November 28: Acts 18-19
23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. 27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”
Acts 19:23-27, ESV
Business As Usual
There is nothing more clear than in our Bible passage today as to what motivates the decisions people make. Unfortunately, it seems to be easier to live in the reality of what we see around us, rather than to take the spiritual life seriously. That is exactly where we find the men at Ephesus.
Demetrius was a silversmith who made a great deal of money selling shrines of the goddess, Artemis. Paul and his friends were causing a serious threat to his business. As more and more people became Christians, his business was dropping off. Gathering a group together of men in a similar trade as his, he persuaded them that not only were their businesses at stake, but even the temple built for Artemis was in danger of being neglected.
Citing the people to riot, Demetrius was hoping to get rid of the new Christians. Demetrius cared nothing about the people or who they worshiped; instead, he was motivated by greed.
We must be very careful, in our daily lives, to take an account of what truly motivates our thinking. It is so subtle, yet so prevalent for even Christians to use money as their motivation for making their decisions.
Why not just compromise a little here and a little there? Not only will we fit in better with the current way of thinking, but it is good for business.
As Christians, compromise is not an option! No matter how unpopular our belief in God's Word may be, it is imperative that we live a life in faithful obedience to God's commandments. For Paul, it almost cost him his life on several occasions, and yet he never wavered in his allegiance to the Lord.
Pray today that your chief motivation in life will be the purity of God's Word rather than amassing a huge fortune. Seek to reap the riches of eternal rewards rather than the riches of this world.
God Bless You,