No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24.
Many are on the enchanted ground of the enemy. Things of the least importance—foolish social parties, singing, jesting, joking—engross their minds and they serve God with a divided heart…. The declaration of Christ, “No man can serve two masters,” is unheeded.17Manuscript 38, 1890.
One of the most marked features of the earth’s inhabitants in the days of Noah was their intense worldliness. They made eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage, the supreme objects of life. It is not sinful, but the fulfillment of a duty, to eat and drink, if that which is lawful is not carried to excess…. God Himself instituted marriage when He gave Eve to Adam. All God’s laws are marvelously adapted to meet the nature of man. The sin of the antediluvians was in perverting that which in itself was lawful. They corrupted God’s gifts by using them to minister to their selfish desires….
Excessive love and devotion to that which in itself is lawful, proves the ruination of thousands upon thousands of souls. To matters of minor importance is often given the strength of intellect that should be wholly devoted to God. We need always to be guarded against carrying to excess that which, rightly used, is lawful. Many, many souls are lost by engaging in those things which, properly managed, are harmless, but which, perverted and misapplied, become sinful and demoralizing.18Manuscript 24, 1891.
If we are constantly thinking of and struggling for the things that pertain to this life, we cannot keep our thoughts fixed on the things of heaven. Satan is seeking to lead our minds away from God, and to center them on the fashions, the customs, and the demands of the world, which bring disease and death….
In this world we are to obtain a fitness for the higher world. God has left a trust with us, and He expects us to use all our faculties in helping and blessing our fellow men. He calls for our best affections, our highest powers.19Manuscript 29, 1886.