Reverence, worship, and service to God, with loyalty to his universal sovereignty. The Scriptures use the Greek word eu·se′bei·a and related adjective, adverb, and verb forms. The noun as used in the Bible may be translated literally as “well-reverencing” and applies to reverence or devotion toward that which is genuinely holy and righteous. (Compare 2Pe 1:6, Int.) The antonym of “godly devotion” is “ungodliness” or “irreverence” (Gr., a·se′bei·a).
*** w12 8/15 pp. 25-27 Stand Firm and Avoid Satan’s Traps! ***
Stand Firm and Avoid Satan’s Traps!
“Stand firm against the machinations of the Devil.”—EPH. 6:11.
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER?
How can a servant of Jehovah avoid being caught in the trap of materialism?
What can help a married Christian not to fall into the pit of adultery?
Why do you believe that it is beneficial to take a firm stand against materialism and sexual immorality?
SATAN THE DEVIL has no compassion for humans, especially for those who serve Jehovah. In fact, Satan is waging war on the anointed remnant. (Rev. 12:17) Those stalwart Christians have spearheaded the modern-day Kingdom-preaching work and have exposed Satan as the ruler of this world. The Devil also has no love for the “other sheep,” who support the anointed and are in line for everlasting life—a prospect that Satan no longer has. (John 10:16) No wonder he is wrathful! Whether we have the heavenly hope or the earthly hope, Satan certainly has no interest in our welfare. His goal is to make us his victims.—1 Pet. 5:8.
2 To accomplish his aim, Satan has set various traps, or snares. Since he “has blinded the minds” of unbelievers, they do not accept the good news and cannot see these traps. However, the Devil also ensnares some who have accepted the Kingdom message. (2 Cor. 4:3, 4) The preceding article showed how we can avoid three of Satan’s traps: (1) uncontrolled speech, (2) fear and pressure, and (3) inordinate guilt. Let us now consider how we can stand firm against two other satanic traps or snares—materialism and temptation to commit adultery.
MATERIALISM—THE TRAP THAT CHOKES
3 In one of his illustrations, Jesus mentioned seed sown among thorns. He pointed out that a person may hear the word, “but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matt. 13:22) Yes, materialism is one snare used by our enemy Satan.
4 When combined, two factors choke the word. One factor is “the anxiety of this system of things.” In these “critical times hard to deal with,” there is much that could make you anxious. (2 Tim. 3:1) With the high cost of living and rising unemployment rates, you may find it difficult to make ends meet. You may also be anxious about the future and wonder, ‘Will I have enough income after I retire?’ Because of such anxiety, some have been led to pursue riches, thinking that money will guarantee security.
5 Jesus spoke of the other factor—“the deceptive power of riches.” That element combined with anxiety can choke the word. The Bible acknowledges that “money is for a protection.” (Eccl. 7:12) However, the pursuit of riches is not wise. Many have found that the more they struggle to acquire riches, the more materialism entraps them. Some have even become slaves to riches.—Matt. 6:24.
6 The desire for riches may begin innocently. For example, consider this scenario. Your employer approaches you and says: “I have good news! The company has won a huge contract. This will mean working overtime quite often for the next few months. But I can assure you that the pay will make it well worth your effort.” How would you react to such an offer? Of course, the need to provide materially for your family is a serious responsibility, but it is not the only responsibility you have. (1 Tim. 5:8) There are several other concerns you have to take into account. How much overtime will be involved? Will your secular work interfere