Our King _______________ division of our loyalties. WE have ________ soul, and we cannot have two master passions of our life. The interests of God and the other master passion would soon come into ____________, and as Exodus 34:14 says 14 —for you shall not worship any other god, because the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. We must choose God as the master passion of our life. God and the world will _________ agree, they are at enmity, at war with each other, and by attempting to reconcile them on our terms, we put ourselves in ____________.
In trying to gain money, or in the pursuit of any other idol, we glorify whatever we are passionately pursuing all out of _________________ to it’s importance, and allow it to gain the mastery of our mind. Our God’s jealousy is for our _________ good, He wants to save us from ourselves, and He will not tolerate ____________ devotion and half-hearted love because it will leave us in ______________, caught between two worlds, as it were, and ruin our effectiveness for the Kingdom.
Marks of Serving God and Wealth
It’s not ____________to own a nice house, but it’s wrong if your house owns you. You can enjoy it as long as you understand that ______________ you have belongs to God, and the things you have are only ___________________ loaned to you by the Lord. How do you know when something “owns” you? (List from Ray Pritchard).
- When you need that “thing” as a major source of happiness or fulfillment in your life.
- When you can’t imagine living without it.
- When you get angry at the thought of losing it.
- When that possession is the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing at night.
- When you find yourself thinking about it in every spare moment.
- When you are gripped with fear at the thought of losing it.
- When you find yourself bringing it up in almost every conversation.
- When you get upset if someone else touches it or comes near it.
- When you plan your schedule around it.
- When you enjoy that “thing” more than being with family and friends.
- When others warn you about your attachment to your possessions.
- When worries and concerns about your possessions crowd out the joy in your life.
So, what do we do if something is starting to own us? give it _______ Find someone who needs it and give it to them. You will be free, and someone else will be blessed. This is what Jesus was getting at when he addressed the Rich Young Ruler in Matt 19:16-22. When we have a lot of wealth, or a lot of possessions, then these can be a ___________ block for our feet. It puts us in danger of letting those possessions get ahold of our _________. If Jesus tells you to give your idols away, then do it & keep following Jesus!
Serving other gods will make you an enemy of God and Serving God makes you an enemy of the world
When Stephen addressed the Sanhedrin in Acts 7, at first it was willing to hear Stephen, but the minute that he drew a clear line in declaring man’s ______________ and Jesus as his only hope then they stoned him to death. When we draw a clear line in the sand that declares absolute ____________ to Christ, then the world reacts vehemently and violently.
Jesus ______________ the middle ground. He does not give ___________for dabbling in Christianity. A scribe came and said to Jesus in Matthew 8:19-22, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You will go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead” This scribe is saying—I’ll follow you, but only after my dad dies, so that I won’t have to tell my Jewish father that I’m following Jesus now. That’s not ________________; that’s respecting what his dad thought more than what God thinks. Setting conditions and timing of our discipleship and turns our relationship with Jesus upside down, and makes us the Master—it’s not discipleship. Jesus makes His position very clear in Matthew 10:37 37 “The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. No other relationship in our life is on a par with our relationship with Christ! And certainly no relationship with material goods is to be elevated in our minds to take 1st place, God’s place as the master ___________ of our lives.
“Wealth” is a competing master-passion of life. The transliteration used in the King James Version, “Mammon,” was an Aramaic term that personified material things as objects of worship. There is probably no greater _________________ to knowing Christ as Lord than loving things and trying to use Christ to further our own ___________. Instead of our possessions being instruments and tools for ____________ as Christians, we find ourselves embracing and cherishing them as the love of our lives.
You don’t have enough time and energy for both.
Jesus describes this problem in the parable of the soils (Matt 13:18-23). In the seed that fell among the thorns, the person ________________to be a follower of Christ – and by the immediate evidence it seems that he is serious. But Jesus says that that “the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” For a while the person tries to walk the road of two masters but soon discovers that these roads are distinctly ______________ paths so that he is devoted to one and despises the other. And nearly always, the one that a person like this ends up making the god of their life is Not the god of the Bible, it is Mammon. And they loose out on the joy and peace of God, and may even lose their soul, finding out that they only ever had an intellectual belief in God and never really _____________ Him for their salvation.
Trying to Serve two brings judgement
In Revelation 2:14, the church of Pergamum is scolded for tolerating the “teaching of Balaam,”. Balaam, who tried unsuccessfully to prophesy against the people of Israel (Numbers 22). He eventually advised King Balak of Moab, the enemy of Israel, to pursue a campaign of seduction against them (Numbers 31:8). Balaam, a prophet from Mesopotamia, had divided loyalties. Even though he knew Balak was God’s enemy, he tried to sell his prophetic gifts to enrich himself. According to 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam’s “way” is a choice to promote falsehood for financial reasons. According to Jude 1:11, Balaam’s “error” was his willingness to accommodate pagan beliefs out of greed. Jude 1:4 also refers to the sin of those “who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality.” We cannot be fully __________________ with the world and still serve God. The doctrine of Balaam teaches compromise, wanting Christians to forget they are called to be separate and holy (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 1:2); the doctrine of Balaam makes believers indistinguishable from the unbelieving world (Matthew 5:13) and ______________________ as witnesses.
The solution to double-mindedness–How do we keep those things from becoming master over us?
First, we must find our ____________ in Christ; diving deeply into His word, so that we truly understand the love that He has for us, as demonstrated through His finished work for us on the cross. As we understand how much God loves us, then we will automatically want to obey that desire for Him that He has put into all mankind.
Second, we must find ____________________ with the world, possessions, selfish ambition, and worldly honor by seeing devotion to them as a contradiction to loyal love for Christ. Possessions are only means to ____________ Christ.
Third, we must strive to continue to allow our Master, the light of the world to direct our lives. Be Holy as He is Holy. Refuse to compromise with the world and live the way that it tells us to.
Lastly, we must keep the order of our priorities of our lives to give first-love to Christ. This has to do with our sanctification and ___________________________ as Christians. Priorities reflect our affections. Thanksgiving week includes two Holidays, one official, one unofficial-Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This week in particular presents a choice in terms of priorities. Are we going to spend our week surfing the sales ads, or are we going to spend our week in our Bibles and drawing close to God in prayer and being Thankful for all He has given us?