Living with the End in View involves
Serving One Master

Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:11–13)

God does not clarify the things of life with strange mystical rituals or gurus on mountaintops. He uses standards we accept every day. Doesn’t experience teach us that an employee who repeatedly slacks off at work is unfit for greater responsibilities? If a next-door teenager doesn’t take care of his car, we will not let him wash our cars. If a woman down the street was caught abusing her children, we would not want her babysitting our kids.

We can relate to God’s logic. If we neglect the responsibilities entrusted to us here, God will not entrust us with true riches. If we do not wish to serve the Lord, should God will give us a place of honor among those who served Him faithfully?

It takes time to learn lessons of accountability. I don’t place heavy responsibilities on my child until I think he’s ready for them. I give him simple commands first and see how he carries them out. When I tell him to clean up his room, does he quickly get distracted and do only half his room? If so, I can’t trust him to clean his room when company is coming, but my wife or I must be on hand to patiently help him. God also seeks to train His children for more responsibilities ahead by giving us smaller responsibilities first.

How well we learn our lessons is determined by who is master of our lives.

Our spiritual struggles often pit the flesh against the Spirit. When we try to follow God in the flesh, we have often found plenty of reasons to compromise our duties, or do them for the wrong attitudes, such as resentment. In those cases, who was our master, flesh or Spirit?

Must this struggle between self and God, flesh and Spirit, feelings and faith, be suffered as our inevitable lot? Paul showed us the way to having one master when he wrote, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 6:13).

Before we were saved, we had only one master to follow—sin. God presents us with an alternative to serving sin—yielding to the resurrected Jesus as Master. Temptation need no longer bring us to the dead end of sin, but to a fork in the road. We may yield to a sin that leads to death, or yield to God and be made alive. We can’t serve both masters.

The passage at top persuades us to yield to Christ rather than self—if we are trustworthy in the small things, we’ll be judged worthy to receive unspeakable glories to come. Surrender to Christ honors Him, and starts out our service on the basis of His love and power. It means saying, “I can’t do it, but He can do it through me.” “Not my will, but Your will be done.”

Living with the end in view means serving the one Master in heaven above.

Steps of faith:
Begin your day by yielding your work and schedule to the Lord.
Give the Lord permission to change your schedule.
Consider how differently you would do the task if you were serving the Lord with it.

–Steve Husting


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