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Summary: When we embrace this Scripture we will say, "I will live a life of undivided loyalty to Jesus Christ."

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July 22, 2001

The Treasure Chest – Part 4

INTRODUCTION

Life is full of conflicting requirements….

A high school girl wants to be accepted by her chosen peer group. But their requirements for total acceptance involve wearing certain kinds of clothes, such as tops that expose a bare midriff. Her parents absolutely forbid her to leave the house wearing anything like that. She finds it impossible to please her peer group and her parents simultaneously because of their conflicting requirements.

Several of you have told me that your boss would be happiest if you stayed until 10:00 every night. However, if you have a family you realize that coming home late every night isn’t they way to a strong and healthy family. So, because of their conflicting requirements you can’t always fully please your boss and your family simultaneously.

An athlete is perhaps told by his trainer that to be the best he can be, he has to spend more time in the gym. His sport has to become the top priority if he wants to reach his full potential. However his English teacher keeps reminding him that he’s nowhere near his academic potential. He just needs to apply himself more to his studies. He finds he can’t fully please his coach and his English teacher simultaneously because they both have conflicting requirements of 110% effort.

President Bush is faced with the issue of whether the government will fund research on embryonic cells. Since these stem cells can only be obtained by destroying human embryos which might otherwise one day become babies, the President can’t fully please eager scientists and Pro-Life groups simultaneously because of their conflicting requirements.

The McDonalds corporation not too long ago mandated that all of their restaurants would become non-smoking establishments. So now, a McDonalds franchise owner can’t entirely please the corporation and his smoking patrons simultaneously.

A female high school science teacher at Glenbrook North High School is undergoing a “formal process of gender reassignment.” That means she will return to school this fall as a male. The School Administration can’t fully please concerned families and the ACLU simultaneously because of their conflicting requirements.

Yes, life is full of conflicting requirements.

The solution to conflicting requirements? Typically it is… COMPROMISE

We’ve been conditioned to believe there must be a middle ground. A way to please all parties involved.

To please both her peer group and her parents, an adolescent may compromise by secretly changing her clothes after leaving home. Accepted by friends and parents never know.

Employee may reach a compromise with his boss and family by working late a limited number of times each month.

A U.S. President may compromise by attempting to do a little give and take on both sides of an issue.

On some issues compromise is a good solution. On others it is disastrous.

And compromise certainly won’t work when it comes to our loyalty to God.

Listen to the what Jesus has to say in Matthew 6:24:

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.

Here’s the big idea behind this statement: A Christian must be willing to say…

Big Idea: I will live a life of undivided loyalty to Jesus Christ.

Jesus reveals…no one can serve two masters.

TRANSITION: We’ve learned about the choice of two treasures (one is on earth and one is in heaven), and the two visions (one has the right perspective on things the other is focused on greed). Now. . .it all comes down to…

I. THE CHOICE BETWEEN TWO MASTERS

Familiar to the people of his day, Jesus used the imagery of slavery. Not condoning it, just using it as an example they would understand. No slave can be the property of two owners. The exclusive nature of the slave – owner relationship rules out all other owners.

If there would be an attempt at shared ownership, it would be a failure. The owners would demand things of the slaves that at times would conflict.

Illus – When I was in college one of the drama teams performed a sketch in which one boy ran back and forth between two other people who gave orders. One person said, “Thomas, bring me a chair.” He picked up a chair and moved in that direction. The other person said, “Thomas, bring ME a chair.” So he turned and walked toward that person. Order after order – back and forth – conflicting requirements – finally he dropped to his knees in exhaustion and said, “No one can serve two masters.”

You see…

I can cheer for two teams

I can work for two employers

I can volunteer for two charities

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