When you see a dog following two men
"You cannot serve both God — and mammon." Matthew 6:24
Of the enemies of the cross of Christ, the apostle declares that they "mind earthly things." They are only concerned about increasing their stores, and thus be able to say with the rich man of whom the Savior speaks, that they have much goods laid up for many years; on the strength of which they intend to take their ease, and eat, drink, and be merry. All their thoughts are of the earth, earthy. The things of time and sense — they regard as first and last, middle and end.
It is impossible for the mind to be governed at the same time by two opposite principles. The love of the world — and the love of God — are diametrically opposed to each other. "If any man loves the world — the love of the Father is not in him." "Don't you know that the friendship of the world — is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world — is the enemy of God." "You cannot serve both God — and mammon."
To borrow a quaint illustration from one of our old writers, "When you see a dog following two men — so long as they walk together, you do not know to which of them the dog belongs. But let them come to a parting road and there separate from each other — then it will soon be seen who is the owner, for the dog will follow his master wherever he goes."
Just so, an individual may pursue the world, and retain a Christian profession at the same time — and it is often difficult to ascertain whether God or the world possesses his affections. But by and bye he comes to a parting road, when God calls him one way, and the world another way — and then he will show to whom he really belongs. If God is his master — then he will follow and obey God. But if the world is his master — then he will follow after it!
O my soul, how are you affected by the respective claims of the things of time — and those of eternity? After a few more rising and setting suns, it will be a matter of total indifference to you — whether you have been rich or poor, successful in your business or unsuccessful. But it will be of unspeakable consequence — whether you have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before you in the gospel.
Listen, then, to the words of the Lord Jesus, "Do not labor for food that spoils — but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!"