Meditation Passage for Corporate Fasting and Praying: Monday, March 4, 2019
Theme: ” How to be a Single-Minded Follower of Jesus”
1. Let Your Vision Be Single and Undivided
Matthew 6: 22-23
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
***The point Jesus is making here is that we need to develop a single vision that focuses on God’s interests and what he values. The sin is this when our eyes are not single. Therefore, he wants us to avoid the idolatry of double vision and fragmented sight. The eye here is an illustration of the heart—it is the lamp, or lens, through which all light comes to you. “The eye is like a window which, when clear, allows light to shine through, but, when dirty, or bad, prevents light from entering. If your eye is bad, if it is diseased or damaged, no light can enter and the whole body will be full of darkness. The heart is the eye of the soul, through which the illumination of every spiritual experience shines. It is through your heart that God’s truth, love, peace, and every other spiritual blessing comes to you. When your heart—your spiritual vision—is clear, then your whole body will be full of light. But if your heart is diseased and damaged, being encumbered with an affection for stuff, it becomes “blind” and insensitive to spiritual things.A defective eye is a picture of a selfishly indulgent heart—the master of every unbeliever, the tempter of every believer. If you are materialistic and greedy, you may be spiritually blind and not a Christian at all. The eye you trust to discern true light may be, in reality, fooling you—you think you have light, but you don’t. What you interpret as light is really darkness, and because of the self-deception, how great is that darkness!” —John MacArthur
2. Let God be Your Single Master
Matthew 6: 24
24 “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.
***: In this passage, Jesus emphasizes that the single-minded christian is an individual whose ultimate goal in life is the glory of God. God is his only Treasure. He delights in God his only Master and Lord. His vision is aligned with that of God. He has his heart focused on God and his passion is always to pursue the things of God.
Jesus warns his disciples not to value possessions and in particular he warns them not to value wealth to the degree that they should be obsessed about acquiring it. He contrasts two visions of realities: two sources of storing treasures, two states of the body or human soul, and two masters. The ultimate message from Jesus is for his followers to develop a single-mindedness focusing on what God values and that they should accentuate the priority of God’s kingdom and its agenda in their life.
Jesus wants his disciples to reach for a single goal in life, to develop a single vision in life, and to cling to one single master, who is God. The passage contrasts storing wealth in heaven and storing wealth on earth. Jesus argues that our security or safety should not be on our possessions, but on God the only one who can provide true security and durable safety. For Jesus, earthly possessions are essentially worthless and meaningless if they are not used to advance the kingdom of God on earth. For Jesus, those who prioritize mammon/money/wealth above Him and the causes of the kingdom of God will have no place in God’s heaven. Jesus does not want his followers to be attached to material possessions of this world nor should he want them to be possessed by wealth. Their priority should be God and his interests only. The underlying message this verse is this: Jesus wants you to value what he delights in and call you to a singleness in purpose or goal.
“If a selfish heart of greed is your master, you must abandon it to follow Jesus Christ. He is the Lord who says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny Himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). To obey Him is to enjoy the fellowship of God and true believers, a fellowship of light (1 John 1:5-7). If Christ is truly your Master, you may still be tempted toward materialism. “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Prove yourself to be filled with the love of the Father and keep your eyes clear from the love of temporal things. You will maintain clear vision—eyes that truly see—and enjoy God’s gift of light.” —John MacArthur
3. Invest in God’s Kingdom on Earth
Matthew 6: 19-21
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
***To store up treasures in heaven is to distribute what you possess to the poor and be willing to give to those in need. The greater is the investment the greatest is the reward. Our investment should be to advance Christian causes and to promote the work of the kingdom of God in our community and and our city. John Wesley states that “Stewardship means giving to the poor…We give to God not by giving to the church, but by giving to the poor” (Jennings 1990:105; Keener, Matthew, p. 150). “Nineteenth-century evangelist Charles G. warned that God requires us to surrender to him the ownership of everything, so that we never again consider it as our own; we must do it only what he would do. Finney further exhorted that ‘young converts should be taught that they have renounced the ownership of all their possessions, and of themselves, or if they have not done this they are not Christians” (ibid).
Jesus calls his follower to a life of simplicity and to develop a single vision, a single goal, and have one Master-and not to mastered by money, earthly possessions and assets–God Himself. Let your passion be single and undivided, and invest sacrificially in God’s causes in the world , which will have an eternal effect on people’s lives and God’s kingdom on earth.