No Exceptions

“That cannot be done!”

Each of us has a different personality. For some who hear those words, they simply accept it, say “OK”, and move on. Others hear those words as motivation, “Really, you don’t think so? Watch me.” Can you guess which type of person I am?

Most of us want to be the exception: The one person who the rules don’t apply to.

This morning as I read from the One Year Bible, I was stuck on Jesus words from Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Do you know anyone who wants to be the exception to that statement? Are they in the mirror each morning?

This statement of course has a context, Jesus just told a hard to understand parable about a manager who gave all his boss’ stuff away so that when he lost his job he would have friends. And yet he was commended, because he used wealth to solidify a future for himself. After this parable, and Jesus’ no exceptions statement, Jesus talks about the rich man and Lazarus (a beggar who the rich man passed by often). You can read the account in Luke 16 if you are not familiar with it, but for now let’s just say it didn’t turn out so well in the end for the rich man.

This morning I was confronted with a truth I didn’t want to hear, and one I don’t think the American church wants to hear. You cannot love both God and Money. (Period!) No exceptions, no getting around it, love for money and love for God are two things that do not mix. You have to choose. And Luke 16 leads us to understand why. Each day we are confronted with realities in the world, and following Jesus means responding to those realities with our money. So we have a choice daily whether we are going to hoard money (or spend it selfishly), or whether we are going to use it to solidify a future for us beyond the grave.

If we love God, we respond and give what we have. If we love our money, we don’t. I don’t know that I really like Jesus teaching here (it’s hard). The Pharisees certainly didn’t like it because they loved money. But the line has been drawn; our love is what motivates us one way or the other, no exceptions.

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