gods of our day (part 3)
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In todayís article we will continue to look at the subject of "gods of our day". In past weekís articles we have considered some of the most popular gods of our present day as well as millenium past. We have looked at the gods and goddesses of sex and the gods of pleasure. If youíve missed either of these articles and would like a copy of them, just request it from one of the addresses at the end of this article and we will gladly send a copy to you.
We must be reminded what constitutes a god in a personís life. A god can be anything whether real or imagined. It can be a person, place, thing, image, idea, etc. What identifies any of these as being a god in a personís life is the place it holds in that personís heart, mind, and life. That which occupies a personís thoughts, passions, his or her purpose for living, in other words the master passion of a personís life is that personís god.
Let me again give two examples that may help clarify this point. For many people their job is a means of acquiring funds necessary to live, for others their job becomes their life. We often call them workaholics. Workaholics will sacrifice their family, friendships, and even their health in order to serve their god. Another example is the place that sports have taken in the lives of many today. Sports have become a very popular god for our day. There is nothing wrong with sports in and of itself, I enjoy playing and watching a number of sports, but when it becomes the most important thing in a personís life, then there is a problem.
The Bible, Godís Word makes clear whom the one and only God is and what manís response to Him is to be. In Deuteronomy 5:7-10, "You shall have no other gods before Me. 'You shall not make for yourself any carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 10:12-15, "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it."
In todayís article we will consider another very popular god of our day, in fact it is one of the major ones. It is the god known as money. It should be understood that no where in the Bible does it say that money in and of itís self is bad or evil. Money is neither good nor evil. It can and is used for both good and evil purposes.
The Bible tells us that it is the "love of money" that is the root of all kinds of evil. It is what is in the fallen sinful nature of man that elevates money to the level of a god. It is what money represents to man that gives such a draw to the heart of man. To man, money represents power, prestige, fame, fortune, a life of ease, influence, independence, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, to name just a few.
It is what money can do for a person that incites within a person to sacrifice much in order to acquire it. Many today spend their hard earned income at casinos, the lottery, stock market, and many other get rich quick schemes only to end up poorer than when they began. The few that do win either loose it later as quickly as they got it or spend it foolishly and end up right where they started.
The Bible has much to say about the dangers of loving money and making it your god. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:19-24, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money)."
For the person who makes money their god, there is the stark reality that no amount of money is ever enough. A millionaire was once asked, "How much money is enough?" he responded by saying, "Just a little bit more."
Many people will do anything for money. Think of the popular show "Fear Factor". The things that people will do to win a few thousand dollars is astounding to me. Eating live cockroaches and other detestable things is too much!
Tragically, this love of money is not absent from what is known as the "church". There are many TV evangelists as well as churches that build their entire ministry upon the lust for money and what it can buy. They make all kinds of promises if you invest in their "ministry", all the while making merchandise of you. They will tell us that if youíre rich then it is a sign of Godís blessing on your life. And if youíre not rich it is because your faith is not great enough. But if you will act now and send them $100 or more, God will see there act of faith and He will give you thousands in return. Thus reducing God to a mere puppet.
Look at what the Apostle Paul had to say about these hustlers and the dangers of loving money. In 1 Timothy 6:3-21, "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnessesÖ. Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
Money is a horrible god to serve. Though it promises great things, it can never deliver nor satisfy the longing in the soul for meaning and purpose. Like all the other gods of our day, money; the enticement of money are very subtle and seductive. The appeal to manís fallen human nature is strong because of all it promises.
I have heard it been said, and I think rightly so that, money can buy a house but it can not buy a home. Money can buy life insurance but can not buy a life. Money can buy medicine but it can not buy good health. Money can buy a ticket to an amusement park but it can not buy joy. Money can buy medication to relieve a headache or tension due to stress but it can not buy peace.
Please listen dear ones; quit believing the lies that the world is telling you about the things that money can buy. At best they are only temporal, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can bring purpose and meaning to your life. If you do not know Him, turn to Him now and ask Him into your life to be your Lord and Savior.
We will continue to look at the gods of our day in next weekís article. Until then may the Lord richly bless beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine