Monday, March 18, 2019

Master plan

Matthew 6:24…

Jesus has been presenting choices; there is the choice between two treasures, the choice between two eyes, and now a choice between two masters. You can’t serve both, and each moment you are serving one or the other.

The world gives what it thinks is noble advice: master your money, don’t let it master you. However, this is where people get fooled. Trying to be the master at all is the problem in the first place. Jesus rightly tells us that this is not an option; we are the servants, and either God or money will be the master.

For the Christian there is not supposed to be any question, we are bought with blood money (1 Corinthians 6:20 / 1 Peter 1:18-19). It isn’t “get control of your money before it gets control of you”, it’s “if God isn’t in control of your money, He isn’t in control of you, and then money is your master, not you”.

Whatever you place your trust in is your God. We are supposed to be slaves of God who are stewards of what He entrusts to us, instead of slaves to ourselves and what we entrust ourselves to. People think this isn’t subtle but it is, and the slave of money will obey money while pretending to obey God. We must plan to build spiritually by purposing to serve God financially, otherwise, we will fall prey to the wrong master.

Will you be mastered by God, or mastered by greed? There is no middle way.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The windows of the soul

Matthew 6:22-23 / Luke 11:34-36…

Jesus was talking about where we put our treasure, and how it affects our heart. Now He talks about how we look at, view, perceive these things, and how it affects our whole life. Jesus asked us to choose between a treasure that will last and one that won’t, and now He asks us to choose between two “eyes”, two purposes, one that will do your whole life and the life of others good, and one that won’t do anyone any good.

He uses “eye” as a metaphor, with the eye describing a person’s condition, their character. A person with a healthy, or “single” eye, is one who is generous. Their purpose involves being a blessing. The opposite is a bad, or evil eye, a person who has a stingy spirit (Matthew 20:15). They are usually begrudging.

The eye is the lamp, and we must keep our lamps filled with fuel, therefore we need to be looking to Jesus if we want to see clearly. Our ethical perception can become clouded by greed, covetousness, envy and jealousy, and darken our whole person. The person who is about Jesus will be a giving person, looking to deny themselves in the interest of others. The person who is a dark soul is always about me, me, me, and never listens to the cries, complaints, concerns, or counsel of others.

What comes in and what goes out matters. The eye is the means of illumination. If it is working well, your whole body, your every facet of life will be lit up. If it is working poorly, every facet will be under darkness. If the means of illumination is not luminous, how dark will your life be?

Your eye tells a story.

It also writes one.

Jesus says, “I see you”.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Home is where the heart is

Matthew 6:19-21 / Luke 12:33-34…

It is foolish to make money the focus of your life, because even if you have a mountain of money, the mountain is never high enough (Ecclesiastes 5:10). A wise man restrains his desire (Proverbs 23:4-5). Setting your heart on personal fortune will lead to personal failure in the long run (Psalm 62:10 / Proverbs 11:28 / Ecclesiastes 5:13-14). You don’t know when you are going to die, and we are to be mindful of God more than our things and desires (Luke 12:16-21).

This is not an indictment of wealth; this is about the futility of keeping in storage things that should be in circulation (1 Timothy 6:8-10, 17-19). Saving is good stewardship, but hoarding is not holy. We are here to be channels for the resources God gives us (Ephesians 4:28), to be a conduit of His blessings, not a dead end. Of course, greed and dishonest gain make the matter even worse (Proverbs 28:6 / James 5:1-3). We are supposed to store up, not for our standard of living but for our standard of giving (1 Corinthians 16:2).

We can store it up in heaven by spreading it around on earth. Our time and our talent are also part of our treasure that we are to use for the needs of people (Romans 12:13 / 2 Corinthians 8-9 / James 1:27 / 1 John 3:16-17), the ministers of the church (1 Corinthians 9:14 / Galatians 6:6 / 1 Timothy 5:17-18), and the advancement of the kingdom (Philippians 4:10-20).

Jesus is not just telling us some things; He is teaching us some things. If you want your heart to go after God, then send your treasure His way. Your heart follows along where your valuables go. We are all interested in our investments. If your heart is for heaven, your valuables will be headed that way, too. That’s where the most secure bank in the universe is, and the rates of return are out of this world (1 Peter 1:4).

Jesus said that where your treasure is, that is where your heart is. Home is where the heart is, the question is, where is your home?