Scripture: Luke 16:13
No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Thought for the Day: On this day in 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory which doubled the size of our young country. I was always fascinated by the Louisiana Purchase as my home state, Nebraska, was the center of that acquisition. Even in those days, the purchase price of $15 million was a bargain. But the purchase also came with some complications. For instance, there were already people living in this broad territory who had allegiances elsewhere. There were Native Americans, Spanish, French and English. There were those who had come from Mexico and modern day Haiti. There were multiple allegiances among the people living in the territory, including those who felt no allegiance to France (the previous owner), the United States (new owner) or anyone in particular. In fact, there were probably many living in the territory who wouldn’t learn of the transfer of ownership for quite some time. It had to have been complicated.
Jesus spoke often about split allegiance or loyalty. There are times when it may not create a significant problem, but in many circumstances, it really can cause all kinds of chaos – both internally and externally. Who do you follow when the pressure is on? To whom do you listen when the stakes are high? For those living in what would become the state of Iowa in 1803, a negotiated document and purchase price did not necessarily change their alignment to the United States. Just living in the territory did not create commitment to the United States in the same way that just sitting in the church building does not automatically create commitment to Christ.
Prayer: To you I turn, O Lord. May my heart have a single focus, though if I’m able to achieve it, I know it will be done only with your help. Amen.