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The Goblins Are Coming!

**You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone** (Luke 4:8).
Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalms 91:1-2,10-15; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

Sermon Topic God: loyalty to

Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 4:8


In a newspaper cartoon, two distinguished-looking gentlemen are comfortably seated on soft, upholstered chairs in an upscale office. One says to the other, "Last night I had a most terrible nightmare. I dreamed that the dollar was no longer worth worshipping."

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus has been fasting in the desert wilderness for forty days. Then the devil, who had been tempting Him for weeks, shows Him a vision of all the kingdoms of the world. And he tells Him that He can possess all the power and all the wealth of all those kingdoms on one condition. "Worship me," he says, "and it shall be Yours" (Lk. 4:5,7). Jesus answers, "Scripture says, 'You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone'" (Lk. 4:8).

Jesus warns us over-and-over again in the Gospels that money and possessions can destroy us. There are at least fifteen passages in the Gospels in which Jesus calls for a complete reversal of values in those persons for whom money is much more real and alive than is Almighty God. For example, there is the familiar Gospel story in which a very wealthy young man approaches Jesus and asks, "Lord, what must I do to share in everlasting life?" In effect, "What must I do to live in harmony with God's Rule?": Jesus replies by quoting some commandments to him: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal -- and so on. "I obey these commandments," says this respectable, clean-living, rich young man. But Jesus sees that there is something missing in this man's life. Jesus knew that the one thing missing in the rich young man's life revolved around his question, "What must I do?" Not, "What must I not do" but, "What must I do."

The problem with this good young man was that he had not yet broken through to that beautiful, free, open, loving generosity of spirit which enables one to live under the Rule of God. He was still uptight about his money. Money was much more real and alive for this man than was [...]

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