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Devotion

There are many organizations one may join that require no attendance at meetings, no dues or free-will giving, no devotion of any kind. The church our Lord bought with his precious blood, however, is not one of them.

The Lord Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter six, devoted most (if not all) of the chapter to devotion. He began by saying, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon the earth” (Matthew 6:19a NASB).

Things on the earth become moth eaten and rusty. Those things decompose. Instead, Jesus said lay up treasure in heaven where nothing can attack it (Matthew 6:20). Nothing can decompose or corrode in heaven. Everything on earth will one day be burned (2 Peter 3:10), but storing spiritual treasures in heaven will last for all eternity.

Then, the Lord said something that, at first blush, seems not to fit the context. Yet, it does fit, with simplicity and beauty.

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).

The word “clear” in the original language of the New Testament is the word “haplous,” and is translated “clear” in the King James Version. This word is used in James 1:5 where the writer described God as giving “liberally.” It is also used in 2 Corinthians 8:2 where Paul described Macedonian giving as “liberality” in both the King James and New American Standard Bible. The word indicates singleness of vision or singleness of purpose.

God gives his blessings to us with a single, simple purpose: those blessings help us do his will. God gives generously from right motives. While instructing the people to which he wrote, James told them the requests of their prayers were not being granted because “you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3). Jesus used these two verses in Matthew to teach a lesson of devotion to God. Devotion must be focused. Giving must be generous with an understanding that generosity is directly related to devotion to God.

Either a person lives in the light of God and shares with others, or a person lives in darkness and refuses to share with anyone. Those devoted to God are generous and sharing because their heavenly father is generous and sharing. Those who serve another master are stingy and careless.

And we know that “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24).

 

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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