Good day to each of you reading this column—I hope you are refreshed in the spirit and enjoying the life that God gave you. Remember this the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Do you rejoice or just take for granted all your surroundings?
I have spoken to people around me and they ask why I am so happy? Simple, it is better to be six feet above than six feet under—Look at Ecclesiastes 9:10 There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Once you are dead, you are laid to rest and do nothing, see nothing, smell nothing, hear nothing and are in a prolonged sleep. I, for one, will take the alternative and that is life and to enjoy all that God hath given me. How about you?
Let’s move to mammon—So what is mammon? Food from heaven? Jesus made mention of the word mammon four times in the New Testament and in two books—Matthew & Luke—Turn to Matthew 6:24 (KJV) no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Here is that word mammon, so what does mammon mean? According to the Wycliffe Bible Commentary, it appears to be an Aramaic word for wealth or property, here personified. Note that Jesus condemns not wealth but enslavement to wealth.
Keeping the above thought in mind, is Jesus talking just about wealth? Let’s expand the thought from wealth to other areas of life that include pride of power, pride of wealth, or being glorified as a god. You must agree in many sports that either man or woman sports figures are idolized as gods and that we, as a people, place sports above God.
Here is an example, a few years ago, my wife were attending a church when the minister at the beginning of the sermon said he would promptly end the sermon at 12:00 so all those playing in the annual Church golf tournament would not miss the 1:30 tee time.
Another church that I attended in the past cancelled their Sunday Evening church service when the Super Bowl was on, so all the congregation could watch including the Pastor’s family.
Mammon can and will affect all of God’s people and the above is just a couple of ways—As for today’s society, politicians hold the pride of power because of the title they hold in office. This is just not found in the political corners of our governments but in businesses throughout the world.
When I was in the middle of my business career, a wise man told me that titles were for tombstones and the way you earn respect is to physically do the job in front of your peers—Don’t throw around your title, just show by example.
Whether mammon is wealth, pride of power, pride of glory or pleasures of life, this all boils down to one thing—It’s all about me! There is no “I” in team and there is no “God” in mammon.
Turn to Luke 16 and read the complete chapter and keep in mind verses 9, 11, and 13 on the word mammon. This chapter is known as a test of character when those of us who have been given material wealth. If, we, who been entrusted with material wealth cannot use it wisely and for the glory of God, then how can God entrust us with other spiritual responsibilities?
God said in Exodus 20:3 (KJV) Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. None, plain and simple whether they be physical, mental alive, dead, statutes, animals or pieces of paper to name a few. God has always delivered, always because he is a living God, the only God to create life and death. Look at Isaiah 45: 5—8 (KJV) I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me, I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
Look around you today and I think you will agree that most people have allowed mammon or service to mammon fill their hearts. Look at the amount of self-fulfillment books that are on the shelf and the ways that they can help you mentally, become a better person and turn you into the next millionaire. Mammon has crept into part of our society and the person behind mammon, you guessed him, Satan—He is the same guy that said to Eve in Genesis 3:4 (KJV) Ye shall not surely die. Chalk that one up in the wrong column as Satan is the master of lies and deceit.
Mammon is like a weed found amongst the employees or laborers, employers, money brokers, financiers and even in the Church. Look at how the love of money and power has led men and women to disobey the first as well as many of the other commandments. In fact, The O-Jays wrote a song about money in 1973: For the Love of Money—Yes, the same song Donald Trump used on The Apprentice—
Money does funny things to people such as robbing, stealing, cheating, hurting, beating, and killing those they come in contact as well as their loved ones. Why? The love of money combined with power violates God’s laws and turns man against God. If you remember the movie Wall Street, the title character says Greed is good so if greed is so good then how come it turns man into service to the god of greed and love of power and money?
In closing, turn to Deuteronomy 8—The first verse lays God’s groundwork—All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do—Not some, ALL. Verse 6 that we are to keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. In verses, 7—10, God will give us the blessings of the land and fullness thereof. Verses 10—14, tells us that the prosperity that we have received and the blessing that have poured upon us were given by “The Lord they God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. (Verse 18).
God does not stop there so turn to verse 19 (KJV) And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
Folks, this is real, we will perish if we do not turn from mammon and honor and obey the commandments. How does this happen? Prayer and a desire or willingness to restore God’s laws. God’s laws have NEVER gone out of time or style—God set the bar, we need to adhere to his laws. God must be supreme in both individually and nationally and then will he bless us and remove the curses that befall us.
May God Bless you this day as we move to the 2nd commandment, the serving of idols, statutes and money.