“I like iced tea,” Stan said. “Sweet tea is my favorite.”
“Don’t care for tea,” I responded, “especially tea that is cold and sweet.”
“Well, I do,” Stan replied. “And a few years ago I learned how to make a simple sweet syrup that I add to the tea to make it just the way I like it.”
“Sweet syrup?” I responded.
“Yeah,” Stan said. “Just boil some water, add some pure sugar, let it cool, and it’s ready to be added to the tea. Pure and simple.”
Continuing, he added, “Just like what the apostle Paul wrote about my devotion to Christ.”
“Sweet tea and devotion to Christ?” I responded. “Not sure I understand.”
“In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth,” Stan replied, “he expressed his concern that the church would be misled by Satan’s crafty deception, just as Satan had deceived Eve in the Garden.”
“Crafty deception about what?” I asked.
“Being led astray from the simplicity and purity of their devotion to Christ,” Stan responded.
Continuing, he said, “Paul warns all of his readers, especially me, not to fall into Satan’s deception of making devotion to Christ more complicated than it needs to be.”
“And,” Stan added, “I take that admonition seriously. Satan is always trying to get me off track of where God wants me to be in my relationship with Him.”
“While God wants my devotion to be pure and simple,” Stan said, “Satan wants to make me think it has to be complicated. Satan wants to cloud with complication what God wants to be pure and simple.”
“If Satan can convince me that my eternal salvation requires more than simple acceptance of God’s free gift,” Stan said, “he is able to pat himself on the back at the end of the day.”
“Same thing,” Stan continued, “Satan is happy if he can convince me that my walk with God on this side of eternity has to be more complicated than the simple steps for discipleship. Remember those?”
“I do,” I responded, “deny self, take up my cross, and follow Him. Three steps. I can remember that!”
“Exactly, my friend,” Stan said. “Satan is always trying to convince me that discipleship has to involve more than those simple steps. The question for me is also simple. It’s the matter of whose voice is getting my attention.”
I prefer to listen to God’s voice,” Stan concluded. “No need to make my devotion to God more complicated than the pure simplicity He provides through the indwelling Holy Spirit!”
But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of the truth of how you want me to be devoted to you in a relationship that is pure and simple. And thank you for the warnings you provide for being aware of the craftiness of the evil one who wants to interfere with my relationship with you by making it seem that it has to be more complicated than you intend. I need and I ask for all of the protection you can and will provide against Satan and his deception. Father, help me to be devoted to you just as you intend, without any of the deceptions of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.