June 4, 2008
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. Proverbs 4:14-15
The door between the kitchen and the deck on John and Carol Drager's house is closed.
That opening line of our Daily Devotion calls for an explanation. John and Carol Drager who are long-term friends of The Lutheran Hour live in Anchorage, Alaska. When they heard I was coming up to their great state to do some preaching, they invited Pam and I to stay with them.
As we were being shown around the house, John took us out to their deck and, closing the door behind him said, "This door should stay shut."
That seemed to be a reasonable request. Maybe John wanted to keep out the mosquitoes; maybe heating and air-conditioning costs are astronomical in Alaska. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might want an outside door shut. I guessed none of them. John continued: "Not so long ago the neighbors had a bear in their kitchen. They had left the door to their deck open and when they got back, there was a bear in the kitchen. He was eating breakfast cereal."
A bear in the kitchen? I've stayed in many places, but never have I had to be concerned about having bears in the kitchen.
Then I inquired, "And what do you do if you do get a bear in your kitchen?" John shrugged and said, "There are a number of schools of thought on how to get rid of bears. Me, I believe it is best not to let the bear get inside in the first place. That's why we keep the patio door closed."
It occurs to me that John has a good idea here. This is not just in regard to keeping bears out of your kitchen, but in keeping sins out of your lives. In the book of Proverbs, it speaks of the pathways of the wicked and the ways of evil. It suggests you should avoid them, turn away from them, or pass on by them.
The suggestion I like best is: "Avoid them."
That is always good advice. Those of us who have been redeemed by the Christ, who have been washed in His blood and forgiven of their sins, would do well if they keep the door shut to temptation. In short, when it comes to bears or sin, it's best not to let them into your house in the first place.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You have saved and forgiven me. For this I give thanks. Now I ask that the Holy Spirit may give me that faith and common sense to keep sins out of my life. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries