The Power and Potential Depends on our Devotion

Willow Creek | February 7, 2022

Our culture screams “get what you can.” The ads are targeted to us, strangely tied to the conversation we just had about the thing we “need.” The influences tell us what to buy, demonstrating just how “great” an item is. The resounding message we hear is one of more—and most industries are centered around making profit from us—but the Kingdom of God turns that upside down. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said this: 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 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!

“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 6:19–24

Isn’t it interesting that in the middle of a passage about money and treasure, Jesus talks about eyes? We often see the way the movies we watch, songs we listen to, or social media accounts we follow impact our souls, but how does that relate to money?

What do you look at? What do you covet? What do you desire? When your eyes are fixed on what you need or what you don’t have, your heart (and your treasure) follow—you end up buying the thing. But when your eyes are focused on others—on the Kingdom—your spending flips from “me first” to “God first.”

In Megan Marshman’s sermon about devotion to money, she said, “I don’t think anything in the world reveals your heart more than how you spend your money. Money has tremendous power and potential. The power and potential of money will destroy you and keep you worried, or it has the power and potential to do great things for the kingdom.”

We can worship money or we can use it for worship. It either masters you, or it’s a means to serve God. You cannot serve both God and money, and split-devotion between God and money is simply devotion to money (Matthew 6:24).

When Jesus talks about money, He gently brings us to a place of looking inward, because it’s actually about more than money, it’s about your heart.

This week, take some time to slow down when you spend. Look at your bank account—what were the last ten things you purchased? Look at your Amazon wish-list, what’s on it? Where are you putting your devotion? Where are you putting your trust? What’s a next step you can take to shift your focus to unleash the power and potential of money for good?

Matthew 6:33: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.