Jesus told the rich young ruler to “sell what you have and give to the poor… and come, follow Me” (Matthew 129:21). He instructed His disciples to care for the physical needs of other believers as if they were doing it to the Lord himself (Matthew 5:31-46). Paul warned those who were rich not to be proud, “nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God… Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come…” (1 Timothy 6:17-19). The way to avoid being obsessed by a passion for prosperity is to know that “we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:7-9). How, then, should we use our money? Give as much as possible to the work of the Gospel; relieve the needs of poor believers; care for our families; avoid extravagance and waste; invest wisely, not seeking quick or inordinate profits, but attempting to be wise managers of what God has given us. Above all, we should “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” knowing that “all these things [i.e., our daily needs] will be added to” us in God’s good time (Matthew 6:33). The bottom line: We must choose between two masters: God, or Mammon.