Deuteronomy 30:15-16 - "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it."
George Hooper and his family live in the quiet town of Arcadia, California.
With his neighbors being gone much of the time, the neighborhood is generally peaceful. Indeed, there's not much to do other than watch the baby bear who is living under their neighbor's house, in the crawl space.
Hooper and his crew were thankful to be able to watch this little bit of "wild kingdom" right from the comfort and safety of their own home. At least that's the way it was at the beginning. Then things changed.
Mr. Hooper describes things this way: "We were watching the little one, and then we came back inside and we saw the big one, the mama bear with the tag on the ear, and she came out to just keep an eye on things..."
Mr. Hooper concluded this way: "So now it's a whole new ball game, isn't it?"
Knowing the well-substantiated dangers connected with getting between a mother bear and her cub, Mr. Hooper called the folks at the Humane Society. In short order, those caring folk came out, investigated the situation, and came up with a verdict on what to do.
The Humane Society said, "The bears will be left alone for the moment, unless they become a danger to the public."
Now I've spent considerable time thinking about that verdict. There is only one question which keeps cropping up in my mind. That query is how will somebody be able to tell when those bears have become a danger to the public?
1. Do they have to eat someone's cat?
2. Do they have to follow little Johnny or Jane home from school?
3. Do they have to hold up the local bank?
It occurs to me that a wiser course of action would be to remove the bears to a location which would be safer for them and for the citizenry of Arcadia.
The same train of thought applies to sin. All too many people want to know how close they can get to an appealing sin before they cross over the line and really do something wrong. They want to know if they can live in the same neighborhood as sin without falling into any kind of danger.
From Adam until today, the answer to that question is the same.
We need to keep a safe distance from those tantalizing transgressions. If we don't, Satan will keep dangling them in front of our noses and we, in a moment of weakness may stumble and fall. When we're picking neighbors we do far better if we stay in Jesus' neighborhood. With Him, we can be sure that we will be safe, secure and saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me the wisdom to see and understand that it is always best to give a wide berth to sin. Similarly, it is always best to remain in the presence of our loving Savior and Lord. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Ben Hooper for the UPI on March 20, 2018. 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.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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