January 29, 2009
We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction. 1 Corinthians 10:9-11a
I thought my holiday devotions were over. Apparently, they're not.
Do you remember the movie, A Christmas Story? That's the cute, and constantly televised, program of a young lad who wanted a BB gun for Christmas. If you remember the movie, you will also recall a scene where a little boy -- on a dare -- gets his tongue stuck to an icy, metal pole.
Having watched that episode, most people laugh and say, "Nobody would ever be that silly."
Wrong! Last week, the Associated Press told of how a fourth-grader in Hammond, Indiana, was dared to lick a light pole. The boy took the dare and with the temperature hovering around ten degrees, his tongue stayed stuck -- just like in the movie.
By the time an ambulance arrived, the boy had become unstuck. The ambulance personnel told the boy's mother how to patch up his bleeding tongue.
This all goes to prove we need to be careful whose example we follow. That's why St. Paul warned the church in Corinth not to do the things the children of Israel did in the wilderness.
I wonder whom Paul would tell us not to be like if he were alive today. Would it be some of the countries of Europe, which have forgotten their faith? Would it be the multitudes that take God for granted? Would it be those who think He can be bribed if they say right prayers or give enough money?
We need to be careful whom we follow, and we need to teach our children to be careful, too.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You are my Savior, but You are also the best example of how I should live my life. May I, as much as I am able, spend my days obedient to You and helping those around me. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.
In less than 3 weeks, over 500 congregations and groups have become part of the Men's Network. The cost is free, and the benefits might be overwhelming. Check out the website to see what's happening! www.lhmmen.com
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries