GNB 2.65

March 19, 2023


No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16.13)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil whereby many have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6.10)


It is not a far reach to see the connection between the two verses posted above: one cannot serve two masters simultaneously (or, I dare say, vascillating between one and the other) and the love (devotion and commitment to pursue) of money is the root of all kinds of evil. As Luke presents the antithetical relationship between “God and mammon (wealth used as an evil influence or an object of false worship),” we can take the admonition from Paul to Timothy and see that it would be easy to say understand how such wealth would inhibit loving “the One” and/or “the other.” And it is true that money, in and of itself, is not evil, nor is having money an evil. But, what becomes problematic is the purpose of having such wealth and the means of gaining it. The balancing point ought to be “is it for the fulfillment of the “new command” or is it merely the promotion of self and a love of self above all others and equal to or greater than the love of “the One.””

Of course, the pursuit of poverty can be equally challenging because it may well provide a false image of who we are meant to be and whose we are. We do not serve a pauper God nor does God call us to be paupers. We can see that in God’s call of Abram to the land of Canaan, the call of the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land and the Post-Pentecost community of faith in Jesus as the Christ where “they had all things in common.” It wasn’t poverty as the object of their obedience to serve God and love one another. It was the opportunity to use their combined resources (gifts, talents, abilities, tithes, offerings and devotion to the cause of God and Christ) for the building up of the community as the model of the Church which Jesus was establishing on the rock of faith as Peter had been promised with his declaration- “You are the Christ, the Son of the Most High God.”

Faith in God, true faith, is not something that money (works righteousness) or the love of money (the prosperity gospel, i.e. a false gospel) can buy. Faith in God, especially that through the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and is declared by God to be King of kings and Lord of lords is an expression of one’s true faith, hope and love identity. God does not confer this title out of pride in His begotten Son; that is a hubris not found in the nature of God. But, God does have great trust in His Son by the Son’s willingness to take on the form of humanity (flesh) and become the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins and the redemption of those whom God calls “My people.” Who are God’s people? They are the ones who have heard the call of God to fulfill the commandments of “Love the One and one another with a love of self that is willing, even unto death, to be the servant of all.” What is the hope and compensation for such service? It is that day which is yet to come where death shall be no more a truth for our lives. Death is the compensation and legacy for those who refuse to walk in faith and instead shun the cross to love the world so that the world will serve us and love us as if we are a “god.” The compensation for faith in God through Jesus Christ is the “fruit of the Spirit: peace, patience, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness and most of all- love.” Against such there is no law. And no law commands that one bear witness through their own lives to exhibit such treasure. They are the fruit of the Spirit which comes from above and exists within. Their “work” among the community, whether inside or out of the circle of faith in Christ, stirs the unheeded spirit in every person. Such stirring is described in David’s “deep calls unto/into deep.” They are the deep things of God which is seen in the light of Christ who is the light of the world which the darkness cannot overcome. Yes, the darkness may well deny there is “light” but in that profession is the actual confession of “the lie.” Truth is truth even for Satan and those who choose to follow him. His own words will convict him of the treason he continues to manifest against God, God’s Kingdom and God’s people. 


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