Sunday, April 22, 2018

Matthew - Only One Master

In today's study, we take a look at Matthew 6:24-34 to find that we have only one Master, and that by rememebering that, we can overcome anxiety.

Single Master
vv.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.

While we saw in vv.19-21 that we should seek a single treasure. Then we saw in vv.22-23 that we should have a single vision. Now, we see that we should have a single master. Just as we cannot have our treasures both on earth and in heaven or our bodies in both dark and light; so too we cannot serve two masters.

The word master is often translated, “Lord.” The idea is not that simply of an employer, but a slave owner. While it is possible to have more than one employer and still satisfy each of them; it is impossible to have more than one owner. The slave owner has total control of the slave. The slave is owned and totally controlled by and obligated to his master. That is why Jesus said in Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” It hypocritical to call Jesus your Lord if you are a do not obey Him. Jesus spoke to this in Joh 14:21 when he said, He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

You see, for the slave to give anything to anyone else would make his master less than master. No slave can fully or faithfully servant to more than one master. We cannot claim Christ as Lord if our allegiance is to anything or anyone else. Paul spoke to this when he said in Romans 6:16, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

John Calvin once said, “Where riches hold the dominion of the heart, God has lost His authority.” Our treasure is either on earth or in heaven, our spiritual life is either full of light or darkness and our master is either God or the Devil. It is as simple as that folks.

Conclusion of the Matter
Joshua told the Jews in Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Elijah asked the Jews in 1 Kings 18:21, “…How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” It demands an answer from each of us.

Overcoming Anxiety
vv.25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  (26)  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  (27)  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  (28)  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  (29)  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (31)  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (32)  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  (33)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (34)  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Now Jesus turns His attention toward our anxieties about what we are to eat, drink and wear. This passage is directed at both the rich and the poor. The rich are tempted to trust in their possessions, and the poor are tempted to doubt God’s provision. The rich are tempted to become self-satisfied in the false security of their riches, and the poor are tempted to worry and fear in the false insecurity of their poverty. Whether rich or poor, the best indicator of a man’s spiritual condition is his attitude toward material possessions.

Natural vs. Spiritual
The Bible makes it very clear that there are two types of men: natural and spiritual. The natural man is unregenerated spiritually (lost). The spiritual man is regenerated spiritually (saved). The natural man is an earthly creature and is therefore concerned about earthly things. The spiritual man is a heavenly creature and should therefore be concerned with heavenly things. That Jesus said in John 17:16, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Don’t Worry
Three times in this passage Jesus gives the command to now worry or be anxious (vv.25, 31, 34). He also gives four reasons why we should not worry or be anxious.

#1 It is unfaithful because of our Master (v.25).

Notice “for this reason”. What reason? v.24. To worry is to doubt the faithfulness of our Master to take care of us. Psalms 24:1 “The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”

#2 It is unnecessary because of our Father (vv.26-30). The believer has no reason to worry because of who is Father is. Jesus is basically asking, “Have you forgotten who your heavenly Father is?” Therefore, He concludes that it is foolish to worry about food (v.26), life (v.27) and clothing (v.28-30).

#3 It is unreasonable because of our faith (vv.31-33). Worry is inconsistent with our faith and is therefore sinful. To worry means that we have taken our eyes off of God. Cf. v.33

#4 It is unwise because of our future (v.34). Making reasonable provision for tomorrow is wise, but to be anxious about tomorrow is unwise. Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”

There is an old hymn written by Ira Stanfield that says:

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don't borrow from the sunshine,
'Cause the skies might turn to gray.

And I don't worry about the future,
'Cause I know what Jesus said;
And today I'm gonna walk right beside Him
'Cause He's the one who know what lies ahead.

There are things about tomorrow
That I don't seem to understand.
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

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