TRINITY – WEEK 15 – MONDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 15:1-9
“No one can serve two masters; for 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 God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
The man who wants to serve two masters will always find himself in a relationship to one of them which is not service in any sense at all. Matters must always take a course like the one described by the Lord in this week’s Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34). You can force a servant to do something to which he is opposed and which annoys him. But no one can compel him to do it gladly or from his heart. Perhaps he will do it as long as his master is present, but as soon as his master leaves, he also hurries away and does not really make a good job of things.
It is the Lord’s will that our service should flow from love and be done willingly. If this is not the case, it is not real service. No one is pleased with what we do unwillingly. This is quite natural, and we have experience of this daily. Now, if it commonly applies among all ranks and situations among men that no one can serve two masters, it will apply much more to our service of God.
Our service of God can never be a divided service. We must serve Him alone, and our service must come from the heart. That is why our Lord states quite categorically, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” God cannot suffer us to have another master besides Him. He is a jealous God, as He Himself declares, and cannot tolerate us serving Him and His enemy. “You must be Mine alone,” He says, “Or not at all.”
SL 11:1614 (3-4)
PRAYER: O Lord, our God, You leave us in no doubt at all with Your “either … or” instructions about the kind of service which alone can please You. Take our hearts into Your keeping and purify them with Your Holy Spirit, so that we always serve You with our whole hearts, for Your name’s sake. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 5:102-117.