"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ” - Matthew 4:8-10
From 1989 until its collapse in 1995, "The Foundation for New Era Philanthropy" raised over $500 million from 1100 donors and embezzled $135 million. Most of the money was stolen from Christian organizations, including more than 180 evangelical groups, colleges, and seminaries. The scheme promised an incredible return on investments and even the most spiritual minded ministry leaders were led astray. The profit was tempting, but the loss was traumatic.
The tempter offered our Lord the whole world on a silver platter. The only string attached was a slight bend of the knee to worship the god of this world. The answer was short and to the point; "worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve". The choice was simple, choose the world for a tempting profit, but with that world would come a traumatic loss from a deceptive god.
Jesus gave further insight on two other occasions. "You cannot serve God and money." (Matthew 6:24) and "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36) Yes, you can choose the tempting path to quick and promising profit, but when that pursuit leads you away from a life devoted to the Lord, your loss will be traumatic. As you enter a new year, choose wisely my friend.