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Wholehearted Devotion

 

December 10


 

Read Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

“No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.”

 

Reflect

Why does God ask for our undivided loyalty? Why is He alone worthy of our wholehearted devotion?

 

Most of us know the greatest commandment—love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). We know that we are supposed to love God with an undivided heart but that often means forsaking the things of this world. So we try to serve two masters. We try to do it all and have it all. We try to keep one foot in the door of heaven while striving after the things of this world.

 

In today’s verse, Jesus addressed this issue. He said no, you can’t serve two masters. Jesus wasn’t referring to employment. He was referring to being a slave or a bond-servant. Someone who was intended to be at their master’s beck and call anytime of the day or night. When someone tries to serve two masters like that, they are always neglecting one of the masters while they serve the other. It just doesn’t work. And it sure is exhausting to try.

 

In this case, Jesus was addressing the trap of materialism. So often, we think we can strive for riches and worldly gain. But when we do that, we end up serving money instead of serving God.

 

But it isn’t just materialism that enslaves our hearts. Have you ever tried to serve man and God? It’s impossible to please everyone in that scenario, isn’t it? The world says to go one way and God says to go another. The world calls what is evil, “good,” and God calls what is good “good” and what is evil, “evil.” If you are trying to follow the ways of the world to get the approval of people, you are walking in the opposite direction of God. We can’t be slaves to the approval of man and serve God at the same time any more than we can walk in opposite directions at the same time.

 

We have two natures—our sinful flesh and our new self, which is the new creation in Christ. And the two are completely at odds with each other. In Colossians 3, Paul wrote about taking off the old self and putting it to death. Take off the old and put on the new. You can’t wear both at the same time!

 

In Matthew 10:38-39, Jesus said that we have to take up our cross to follow Him. We have to lose our earthly lives for His sake to find our eternal lives. In other words, we have to die to this world and die to ourselves, in order to find our lives in Him. We can’t have it both ways.

 

But this is easier said than done, right? Apart from the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, we struggle to remain wholeheartedly devoted to Christ.

 

In Psalm 86:11(NIV), David expressed his desire to be wholeheartedly devoted to God. He didn’t want to worship or serve anything or anyone else. He wrote: “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” David prayed and asked God to grant him an undivided heart. He knew he couldn’t do it alone, so he asked God to help him be single-heartedly devoted to the Lord alone.

 

Why did David think God was worthy of his complete loyalty? Well, in the verses prior, David wrote: “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God” (Psalm 86:8-10, NIV).

 

The lure of money is tempting. But materialism is not worthy of our worship or devotion. In the end, it comes up short. The Lord is God alone and He alone deserves our wholehearted devotion. Friend, who is your Master? Who do you serve? It is a choice you need to settle on. We can’t serve two masters. And He alone is worthy.

 

Pray

Lord, I know that sometimes I am drawn away from You and chase after money and the things of this world. But like David, I ask You to give me an undivided heart. Put to death the other desires that try to enslave me so that I can serve You alone. You alone are God. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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2 months ago
When I’m feeling lonely, tired, anxious, and unloved, I’m right where the devil loves to visit, so easy to press “ place your order “ with The Holy Spirit’s leading, and Pastor Nat, I’m picking up my Bible , staying close to Jesus. I also save all e- mails from back to the Bible , and listen again to Pastor Nat’s teaching, I call it putting on the Armor of God.
2 months ago
Lord Jesus, You mean so much to me; You are more to me than my chief love. You are worthy of total adoration and complete devotion. You, O Lord, are lovelier than the dawn, and Your warmth covers me with love eternal. Thank You, Lord.
2 months ago
Amen!
2 months ago
Thank you Pastor Nat for your true words. God and God alone can give me an understanding heart. I know I couldn't do it alone, so I pray that He will give me a single hearted devotion to Him and I will follow.
1
2 months ago
Pastor Nat I know you are very busy but I sent you an email, Prayers needed. Thank You.
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