Rev. Clint Smith
Sermon Direct Link
We all know that financial blessing and financial wealth are not the same thing. Paul lived in the City of Ephesus for over two years and multitudes were turning to Jesus for salvation. Spiritual
conflict heightened among demons, unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Gentiles and Christians (people of the Way). John 14:6
Traveling Jewish exorcists (sons of Sceva) were trying to make money using the name of Jesus. They practiced their “business” in the name of Jesus without the power of Jesus.
The evil spirit in the man whom they confronted spoke clearly that he knew Jesus and Paul but forcefully denied knowing the practicing exorcist. He beat them and stripped all seven of them of their clothing, leaving them humiliated and running for their lives.
Cost: Reputation, clothing, medical bills, and their jobs – Gains, spiritual awakening
The name of Jesus and His preacher Paul was elevated therefore, many in Ephesus believed. They confessed their sins. They repented and burned wicked scrolls.
Cost: 50,000 pieces of silver – Gains, eternal life
The Word of God grew mightily and prevailed. The Church was established in Ephesus.
God changed lives. Culture changed. Demons knew it. Pagan business leaders knew it. Christians knew it.
The United Silversmiths of Ephesus Labor Union was called to meeting by Demetrius. Demetrius generated tremendous outrage against Paul. He targeted on their potential personal financial interest verses the spiritual truth Paul and the people of the Way shared.
A fevered mob formed and shouted, demonstrated, and marched to the local outdoor theater (which could hold up to 50,000 people). They sought to bring mob justice on Paul’s companions.
God used Disciples of Christ and the local government officials to stop the assembly of doing greater harm.
Are we more interested in our financial interest today verses spiritual truth? We may think God does not care, especially if we outwardly look like we are obeying, but He does care. It grieves Him, and it violates the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Mark 12:30
Who made all gold and silver on earth? John 1:1-3
What do you think the Maker of gold and silver thinks about the way you act toward your resources?
Do you have a me first attitude or a Jesus first attitude according to your checking account?