I walked into a discount store last weekend and everywhere I looked there were signs of Valentine's Day. There was a display of cards at both doors, there were teddy bears with hearts attached in the middle of the isles, jewelry and perfume was set up in displays with hearts all around them and one whole isle was given over to Valentine candy. "Love was in the air!"

Instead of talking about loving one another this year, I'd like us to take a look at some people who were destroyed because they loved the wrong thing!

Luke 10:27
"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."

1 Corinthians 2:9
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

I John 2:15
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

We already know we are supposed to love God and other people but the bible is pretty clear on some things we are not supposed to love, too. The number one thing is the world and the things in the world. It's pretty hard to live in the world and not love the things in the world. If you're like me, I'm sure you are always saying things like, I love my new car or I love chocolate. But this is not what I John 2:15 is talking about, it's talking about "...the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Loving chocolate is not a sin (if it is then I'm sinning big time) but when you lust after the chocolate to the point you love it more than you do God then it becomes sin! If you are so proud of your new car that it is all you think about or talk about, then it becomes sin. The bible gives us some examples of people who were destroyed because they loved the wrong thing.

Acts 5:1-11
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

I Timothy 6:10
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

In the scripture printed above a man and his wife sold a piece of land and were going to give the church all the profit from the land. Evidently, when it came time to pay the pledge, they changed their minds and decided to keep part of the money for themselves. Peter told them that while it remained in their possession it belonged to them and even after it was sold, the money from it was theirs so it stands to reason they were under no obligation to give all the money to the church. What they did was to lie about how much they sold it for so that the others would think they were giving it all to the church. They lied to God. Have you ever made up an excuse as to why you couldn't do something for God when you knew in your heart that it was just an excuse? When we do that, we are not lying to men but to God. When Ananias' wife came in, not knowing her husband was dead, she gave the same story about the price of the land and fell down dead just as her husband had. Verse 11 says a great fear came upon all the church and on all the people who heard of this. We should fear the love of money because it has probably destroyed more people, more homes, more churches than any thing in the world. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for just thirty pieces of silver. I Timothy 6:10 is probably the most misquoted verse in the bible. Money itself is not the root of all evil, it is the love of money that can destroy you.

Genesis 19:15-17, 26
"And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

I Kings 21
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? 6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. 7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. 16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. 20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, 23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

In the scriptures above, we read of two more husband and wife teams. I believe the only reason God spared Lot's life was because of Abraham! Lot's wife loved the city she lived in and lusted after the things of the world. This fact was shown when she looked back. I don't think just looking back to see what was happening to the city would have destroyed her but she looked back longingly for she didn't really want to leave.

Ahab lusted after a vineyard that didn't belong to him. The last commandment tells us not to covet the things that belong to our neighbors! He coveted Naboth's land. When Naboth wouldn't sell it to him, he went home and pouted like a little boy. His wife had Naboth killed so Ahab could take his vineyard. God sent Elijah to tell Ahab that he was going to take away all his posterity and completely cut him off, and furthermore, the dogs would eat his wife. Lusting after things will destroy you!

Numbers 16 "1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. 35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense."

Esther 5
"9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. 11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. 13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. 14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made." Esther 7
"10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai."

Another love that will destroy you is love of power and popularity. In the above scriptures we read about Korah who wanted to be the leader of Israel. He was jealous of Moses and challenged him as leader of the nation. God had chosen Moses and Aaron to lead the people out of Egypt. Korah and his 250 followers were destroyed by their jealousy. In Esther we read of Haman. He was the Kings right hand man but that wasn't good enough for him. He became obsessed with the fact that there was one Jewish man who did not bow down to him. He was so obsessed with Mordecai he built a gallows to have him executed on. His lust for power and popularity ultimately destroyed him. He was hanged on his own gallows!

I could go on and on with people down through history who were destroyed because they loved the wrong things. It is important to keep "love" in perspective. It is a very powerful emotion and when it is not restrained, it will destroy you so fast you won't even realize it until, like the people in the scritures above, it is too late!


I know I have given you a lot of scriptures this week but I hope you will go to your bible and read about these people who were destroyed by love!



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