August 19, 2017
John 8:44 - (Jesus said) "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The folks loved animals and hated to see them suffer. They especially hated seeing animals being raised in pens and living their lives just waiting to be slaughtered. Those thoughts gave birth to what seemed to be a good idea at the time.
These folks parked their vehicle a half mile away from their target which was the mink farm in Eden Valley, Minnesota. They cut the fence to the farm and opened the cages of the minks, so the liberated beasties could run free. It must have been a sight, watching somewhere between 30-40,000 farm-raised mink heading out to enjoy a life of freedom in the Minnesota countryside.
As they drove away from their evening's work, the vandals must have congratulated themselves for a job well done, for an idea which seemed good at the time.
Folks, I'm here to tell you the idea wasn't all that good.
Generally speaking, farm-raised mink aren't able to live in the wild. Indeed, the owner of the farm estimates half of his minks succumbed to the elements in the first week. Others are biting the dust even as you read this. No, it wasn't a good idea at the time.
As I've read through Scripture, I've noticed when Satan coaxes people he often makes his temptations seem like splendid ideas ... at the time. For instance, in the Garden of Eden, he didn't say, "Hey, Adam, Eve, eat this fruit. You're going to get old, get sick, and die -- as will everybody who comes after you." If he had done that, we might still be living in Eden.
He didn't go to Pontius Pilate and say, "Look, if you let Jesus be crucified, you will become the most famous Roman of all time. The problem is you will be famous because you were a coward who refused to let an innocent man go free." If Satan had said that, Pilate may have grown a backbone.
He didn't go to Ananias and Sapphira and tempt them with the words, "Hey, old buddies! Don't you think it would be proper to lie to the Holy Spirit in your church, so you can keep a nest egg for a rainy day. Of course, if you do that, you're both going to drop dead and be carried out to be buried."
And I'm sure he doesn't come to us with a seductive, "Hey, listen to me. I've got a great idea which is going to make you feel really stupid, give you a guilty conscience, and make you miserable every time you remember what you've done."
No, Satan is good at his lies which lead us to sin. Indeed, he is almost as good as Jesus is at forgiving us for listening to, and following after, Satan's suggestions. And thank God He is. If it were not for the forgiveness Jesus has won for us in His life, death, and resurrection, there would be no hope.
But there is hope, and it is given to all who follow and believe in the Christ. And that's the truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me for those all-too-often times when I follow Satan's seductions and not Your Word. Keep me in Your grace, and give me wisdom to discern Your truth from his lies. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Nick Thieme for SLATE on July 20, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries