24. Sermon on the Mount 9

Matthew 6:24-34

When Israel was carried away into captivity, the king of Assyria populated their cities with people of other nations. These people “Feared the LORD, and served their own gods” (2 Kings 17:33). They worshipped the true God but did not know Him.

We have a generation of Christians today who resemble these ancient worshippers. They love God but do but serve Him exclusively, for they honour gods of gold and silver, even teaching their children to do likewise. By trying to serve the Lord and riches many believers are careering unto the unavoidable consequences of such an attempt. They will end up hating and denying the true God, for God and Mammon cannot mix. 

‘Mammon’ was the name of the heathen god of wealth. Mammon now refers to riches and what it can buy, such as pleasure, comfort, fame and materialism. Both in the world and in the church there is the belief that there is power in wealth. What is believed in is ultimately worshipped.

Serving God
The Christian’s faith ought to be solely in God. He must be trusted every moment as well with the whole heart, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27). He is the Shield and Defender of all who put their confidence in Him (Psalm 144:2). He alone is able to satisfy the believer’s every need (Philippians 4:19). If we claim to love Him then should we not serve Him? Such service proves that we love God. The highest act of worship is to imitate Christ in our daily lives, for our aim should be to be as loving, merciful, gentle and pure as He is. 

Man glorifies what he serves. If we truly serve God, then we will glorify Him in every aspect of our daily lives with a single eye and a pure heart. We will glorify Him by walking in holiness. We will glorify Him by being obedient to His commands and zealously avoiding that which He has forbidden.

Serving Mammon
By serving Mammon we mean putting trust in the world and the things of the world in an attempt to find happiness, comfort and support. It should be remembered that Mammon can never have any eternal value.

Serving Mammon means loving the world, something we are commanded not to do (1 John 2:15). The majority think that wealth will bring them joy and peace in this life. They consider riches to be a saviour from all ills, but the love of wealth is the root of all the evil in the world (1 Timothy 6:10).

Serving Mammon means being conformed to and by the world’s standards, accepting its morality, and honouring its plans, purposes, desires and attitudes. Mammon has the multitudes walking the broad way to destruction.

Serving two masters
God and Mammon are incompatible. It is not possible to serve both at the same time. Those who only have religion will attempt to serve two masters, but a true believer will not do so.

As believers we ought to serve God exclusively, for by serving Him, we show that we have renounced all false gods. It is absolutely impossible to be a Christian and trust in uncertain riches (1 Timothy 6:17). If we claim to have complete faith in Christ then there is no place in us for the world. The believer has set his “affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2)

Why worry?
Those who are conformed to the world will bear the image of the earthy (1 Corinthians 15:49), but those who are renewed in the spirit of their mind will bear the image of the heavenly (Ephesians 4:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49), and behave themselves as citizens of Heaven.

Those who are conformed to the world worry about life, the body, wealth or the lack of it. On the other hand, those who serve the living God, by placing their faith, trust and confidence in Him, will be free from anxiety and fear (1 John 4:18). True Christians have yielded everything into the hands of God, for they know that He cares for them and that they are accounted more precious to Him than all the birds of the air (1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 6:26).

This world and its riches bring torment, worry and anxiety. These are the product of following Mammon instead of Christ. Placing one’s faith in the wrong master damns spirit, soul and body to everlasting damnation. Is it not wiser to trust in the living God and to faithfully serve Him? It is only He that can save, keep and protect us.