God versus Mammon

God versus Mammon

August 1

"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." (Matt 6:24 NKJV)

The New Testament contains 2,084 verses dealing with money and finance. Sixteen of Jesus’ thirty-eight parables deal with money. The reason Jesus spoke so much about money was because He was always trying to see where a person’s loyalty resided. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt 6:21 NKJV). He said a person could not serve two masters. Instead, he will love one but hate the other.

Many people believe money is synonymous with mammon. This is incorrect. Mammon is an Aramaic demonic spirit that was worshipped as a false god by the Philistines. Mammon desires to be worshipped, have influence, and control of peoples’ lives to require love and devotion through the use of money. Money is simply the instrument by which mammon seeks to have power.

Any spirit that opposes God seeks to influence people through deception. It wants to gain loyalty and love without you knowing it has done so. The primary lie behind the spirit of mammon is that money contains power. It encourages people to place disproportionate value on money because of the power it has to influence and control others.

The symptoms of being controlled by the spirit of mammon are revealed when we allow our activities to be governed by the amount of money we have instead of God alone. It makes us believe one’s provision is his/her employer, spouse, investments, or other money source. So, when we allow money to rule the choices in our lives we have yielded to the spirit of mammon. This leads to other problems as Paul writes to Timothy:

"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 Tim 6:10)

Today, ask God if you have been influenced by the spirit of mammon. If so, renounce it and place your total trust in Christ as your source for all provision.

Never Soar as High Again?

Never Soar as High Again?
For reading & meditation – 1 Peter 1:3-9
"These have come so that your faith … may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (v. 7)

We turn now to examine some of the ways in which our lives become fractured, and what we can do to become "strong at the broken places." We begin by looking at the brokenness which comes about through failure. Probably someone reading these words is caught up in a vortex of gloom due to a failure. You may be feeling like the man who said to me: "I am stunned by my failure. My life is shattered into smithereens. I read somewhere that ‘the bird with the broken wing will never soar as high again.’ Does that mean I can never rise to the heights in God which once I knew?" I reminded him of Simon Peter – a man with one of the worst track records in the New Testament. He was prejudiced, bigoted, stubborn, and spiritually insensitive. Again and again he got his wires crossed, such as the time when he attempted to divert Christ from going to His death in Jerusalem (Matt. 16:22), or his insistence that they should stay on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:4). Then, on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion, he denied and even cursed his Lord. I can imagine Satan whispering in his ear: "Now you’re finished. Burned out. A failure. You’ll be forgotten … replaced." But by God’s grace, Peter rose from failure to success. He became "strong at the broken places." Because he refused to live in the shadow of his bad track record, his two letters are enshrined forever in the Scriptures. Failures, you see, are only temporary tests to prepare us for more permanent triumphs.

Prayer:
O Father, I see so clearly that no failure is a failure if it succeeds in driving me to Your side. All things serve me – when I serve You. Amen.

For Further Study
Exodus 2
1. How did Moses fail God?
2. How did God deal with him?

Reply from Senator Franken: Worthless Clown!

Office of Sen. Al Franken
July 31, 2014

Dear Maddmedic,

Thank you for contacting me about women’s access to contraceptives. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

One of my main priorities as a United States Senator has been to ensure that women and families have access to the full range of health care choices. I have fought to make sure that women with private health coverage in Minnesota have access to important preventive health care services – including birth control – free of charge. Ninety-nine percent of women use birth control at some point in their lives, and more than half a million women in Minnesota have benefited from the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that insurance companies provide preventive health services, including birth control, free of charge.

I was deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which will deny some women access to the health care services they need. This decision allows closely-held, for-profit businesses to refuse to cover certain health services such as birth control for their employees. A woman’s boss shouldn’t be the one to make health care decisions for her – these decisions should be between a woman and her doctor.

I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act, which was introduced on July 9, 2014. This bill ensures that employers cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about their health care by making sure that employers can’t refuse to cover any health service, including birth control, guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law.

I was disappointed when this bill was blocked from moving forward in the Senate. But please be assured that I will continue to be a strong advocate for women’s access to preventative health services, including birth control coverage. Thank you again for contacting me and please do not hesitate to reach out to me in the future on this or any other matter of concern to you.

Sincerely,

Al Franken

United States Senator