When I think of the Master of Disaster, I think of the Tasmanian Devil. While this creature does not exactly fit Looney Tunes’ description, don’t let its small size and mild looks deceive you. The Tasmanian Devil’s large head and sharp teeth give it a powerful bite, capable of biting through bones or thick metal wire with a force equivalent to an animal four times its size. Also possessing a voracious appetite, these animals may consume up to 40% of their body weight in 30 minutes. They are not picky eaters, but will devour just about anything dead or alive — bones, fur, and all. Tasmanian Devils are certainly masters of disaster in the animal kingdom.

Humanity has its own masters of disaster. Their names are Greed, Selfishness, Materialism, and its sister, Consumerism. These masters are like black holes which sap us of our financial, emotional, and spiritual resources. Greed causes a person to engage in a never-ending quest for more, fueled by discontentment. Selfishness causes one to seek the fulfillment of his own needs and desires above those of everyone else. Materialism and consumerism drive people to doggedly pursue material possessions and/or wealth. Like the Tasmanian Devil with its insatiable appetite, these masters cannot be appeased.

Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters . . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon [material things].” He was right. As long as we put ourselves first, we cannot put God, the Master of All, in the position He rightfully holds. However, when we entrust our resources to the Master of All, they will be safe from the masters of disaster.

Are you doing everything you can to avoid the masters of disaster? This is especially difficult in the United States, where we are accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it. It’s a new year, so begin new habits. As you plan your budget, honestly consider where your money is going. Are you making a futile effort to satisfy the masters of Greed, Selfishness, or Materialism? Do what you can to make the Master of All the Chief Beneficiary of your wealth this year.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.