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Text for 2018

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

Dear Friends,

Mike and I, and Natalie and Isabel, would like to send you our prayerful greetings for the season of Christmas; may your heart be filled with God’s grace as you celebrate the gift of the Saviour. We’d also like to thank you for all your love, encouragement and prayers throughout 2017.

Please notice our text for 2018 printed above; it comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus warns us that we can’t serve two masters; in particular we can’t serve both God and wealth/possessions. Why is that? I can think of two reasons. One is that masters are demanding and will only be satisfied with whole-hearted devotion from their servants. We’re not like members of the House of Lords who are only expected to turn up at the Palace of Westminster when the fancy takes them; the masters vying for our commitment want nothing less than undivided commitment. Maybe you’ve never realised that God is that sort of master?

The second reason why serving two masters is deeply dissatisfying is that we’re basically created to be single-hearted. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Notice how our hearts aren’t suited for split devotions; we’re made for only one relationship – with God.

Nonetheless we repeatedly try and split our devotions – especially in this present age in which there are so many attractive material things to treasure. We all need to keep watch over what’s going on in our hearts. Memorising Matthew 6:24 will help us to do that.

Yours in Christ

Mark

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