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Daily Devotional by Rev. Dr. Kandace Brooks
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Morning by Morning Daily Devotional Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Acts 19

23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all.27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
Acts 19:23-31
This episode from the journeys of Paul is extraordinary in its blunt presentation of the resistance to the gospel.  Here is an instance where the gospel message has a direct impact on the economics of an individual, Demetrius; and a community,  that is simply not acceptable to those whose livelihood is being threatened.  And so, they resist/revolt - using the excuse that the worship of Artemis would be compromised...but I wonder if there was not more self-concern at play here.  What do you think?
Has the gospel affected you economically?  If so - how, and what was your response?  For some, the teachings of Jesus concerning our treasure are challenging, but have become an integral part of our spiritual practice.  Generous giving to the church, providing for those in need, living simply in order to be able to give, freeing ourselves from the love of money....all these things are part of the teaching of Christ.  I can tell you from personal experience that as I have trusted God more and more with my possessions, I truly find that I have been able to give generously and still feel secure economically.  Maybe that means I need to push myself even more?
Do you find yourself resisting the teachings of Jesus about possessions and giving?  In what ways are you most challenged?  Where are the areas that you can grow?

A Disciple's Path begins on Wednesday, February 13.  We will be offering both an evening and a morning class.  Please call the office if you are interested in taking this class.

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