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Those who rush to other gods bring many troubles on themselves. I will not take part in their sacrifices; I will not worship their gods. Psalm 16:4 (GNT)

Several years ago I attended the same church as a State Trooper for the state I lived in at that time. This guy was huge, make no mistake about it. I’m guessing he was about 6’ 8” tall and close to 350 pounds. From the looks of him there wasn’t an inch of fat on him. He was all muscle. His facial features were deceiving. Tom (I’ll call him) was the kindest, most compassionate person I’d ever met. He had a heart for Jesus and a heart for people. That love of people was the driving force behind his career choice.

Tom worked in the children’s ministry with his wife. I never saw him get upset. Never saw any anger in his eyes. Never saw any personality traits that would match his stern expression…except once.

Tom and I were standing in a group having coffee after services. One person in the group made an innocent, off hand remark about how there was a speed trap out on the interstate on his way to church.

Tom looked him square in the eye and said, “That wasn’t a speed trap. Traps are for not intended for innocent people, only guilty ones. The innocent have nothing to worry about.”

There was a very noticeable pause in the group and discussion suddenly changed to the Huskers game the day before!

Tom’s point was well-taken. The innocent don’t need to worry about ‘being caught’. If you never lie, cheat or steal you will never be accused of being dishonest. If you never drink, you will never get drunk. If you never open yourself to the opportunity of an affair you will never be caught in infidelity. If you never look at pornographic images you will never have your mind contaminated by their poison.

The world is full of many gods (note the small ‘g’) that promise wealth, success and happiness. God’s that offer us status and power. Only one God promises us inner peace in the present and eternal life after death. That God (note the capital ‘G”) is the God of Genesis; the God of Creation; the Father of Jesus Christ.

When struggles attack ask yourself, is this a natural consequence of following a god of hopelessness or a test of your faithfulness. Only one God promises that we will never have to be ‘caught in the trap’ intended for the guilty.

PRAYER: Lord thank you for your promise of inner peace and eternal life. Forgive me for following the gods of this world. Empower me with your Spirit to follow after you. Amen.

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April 2012
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