October 20, 2016
Volume 20, Number 33
A week in a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee was just what my wife and I needed. Making the opportunity even better was that much of our family would be able to join us for some or all of the time, including our five grandsons.
On the last day of our stay we had an unexpected visitor – a black bear! A friend who has hunted bears estimated from my photos that this bear weighed about 400 pounds. He came to drink from a small pond, about fifteen feet from our cabin’s front door. Because a fence stood between us and the bear, we watched for several minutes.
After getting a drink, the bear sprawled out on its back under a tree. Some among us said it looked so cuddly, kind of like the stuffed bears that decorated our cabin. But soon the bear grew weary of its audience and began making unfriendly sounds and actions. We were reminded that this was not a bear to be cuddled. It was time to get back into the safety of the cabin.
You probably know the history of the “Teddy Bear”. President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt was a hunter. On one occasion someone offered to chain a bear to a tree so he could bag another trophy. Roosevelt refused to shoot a defenseless animal. A toy maker honored the occasion by making a stuffed toy bear and naming it Teddy.
There really nothing cuddly about our enemy, the devil. Jesus described him as a thief whose objective is “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). In John 8:44 Jesus said “he was a murderer from the beginning”. Everything revealed in the Bible teaches us to keep our distance from this fierce and desperate enemy.
Then what’s the problem? Doesn’t everyone know that poison will kill? Yes, but sometimes poison can be disguised; people can be deceived into cuddling a dangerous creature. And in Revelation 12:9 we learn that Satan “deceives the whole world”.
What kind of disguise might Satan wear to deceive you or me? The old serpent disguise wouldn’t work on me, though it obviously did for Eve (Genesis 3:1-3; Revelation 12:9). For us it will take something a little more subtle.
Paul gave us insight into other costumes the devil might wear: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13,14). With a warning like that we need to be especially on our guard.
That religious person is peddling ideas that really appeal to me; it’s what I want to hear. But is their message true? Or is this a cuddly-looking creature that will rip out my heart?
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2016, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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