Daily Devotional


Avoid Paganism

by Simon Whitton

19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also...
...
24 "No one 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.
...
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or'What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 31-33 (NIV)

Wealth is a security blanket and offers much comfort and padding.  But one day, every single one of us will die, and we will lose it all in an instant.  In the church we claim to know this, yet there is often not much difference between us and the pagans.

The pagan mantra usually goes like this: Get a good education, get married, buy a house, have kids, work hard, stay out of debt, pay for your kids' education, put away money for retirement.

The church mantra often goes like this: Get a good education, go to church, get married, buy a house, have kids, work hard, stay out of debt, tithe, pay for your kids' education, put away money for retirement.

Did you spot the difference?  You are excused if you didn't.  They are mostly about money and security, even education we claim is about improving our minds, but for most of us, it has more to do with financial security and success.

The 'sermon on the mount' goes like this: Chase after God, His Kingdom and righteousness, store up treasure in heaven; don't worry about the rest.
(I acknowledge that this is the 'Simplified Version'.)

The pagan mantra is a bit selfish but has plenty of good values and is not without merit.  The church mantra is slightly improved in its attempt to serve both masters.  But the 'sermon on the mount' is radically different.  It tells us to put our focus and trust on God, not only for what we should run after in life, but also as the source for worldly provision, which He knows we need.

If you want to avoid paganism, choose to seek after God as the source of all your security, your future, your needs.  Be accountable to Him alone, not the expectations of the surrounding culture.

Pray that you would only have one master.  Give any worries or concerns over to Him.  Acknowledge God as the source for all that you need.


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