Links Daily Devotional

Who’s Your Master?

“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, NIV)

My wife and I were recently invited to play in a member-guest golf tournament at an exclusive golf club in Southern California. They served food every third hole, and at the turn a gourmet BBQ was cooked up. Someone called it, “Gain a pound for every round.” So true!

The golf course conditions were also perfect, with the greens rolling between 12 and 13 on the Stimpmeter. The course could have not been in better shape from a golfer’s perspective.

It’s easy to call such an experience a “blessing.” But it is also easy to fall in love with such blessings, maybe more than we love God. Such love over and above God is called idolatry and it may be the most serious sin of God’s people for all time—we constantly give our hearts to things that have no eternal value. So when I find myself enjoying a wonderful day of golf like this, I move toward feeling guilty. I’m sure you can relate.

Not long ago I found these helpful words from Pastor Ray Pritchard. They put material possessions and earthly experiences in the right perspective for me (from

It’s not wrong to own nice things, but you are in a dangerous place when those nice things own you. How do you know when something “owns” you?

– When you need that “thing” as a major source of happiness or fulfillment in your life.
– When you can’t imagine living without it.
– When you get angry at the thought of losing it.
– When that possession is the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night.
– When you find yourself thinking about it in every spare moment.
– When you are gripped with fear at the thought of losing it.
– When you find yourself bringing it up in almost every conversation.
– When you get upset if someone else touches it or comes near it.
– When you plan your schedule around it.
– When you enjoy that “thing” more than being with family and friends.
– When others warn you about your attachment to your possessions.
– When worries and concerns about your possessions crowd out the joy in your life.

…When you know deep in your soul that something you own has started to own you, give it away. Find someone who needs it and give it to them. Don’t make a big deal about it. Just give it away. You will be free, and someone else will be blessed. And your heart will start to sing again.

I know. It’s hard to read something like that when you’ve been eying a new set of irons or planning a nice golf vacation. But Jesus really must be our Master. And we must do everything we can to push the things aside that rival for his position in our hearts.

Dereck Wong
February 20, 2014
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