1st March 2017
Sermon on the Mount: Week 9 (Wednesday, March 1 2017)
LET’S BEGIN HERE
Divided loyalties are nothing new. It’s not uncommon to find people who were formerly single-minded, committed to the core, with their full allegiance given to one major objective. But as time passed and one compromise led to others, they became distracted, leaving their loyalty diluted and divided. Insightfully, Jesus did not leave this stone unturned as He spoke on the mount centuries ago. Realizing the beast of greed within all of us, He chose not to ignore it but to expose it and warn against its ravenous appetite. Every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ must come to terms with the question: Which master will I serve?
LET’S DIG DEEPER
1. The Tragedy of Settling for Less
Life presents us with constant choices. Day in, day out, we each have to choose how we will approach the circumstances before us. We can all recall the joy of making the right choice, as well as the pain of settling for less. This story of human success and frailty is written across the pages of Scripture.
2. The Reality of Being on Display
Hebrews 4:13 reminds us that “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare.” We can never escape the sight of almighty God. Whether we make the lesser choice or the greater, whether we choose ourselves first or others first, God sees. Knowing we are under the caring, watchful eye of the source of all goodness should bring us comfort. But for many of us, the reality of our sin makes living under His sight more like a cage of conviction. We need to clarify for ourselves just whom we serve.
3. The Impossibility of Serving Two Masters
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke pointedly about the impossibility of serving two masters. Vacillating between good choices and bad, we often believe that we can have it both ways. But Jesus pointed out the lie in such thinking, calling out our flirtation with wickedness and directing us to true devotion.
LET’S LIVE IT
When it comes to choosing one master —and the proper one at that —we need insight in answering two questions: What should I choose? and Whom should I serve? We’ll get neither right if we don’t first decide to cling to the truth, no matter what.
• First, by living in truth our options remain open. Living in truth gives us the opportunity to choose well.
• Second, by living in truth our focus stays clear. When we live in truth, we can focus our attentions where they should be.
Think about your focus on the Lord—particularly in your decision-making. Do you have a habit of considering whether your choices will honor the Lord? At what times do you fail to take that question into account?
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