One Must Reign, the Other Must Serve

JULY 27

MATTHEW 6:24_Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The word mammon in this verse is translated wealth or treasure. The double vision saga ends. Jesus and material wealth cannot reign in your heart. The heart can only give itself to one ruler. There is no balancing the two – one must reign, the other must serve. Allegiance!

Jealousy is a terrible emotion. When left unbridled, it consumes. Shakespeare named it the green-eyed monster (The Merchant of Venice, 1596 / Othello, 1604).

There is a time jealousy can be good – when God has it. God speaks strongly of His jealousy in His Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:5 (KJV), “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them [idols], nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God …”Also in Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV), “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”

God’s jealousy is protecting. His jealousy is consumed with keeping you from straying from the path – into darkness.The apostle Paul understood this kind of jealousy. He wrote about it to the Christians in Corinth. II Corinthians 11:2 (KJV), “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband [Jesus], that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Paul’s jealousy saves disciples from double vision.

PRAYER

Holy God, Thank You for being jealous over me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is jealous for us—He wants to save me for Jesus!

It Was Not Created to Divide

JULY 26

MATTHEW 6:24_for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other…

What happens when you try to divide your allegiance between masters? Jesus says you love one and hate one. You may not believe this, but submit to the fact that the Creator knows more about the creation than the creation knows about itself. If the creation knew as much as the Creator, it could have created itself. And when it breaks, it could repair itself.

This teaching goes back to the wisdom of “where a man’s treasure is there will his heart be also.” You can’t divide the heart from the treasure. It is the heart that cannot serve two masters. The treasure must be one. Single vision. Focused on Jesus or focused on wealth.

When the heart is asked to divide itself, it stumbles. It does not have the ability to divide. It was not created to divide. Because it doesn’t know how to divide, it does what it can – turns love to hate, devotion to envy, allegiance to betrayal, and affection to jealousy. When you insist the heart equally share good and evil – evil will win. Because without Jesus, the heart is hard.

Jesus must abide in and be in control of, the heart. 

PRAYER

God of All That is Good, Help me keep my heart united for You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ does not share with evil—He overpowers it!

180

APRIL 17

MATTHEW 5:39_but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

If someone slaps you in the face, turn so they can do it again. What? No way! Jesus couldn’t possibly mean that! Where’s the balance?

There are more ways to be slapped than just physical. The pain of words is one – don’t want to be on the receiving end of that unbridled anger. An arrogant attitude is another – treated like you’re less than stupid. In whatever form the slap comes, Jesus has already taught not to seek revenge. Now does He say to let yourself be slapped again? That doesn’t make sense.

The teachings of Jesus can be radical – way radical! These law transformations are when Jesus is at His topsy-turvy best. His teaching appears to be wrong, maybe even crazy. A heart that has not been or is not being changed will find them to be just that – crazy!     

Jesus has set a stage. Take a seat and enjoy the show. This is a play about a good guy who is injured by an evil bully. The bully is motivated by jealousy and envy. The good guy’s injury causes hardships in his life. The good guy looks for help but no one rushes to his rescue. Everyone fears the bully.

The good guy’s help comes from Jesus’ 180 degree turn.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, You want to rescue me from the devil’s evil deeds. Help me make the turns I need to make. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ’s love knows when to turn—He will teach me!

Like Nothing Else

MARCH 27

MATTHEW 5:27_You have heard it has been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery;

Jesus is ready for another law transformation, the seventh of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not commit adultery. All sins bear consequences. Learn to look before you leap. Save yourself the pain of walking contrary to God’s ways. 

Sexual sins produce jealousy more than any other sin. Jealousy, more than any other emotion, produces uncontrolled anger. Uncontrolled anger often leads to murder.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Didn’t Jesus already make this connection? Uncontrolled anger is in the category with murder.  

Proverbs 6:32-35 (KJV), “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”

Adultery breaks trust. Adultery breaks the heart – like nothing else.

PRAYER

Living God, Help me learn the importance of keeping marriage vows. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows what breaks trust—He teaches me!