S (Scripture): Acts 19:23 At that time a great disturbance took place concerning the Way. 19:24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought a great deal of business to the craftsmen. 19:25 He gathered these together, along with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this business. 19:26 And you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded and turned away a large crowd, not only in Ephesus but in practically all of the province of Asia, by saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all. 19:27 There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as nothing, and she whom all the province of Asia and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.”
O (Observation): Paul’s journey includes reminding people that worshipping gods and idols made by human hands are a distraction to the one true God. Doing so was bad for business for Demetrius, maker of Artemis crafts.
Allegiance was being called into question for these folks. Paul wants people to identify with the Lord. Demetrius and others wish to side with their money and their lifestyle.
A (Application): Sounds like an all too familiar struggle. We, like Demetrius, seem to think that playing to our earthly securities will keep us safe and will be best for us.
That means that spending time with the Lord is given lower priority than work. That our finances are better kept and stocked up for a rainy day, than to automatically give away the first 10%.
As we seek the Lord’s grace to give the first part of our day to the Lord in Scripture and prayer, and as we commit to the Lord the first 10% of our income, then yes, those other gods (work, wealth, etc.) “will suffer the loss of their greatness.”
Imagine that: work and wealth will no longer be our goal. Hmmm. I could live with that… And I do live with that. This blog is part of my testimony (and struggle) of giving away the first part of my day to the Lord. We give 10% of our income at the beginning of the month. Our kids give assay part of their chore money. These gifts of giving strengthen me and my family for whatever may come. Moreso than wealth and work can ever provide.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us focused on you, and not other gods, such as work and wealth. Amen.