(Jesus said) "... For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light." Luke 16:8b
Have you ever been mugged?
Most of us, thank the Lord, have avoided such a frightening experience. There is a lady in California who is no longer able to say that.
On April 29th she had just gotten home, parked her car in the driveway and was gathering some packages from the back seat of her car. That was when two young men, one of them carrying a pistol, came up to her and demanded she hand over her money.
Wisely, she did as she had been ordered. From what I've been told, it's always wise not to argue with someone who is pointing a gun at you. But I wander ... back to the story. The woman handed over her money -- money which the thieves counted.
After they were done counting their haul, the men demanded she give them more. The woman confessed she had no more cash on her person or in her purse, but she did have a fair amount of money in her house.
Smilingly, confidently, the thieves ordered her to get that money and bring it to them. The woman walked away, entered her house, called the police and had the robbers arrested.
Now there's a point to that story. We Christians think the devil and the world are really smart, really subtle and really sneaky. Me, I think there are a lot of times when evil's craftiness is really overrated.
For example, Adam and Eve should have said, "Nope. God doesn't want us eatin' that stuff." That would have been the end of that temptation. David should have said, "Pretty girl. But God doesn't want me to commit adultery." Joseph's brothers might have shared, "Yup. That little brother with his dreams can get under our skin, but he's still our brother."
The truth is God's commandments are pretty clear, and Satan's temptations are pretty lame. The problem comes in when we start to think we can flirt with those temptations and maybe ignore the Lord ... just a little. When we think we can handle it, that's when we don't.
This is just this devotion's way of saying, "Folks, let's get out there and -- in thanks to our Redeemer -- avoid the wrong stuff and do the good stuff."
THE PRAYER: Father, help us do what we ought and avoid what we ought. Help us make this day -- and every day -- our thanks to Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Friend. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries