1868) A Great Temptation

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Posted May 18, 2018 in the Standing Strong Through the Storm daily devotion at:  http://www.opendoorsusa.org

    Satan subtly promotes the attitude that says money, property, possessions, physical comforts, as well as worldly fame and honor are the most important things in life.  While God created all things and is the source of all we have, He does not condone our allowing things and money to usurp His first place in our lives.  The prosperity that He so freely gives us, and wants us to have, is indeed a blessing– until it takes the place of God.

      Materialism is thus the attitude that says money, property, possessions, physical comforts, as well as worldly fame and honor, are the most important things in life.  Not to say, “There is no God,” but to say, “I don’t have any need for God!”

     For Christians, materialism is much like the frog in a pan of water that is slowly being heated.  He boils to death because he does not realize the danger quickly enough to jump out of the pot before it is too late.

     A church leader from the country of Romania, which was once a communist-dominated land and is now free, commented, “In my experience, 95% of the believers who face the test of external persecution pass it, while 95% of those who face the test of prosperity fail it!”

     Satan is ecstatic when he succeeds in luring us into this trap.  This is the dark side to money and possessions that many Christians are either unaware of, or unwilling to face.  As a result, the spiritual vitality of many has been sapped and the church as a whole has been weakened spiritually.  Like fire, money is a good servant but a destructive master.

     If the church is to survive this challenge, there is an urgent need to be aware of the true nature of materialism.  Unfortunately, it has become such a vital part of our culture that Christians are often unaware of its control.

     By the standard of the people around Jesus, many of today’s so-called poor are very rich as well as almost all those in free societies.  In Jesus’ day, a rich person was one who had more food than needed for the day and who had more than one set of clothing.


I Timothy 6:10  —  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Exodus 20:1-3  —  God spoke all these words:  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.”

Matthew 6:24  —  (Jesus said), “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.”


Almighty God, judge of us all, you have placed in our hands the wealth we call our own.  Give us such wisdom by your Spirit that our possessions may not be a curse in our lives, but an instrument for blessing, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.    

Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978, Augsburg Publishing House