WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 6, 2020
TOPIC: NEVER REPLACE GOD WITH GOLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Asa responded by taking the silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD’s Temple and from the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message: ‘Let us renew the treaty that existed between your father and my father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone’” (2 Chronicles 16:2-3 New Living Translation).
To many people, money is everything. They may not know any other scripture but they know “Money answereth all things.” They declare it emphatically. Truly, Solomon said that in Ecclesiastes 10:19. But his full statement is: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things” (King James Version).
I’m not sure if he really meant that money could give one everything in life because it is obvious money doesn’t. But if he meant that, his words could be understood as that of a man whose heart had turned away from the LORD (1 Kings 11:9).
Money is important. It is a medium of exchange in life but it must never replace God in your life. Unfortunately, it has in the lives of many. It is money that determines what is right and what they do, not God. Gold must never replace God in your life.
God says, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine” (Haggai 2-8 New King James Version). Silver and gold must never become more important to you than God. If they are, they become your god and you cannot serve God and money. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24 New Living Translation). You either serve God or money. But you can serve God with your money. Never replace God with gold (money) in your life.
In Acts 3:6, Peter told the lame man by the Beautiful Gate, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6New King James Version). The man was begging for money but Peter gave him Jesus, who was more than the money he wanted. You may have silver and gold; but do you have God?
When Peter first said he didn’t have silver and gold, I imagine that the lame man must have been disappointed because that was the reason he was there. But after Peter had completed his statement, the lame man loved what he was given more than what he had wanted. The Bible says, “And he [Peter] took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength” (verse 7 New King James Version).
The reaction of the man to the miracle showed that he preferred healing or good health to money. He entered the temple with Peter and John, walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people who saw him knew that he was the one who had sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were surprised at what had happened to him (verses 8-9). Money couldn’t have given that man the miracle. Only God could do such a thing.
Don’t make the mistake of replacing God with gold in your life. Don’t pursue gold and neglect God. If you succeed in getting the gold, you will soon see how miserable life could be without God despite the good things of life money has given you.
Put God first in your life, not gold (money). If you put gold or money first, it becomes your god and you’ll always think about everything in terms of money. Simon the sorcerer had this mentality. When he saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered money saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:19 New King James Version).
However, Peter was not someone who had replaced God with gold in the ministry. He was not greedy of filthy lucre or dishonest gain. Some people whose goal in ministry is money would have collected the money today in the name of collecting seed to transfer the anointing! 1 Timothy 3:3 says a bishop, overseers or servant of God must, among other things, not be greedy for money. Therefore, Peter told Simon the sorcerer, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” (New King James Version).
Don’t replace God with gold in your ministry or life. Those who replace God with gold have no fear of God; they can do anything for gold; they can do anything to get money. They don’t seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; they only pursue the addition – gold, riches, or wealth (Matthew 6:33). They love gold; they don’t love God.
To those who have replaced God with gold, godliness with contentment is not a great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). It is foolish! “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:9-10 New King James Version).
The psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:36, “Give me an eagerness for your decrees; do not inflict me with love for money!” (New Living Translation). Don’t replace God with gold. Put your trust in God, not in silver or gold.
In 2 Chronicles 16, King Asa of Judah trusted in silver and gold rather than in God to deliver his nation from Baasha, king of Israel, who came up against Judah and built Ramah so that nobody would be able to enter or leave Judah.
What was King Asa’s reaction? “Asa responded by taking the silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD’s Temple and from the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message: ‘Let us renew the treaty that existed between your father and my father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone’” (2 Chronicles 16:2-3 New Living Translation).
King Asa didn’t seek the help of God as he had done in the early years of his reign when Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots and Asa’s army of 580,000 men was able to defeat them (2 Chronicles 14:9-15). But in the attack referred to in 2 Chronicles 16, Asa’s reaction was to gather silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD’s Temple and the royal palace and send to King Ben-hadad of Aram (Syria), seeking a military alliance.
The alliance worked as Ben-hadad’s army attacked Israel and Israel abandoned her project of fortifying Ramah, but God was not pleased with Asa’s action. “And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him: ‘Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand. Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars’” (2 Chronicles 16:7-10 New King James Version).
Asa trusted in Ben-hadad, not God. But I think Asa first trusted in his money (silver and gold). If he didn’t have money to send to Ben-hadad to secure the alliance, he probably would have cried to God. Because he had money and was now more experienced as a king (in the thirty-sixth years of his reign), he felt he didn’t need God or he could do whatever he liked. You may have money, be wealthy, or be very experienced; don’t replace God with any of these.
In 2 Chronicles 13, when there was war between King Abijah of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel, Abijah put his trust in God and He gave him victory. He didn’t send silver and gold to another nation to help him. Though he fought the battle with an army of four hundred thousand choice men and Jeroboam had eight hundred thousand choice men, he was victorious.
Put your trust in God, not in your gold. Psalm 62:10b warns, “If your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life” (New Living Translation). Also, Proverbs 23:5 warns that riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not replace God with gold in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to always put God as number one in my life. Deliver me from the love of money. I shall serve God, not money; I shall serve God with my money or riches. My money or riches shall not become a god to me in Jesus’ name.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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