This simple devotion is from Charles Spurgeon:
The most dangerous of all!
"Of all the temptations to which God's children are exposed, growing rich is perhaps the most dangerous of all because it is a snare that they do not dread."
"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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!" 1 Timothy 6:7-10
"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." Proverbs 30:8
Charles Spurgeon touches a sin that no one likes to admit they struggle with - either wanting riches or boasting in that they are rich. We live in a country that not only encourages self-centered richness, but also looks down upon those who are not. It seems as if we have substituted morals for money. If someone is rich they can be loved, cheered, and adored (or maybe buy the presidency) even if their morals are in the toilet.
As God was rebuking Israel for all their sin and rebellion, look at one of the things He reveals as wicked and deserving of destruction:
Ezekiel 16:44-52 ESV 44 "Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: 'Like mother, like daughter.' 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. 51 Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. 52 Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
The Scriptures are filled with clear declarations about this dangerous attitude:
Matthew 6:24 ESV 24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Luke 16:10-13 ESV 10 "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
I Timothy 6:2-10 ESV Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Hebrews 13:1-6 ESV 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6 So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
This is the country we live in, one that holds riches far too tightly! Which leads to moral chaos as God gives us over to our own folly and sin. The world lusts for the American shores so that they too can be rich. But then they arrive and the majority are swallowed up in destruction and pain. The poor and needy are all around us. The government’s system throws money around like water, and this has produced an attitude of entitlement. But this is not the gracious loving giving God requires of His people. God wants us to be in every moment loving and gracious, looking for ways to show the love of Christ in word and deed. May the beautiful promise from our great God and Savior that He will never leave us or forsake us, cause our hands to hold our riches loosely, so that our love for God leaves NO room for the love of money or vain glory. May we be a different generation for the glory of God and the good of those around us.
May this be our prayer: “Lord pry our fingers from the earthly, oh let us love Your glory, everything is ours in You!” (from “Everything Is Mine In You” by Christy Nockels)