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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"First Things"

September 5, 2007

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But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

According to a St. Louis television station, there is a farmer in southern Illinois who has been having a problem with raccoons. It seems the masked thieves have invited themselves to the cat food that the man had been storing out in his barn. The farmer, Fred Kreger by name, decided to do the humanitarian thing. He trapped the raccoons and then released them into the wild. One of the caught coons had lost his tail, so Fred appropriately named him “Bobby, the bobtailed raccoon.”

Although Bobby’s tailless-ness made him special, he wasn’t special enough to stop Fred from dropping him off a few miles away from his farm. As they say, that should have been that, but it wasn’t. Three days later Bobby showed up in the trap again. Fred took the cage and drove 12 miles before he dropped Bobby off. A few weeks later Bobby was back in the trap. This time Bobby was let go 20 miles away from Fred’s farm. Bobby came back. Five times Fred took Bobby for a ride, and each time Bobby returned. The last time Fred traversed 32 miles before springing his unwanted guest.

Even so, you guessed it. Bobby came back. He managed to traverse railroad tracks, highways, coyote country, traps, dogs, and the coon-hunting season. No obstacle was too great to keep Bobby the bobtailed raccoon from the cat food in Fred Kreger’s barn.

So why am I telling you about this single-minded raccoon? Easy. I think Bobby is an excellent example for us. No, he’s not an example of how to steal food or remain as a guest in places where he’s not wanted. I think Bobby is a great role model for anyone who hears Jesus say, “Seek first the kingdom of God.”

The Savior knew that Satan would set snares to keep the redeemed away from Him. From first-hand experience, the Lord knew this world is filled with dark dangers, doubts and discouragements, which are all designed to stop us from following Him. And if those outside difficulties weren’t enough, Jesus wanted to warn us that our own selfish and sinful hearts would try to sidetrack us and stop us from worshiping Him. This is why Bobby, with his determination, reminds us that we need to keep an unwavering eye on the Christ whose sacrifice and redemption have changed our ultimate and eternal destination.

If our eye is on Jesus, it can’t be on anything else. If our eye is on Jesus, all the rest that we need will be taken care of.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit upon me so I may avoid that which is distracting and seek You first and always. In Your Name. Amen.

PS – Fred Kreger has decided that if Bobby wants to stay that much, it’s OK by him.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 23    Joel 2-3    2 Corinthians 10

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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