Session 19

Does materialism have a hold on your life?

From Acts: A 28-Day Devotional


Acts 19

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In Ephesus, Paul continues teaching about Jesus and performing miracles. Fearing they’d be put out of business, local idol makers start a riot.

People in Ephesus were passionate about maintaining the prestige of their patron goddess, Artemis. Their Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. To worship Artemis was as much a part of the city's culture and identity as loving sweet tea and barbecue are a part of ours. 

Silversmiths knew if people started believing in Paul's God instead of their man-made idol, their income would suffer.

While silver statues may not be the objects of our affection, we have plenty of false gods of our own. One of our most prevalent gods is the unquenchable desire for more — more income, a bigger home, or the newest iPhone.

Jesus understood the pull materialism can have over our hearts. In Jesus' longest recorded sermon, He warned His followers of this, saying, "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24). 

Following the Bible’s wisdom and instruction can help break the idolatry of more, bigger, and better. Learning to manage our money God’s way brings peace to our finances and break the hold of idolatry in our lives.


  • What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
  • What does it mean to value God more than material possessions and money? How do your budget and priorities need to change to make God your most valued treasure?
  • Is it possible to be close to Jesus and talk about Jesus without actually knowing Jesus? What does this look like in the modern day church?

Need help putting God first in your finances? Download free budgeting tools or sign-up for free, confidential financial coaching at

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