Monday, September 12, 2016

Principles for Stress-Free Living

In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus gave some very simple, yet powerful advice about living life free from undue stress and pressure.  Many of the things He spoke about are things that consume our minds and disturb our peace.  Let’s look at these Principles for Stress-Free Living.

Principle #1 - There is only one boss.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  Matthew 6:24

Our concept of “serve” is to perform a task for another.  This is not, however, the full meaning of the word in our text in the original language.  To “be enslaved” is the correct translation.  While someone may “serve” more than one master, a “slave” cannot yield fully to more than one.

When we are trying to serve both God and wealth, our hearts are divided. You simply cannot hold full loyalty to two bosses at one time.  At one point or another, they will conflict with each other.  The relationship we have with God is one in which we will actually serve him.  We love him and know that he loves us.  Out of this love is born the desire to serve him.  The Greek word for ‘serving’ carries the meaning of the actions of worship.  Hear the cry of the Jewish shema!  Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  Deuteronomy 6:4-5

If God is not the object of supreme trust, something or someone else will be; and we all know it is most likely to be money.  When we are serving wealth, it is much more of a slave type of service.  We are in bondage to wealth just like a slave is in bondage to their master.  That which we have the greatest fear of losing is that which we depend on for security.  Even if it is not the draw of having things that entices you, it is still possible to be a slave to making money or being obsessive about saving. 

You can never have enough money.  There is always something else that needs to be taken care of.  We also imagine and dream up circumstances that could happen in the future.  The fear of this becoming reality can cause us to become enslaved as well.  The competitor against God for the throne of our lives is  Wealth becomes the master and that leaves God out.  Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.

Scripture to Claim:

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.  1 Timothy 6:7-10

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