Which Master Are You Serving?

I cannot serve two masters. God tells me that I will serve something or someone...and only one something or someone. There are lots of "masters" in the world...

Money. Have you seen the "Stuff Mart" in Veggie Tales? Madame Blueberry gets caught up in all the shiny stuff she can buy...but in the end it all leaves her empty. We can serve money, be enslaved to it, but it is not a kind master. Money is not evil, but the love of it is. (1 Tim. 6:10) Craving money above Godly things will lead to destruction, plane and simple. Materialism is the mistress of money. The love of stuff and money is one of the reasons for the financial crumble a few years back in our own country. Media and financial institutions were telling us to "get more" and "get the most"...and we did...until that master called money betrayed us. Loving money and stuff will only lead to destruction.

People. Oh, we can work so hard to serve people instead of God. It is inherent in our human nature to want approval....and we often seek it in others. What a trap this is! Other imperfect beings will never be able to approve of me in the perfect way God does. That's right. God approves of me, and he does so with a deep abiding love that no one on this planet is capable of giving me. Even those who temporarily approve of us will at some point disapprove. If we've put all our hope in them, we will be devastated when we don't measure up. God is a master that lifts his servants up. The lower I bow in his presence, the more he lifts me up. When I fail, he holds me close...never turning away. The fads of society, the ideas of people, none of these things make good masters. They lead us to temptation and eventually destruction.

Self. Oh, what a wretched master self is. Of course, we all know that self can be a master. That is the war we fight from the day we are born. We can serve our self, be enslaved to it's unpredictable nature, or we can deny it which is what Christ so beautifully did on this Earth. He came to save us, but he also came to show us how to live. He showed us what self denial looks like. It doesn't always feel good to tell our selves no. In fact, it can be rather painful...but it is a must if we want freedom. Self is an abusive, unloving master and it will always lead us to destruction...

Do you see the theme yet?

Every master aside from God leads us to destruction. The only master that will treat us well is God himself. He is a master that loves deeply, gives generously and goes to battle with us against the things of this world. Calling anyone or anything master might sound or feel wrong...but God is full of wisdom when he says we need a master. He knows our nature, he knows we will serve something for all of our lives...and he wants it to be him. In the context of scripture, it is interesting and even a little edgy that God used this illustration of masters and slaves because it was a real part of everyday life then. Jews and Gentiles alike were serving and even enslaved to the rulers of the day. In fact, his chosen kids, the Jews, had a long history of being enslaved to other nations. So, when he talks in scripture about our need for a master and that we will serve something, these people were picturing their real, everyday life, with real chains and real bondage. He knew though...he knew that even when he offered us freedom from the wretched masters of this world, we would still willingly serve them. He knew that we needed a master to serve because it is just how we are. The fact is, we can reject the idea all we want, but that won't stop the process from happening. I can say, "I serve nothing and no one" but I am deceived if I say that. At the end of the day, I am enslaved to my self, if nothing else.

Do you see yourself serving any of the masters I've talked about? Do you see yourself bending low under the weight of any of them? You and I will find no freedom in serving this world. This world is temporary. It is headed for destruction. God says though, that we can serve him and he will hide us in the shadow of his wings. He will be a good master, full of grace and compassion. He will bind up our wounds and be strength in our weakness. In the denial of this world and what it offers, we will be filled with the things not of this world...the things of God. We needn't fear for God desires to lift us up, out of our burdens. The Lord says, "choose this day whom you will serve." (Joshua 24:15) We have a choice, that is the beauty of God's love. He loves us enough to let us choose. So, we must choose. We cannot serve two masters. We will love one and hate the other. (Matt. 6:24) I choose to serve my God.

Whom will you serve?

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