April 9, Saturday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT devotionals from April 4-10 are provided by Cami King.  Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is about to complete her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh. 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 16:16-21

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

9A local pastor told the story of a man who, in response to a radio station ad promising $10,000 to whomever could come up with the craziest way to earn the money, consumed an entire 11-foot birch sapling over the course of three days.  Yes, he ate a tree – leaves, branches, bark, and all (adding a little French dressing for flavor) – and filmed the whole deal to win $10,000. The ridiculous lengths some are willing to go for money are astonishing. But unlike the comical story of the boy who ate a tree and ended up with a tummy ache, the desire for and pursuit of riches is usually a bit more sinister and more hurtful to us and to those around us.

Money has a way of blinding us – not only to common sense (in the case of the story above), but also to right and wrong. And the pursuit of money often blinds us to the needs of those we hurt and trample along the way. When doing our taxes, when paying our workers, when giving our offerings, when tipping our servers, when spending more time in the office than with family, when spending more money at the mall than on the needy, we have to ask ourselves if our sense of right and wrong has gotten a little bit hazy in our pursuit of and consumption of wealth. Pastor and author Tim Keller explains that, “Money is different from other things. Materialism and greed is a sin of the eye. It blinds you…” This is part of why Paul says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). When we are blinded and can’t see, we are bound to stumble and sin in many ways. The men in our passage today were willing to leave a girl harassed by a demon in order to make a profit. They were blind to her needs, blind to God’s work in her healing, and blind to right and wrong in the situation. Instead of rejoicing at her healing, they demanded the blood of her healers and were blind to the injustice in that.

What about us? How far are we willing to go for money? What are the ways the love of money and pursuit of riches blinds us to the needs of others and hinders us from participating in God’s work around us? May God open our eyes!

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes! Search my heart and reveal to me any ways that my love of money and pursuit of riches has led me astray. All that I have is from You; help me to acquire it and spend it in ways that honor You, advance Your Kingdom, and bless others.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 28-29


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