"You cannot serve God and money." That is part of my text for this week. I came across a study that I will use Sunday that says the average person spends 80% of his/her waking hours either 1. making money, 2. spending money, 3. worrying about money. That would mean that if a person is awake for 16 hours, nearly 13 of them are focused on money.
We would like to think that Jesus' words about materialism are directed toward others. Forgive me if this is too much of a generalization, but I think anyone living in America must make a conscious effort not to be materialistic. It may be the strongest pull that our culture has upon us.
Notice: Jesus didn't say, "You should not serve God and money." He didn't say, "Serving God and money will be really hard." He said, "You cannot serve God and money." Cannot! No way.
Coming back to the Sermon on the Mount has reoriented me once again to those things that are important to living in the Kingdom. It's a constant challenge. Our culture so subtly pulls us back into its kingdom expectations. But Jesus makes it crystal clear. There can be no mixed loyalties.