How many of us want to “have our cake and eat it too”?
- I’m a vegetarian, but I love bacon.
- I want to be in great physical condition and eat lots of ice cream.
- I want to learn to play the piano, but I do not want to practice.
- I want to have a great relationship with God, but I have a few other things on my agenda…
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount includes these words on the competing interests in our lives –
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “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.
Matthew 6:19-21, 2
Consider these words from the German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“Why should we not be happy children of the world just because we are the children of God? After all, do we not rejoice in his good gifts, and do we not receive our treasures as a blessing from him?
“No, God and the world, God and its goods are incompatible, because the world and its goods make a bid for our hearts, and only when they have won them do they become what they really are. That is how they thrive, and that is why they are incompatible with allegiance to God.
“Our hearts have room only for one all-embracing devotion, and we can only cleave to one Lord. Every competitor to that devotion must be hated. As Jesus says, there is no alternative either we love God or we hate him.”
If our hearts are entirely given to God, it is clear that we cannot serve two masters…
So are there competitors making a bid for your heart?