Summary: Selfish ambitions are deceitfully misleading
The Deception of Self-Interests
1. Have you ever stopped to consider all the ways that selfish people deceive? Demetrius is an example of a man who allowed his selfish interests to deceive himself and thousands of others. Dr. Luke wrote, “Demetrius said to his workers, “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade of making shrines to the goddess Diana…this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.” (Acts 19:25-27) Ask the Lord to help you identify any way that selfish interests cause people to practice destructive deception.
2. People’s selfish interests oppose the true worship of God. Demetrius opposed the worship of God because he feared the collapse of his idol making business. Ask the Lord to help your selfish desires to be subjugated to the true worship of our holy God.
3. People’s selfish interests oppose true service of the Lord. Demetrius opposed Paul’s service because he did not believe God could replace it with something better. Ask God to help you serve Him regardless of what you will get in return.
4. People’s selfish interests oppose the qualitative and quantitative growth of Christ’s kingdom and righteousness. Demetrius opposed the growth of the church because he wanted to expand his own idol-making kingdom. Ask the Lord to help you focus on growing spiritually, emotionally, Biblically, mentally, socially, and in capacity to minister as Jesus would.
5. People’s selfish interests obscure men’s minds who pretend to do good but are influenced by immature desires. Demetrius wanted to confuse immature people with his rhetoric. Ask the Lord to help bring Godly teachers and counselors to show you how to stop pretending to be and do good when you could be and do much better.
6. People’s selfish interests deceive individuals who think they are free but are actually prisoners of sin. Demetrius wanted people to remain imprisoned by their false beliefs. Ask the Lord to help you cease from deceptively using your freedom as an opportunity for your fleshly desires.
7. People’s selfish interests beguile their view of themselves as better than they really are. Demetrius wanted people to think they could prosper without undergoing any changes. Ask the Lord to help you to have a sane estimate of your own abilities so you can serve God more effectively.
8. People’s selfish interests mislead individuals who think they are smart when they are really unwise. Demetrius tried to make people think they were intelligent in their idol worship. Ask the Lord to help you stop misleading people that you are smarter, wiser or more mature than you really are.
9. People’s selfish interests misguide groups who think they are doing well when they are actually opposing what is best. Demetrius wanted people to think they were doing just fine when they were actually opposing the Almighty God. Ask the Lord to help you stop misguiding people that they are doing good when they could do much more.
10. People’s selfish interests misinterpret individual’s contributions as being more than they actually are. Demetrius wanted people to continue to misinterpret the value of their contributions. Ask the Lord to help you stop misinterpreting your contributions as being more than what you could give.