Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
This passage of scripture reveals to us a very sobering truth, that we are controlled by one of only two masters operating in the earth, and vying for control of our hearts and minds. On the one hand we have Christ, The savior of the world, who died to redeem us from every unlawful deed, and invites us to use our freedom of choice to serve Him with a willing heart. But on the other hand we have the devil, who seeks to control our minds through his seductive arts, or by the use of force, and does all he can to try and bully both the righteous and the wicked into submission, for these are his methods.
But what is even more disturbing about this sacred truth, is that most people who are not in Christ are not even aware that they are possessed in some degree, and for this reason many conclude with the song writer, that "I did it my way". The truth of the matter is that we do not even have a way, for the two paths which are set before us never originated with us, but with the two masters spoken of in our passage for today. These solemn truths are confirmed in the following scriptures, as the prophet Isaiah confronts the cold reality which faces each person living on this planet. Let's read:
Isaiah 49:24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? 25 But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
Now, since we are satan's "Lawful captives", then it's only one other Master more powerful than he, who can rescue us from our predicament, and without His intervention, not one of us could be saved. The fact that we are governed by either one of two masters became quite evident in a situation which unfurled during the Sabbath hours, as Christ was delivering a sermon in the temple. The congregation then was just like any other, with women dressed in hats and high heels, and men dressed in jackets and ties, with the scriptures being read from the pulpit.
However, when the explanation of the passage in question was given, the members of that church became so deeply offended that they immediately put down their Bibles and Sabbath school quarterlies, and took Jesus to the edge of a cliff to cast Him over, and were it not for the direct interposition of God, our Savior would have then suffered an untimely end. What is worthy of note, is that prior to this experience, the members of the congregation in question, all seemed to be normal, law-abiding citizens, in good and regular standing, going to church on a regular basis, all the while being controlled by another master, foreign to God. Let's read:
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Thus far so good, for the prophet Isaiah was well established as the servant of God who dwelt extensively on the coming of The Messiah, and so the congregation said "Amen" to this first reading. But when the explanation and practical application was given, then another spirit took center-stage, of which we now read in the following verses. Let's read:
Luke 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way.
The disposition or attitude manifested by us, whenever the cutting truths of God's word are brought home to our consciences, reveal which of the two masters are in control of our minds, for if we find ourselves desiring o harm or stone the preacher in question, then something is radically wrong on the inside. But if we are prone to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, then we may be certain that Christ is our Master, because the tendency to submit to the truths which touch the sensitive areas of our lives, indicate that the Holy Spirit is actively working on the inside, and the results will certainly be seen in submission, repentance, and change.
Let us therefore seek to have Jesus as our Lord and Savior, for if we earnestly desire cleansing from all sin, and the eternal life that Christ alone can give, then we must have Him seated on the throne of our hearts at all times, for only then can we claim Him as our Lord and Master. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which teaches us how this is accomplished, and it is the will of God that Christ reign supreme in every heart. Let's read:
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!