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cropped-rose-white-and-pinkProverbs 11:19, “As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death”

John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murdered from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”

I would like to share with you today a short story taken from a book written by Ken Davis, which I purchased many years ago and entitled Lighten Up. I’m sure whoever reads this story will be able to relate to the humor of the story, but more importantly to the sobering reality, we live in a world controlled by satan who will tempt us by whatever means to get God’s children to sin. My friend, no one on this earth is temptation proof. Even mature believers in Christ have weaknesses in their spiritual armor that make them vulnerable to satan’s attack. Sin saps us of our God-given strength. We become spiritually weak and decrepit, but often we imagine that we’re just as hardy as ever. My brethren, that’s the deceitfulness of sin. Gradually we drift away from God. We lose our desire to spend time in His Word and in prayer. The current of this world carries us away from friends and godly influences. We drift deeper into sin – our pathetic, feeble state evident to all eyes but our own. Each day we must choose between doing what pleases the Lord or what appeals to our old nature, our selfish desires and the temptations of the world. I trust you will take to heart the seriousness of this humorous but also very sobering story entitled:

Getting Taken for a Ride

It happened at a traffic light near the edge of town. A man gunned the engine of his huge Harley Davidson motorcycle as he waited for the light to change. You might have been tempted to stare at this fellow – and he would have enjoyed it. A filthy rag was fastened around his head. From beneath it a matter tangle of oily gray hair spilled down the back of his tattered leather jacket. Images of skulls and bones leered from his clothing and his bare forearms, and his bike bore the emblem of a menacing black widow spider. As he waited at the light, an elderly man in a lime-green moped pulled up beside him. The ringy-ding-ding of the moped was drowned out by the roaring thunder of the Harley. “Boy, that’s some motorcycle you’ve got there,” the old man croaked. “Mind if I take a closer look?” Scowling from behind his oily beard, the biker gave him the once-over. “If that turns your crank, old-timer,” he snarled, “go ahead and take a gander.”

The old man was a little farsighted, but he wanted to take in all the scenery. So he leaned his face right over the bike and examined every inch. Looking up after a while, the old man grinned and said to the biker, “I bet that motor-sickle goes fast!” But no sooner were the words out of his mouth than the light changed. The biker thought he would show this old geezer what a real chopper could do. He gave it full throttle and within thirty seconds, the speedometer read 199 MPH. He chuckled with satisfaction. But suddenly he noticed a dot in his rear-view mirror – a dot that was growing larger. Something was gaining on him! What could it be? He slowed a little to get a better look, and whatever the thing was, it flashed past him so fast he couldn’t even identify it. The thing disappeared over the horizon, whipped around, and came right back at him. As it zipped past, he recognized the rider. It was the old man on the lime-green moped! How could this be?

The biker took another look into his rearview mirror. There was that speck again, coming back his way and growing larger! The biker tried to out rum it, but it just couldn’t be done. It was a moot point within seconds, for the moped slammed into the rear of the Harley Davidson. The collision destroyed both bikes. You could hear the impact for miles. The biker extricated himself from the mangled steel pretzel that had once been his beloved Harley Davidson. But the old man had fared even worse. He lay groaning beneath the blackened, smoking remnants of his moped. Even the hardened biker was moved with compassion. He knelt beside the old man’s face and softly asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” The old man choked, coughed, and replied, “Yes. Could you please unhook by suspenders from your handlebars?”

This story came to me over the Internet. When I read it, the punch line caught me so utterly off guard that my uncontrolled laughter disrupted the office. People came running over to see if I was all right. Several times during the day, I thought of that story and began laughing all over again. The visual images alone were sufficient to double me up. I later told the biker tale to an associate of mine. This friend has a wonderful, dry sense of humor, but he rarely laughs out loud at anything. The greatest response I’ve ever received from him was a smile and the proclamation, “That’s extremely humorous.” This time he grinned after the punch line and said, “I guess you have to be careful where you hook your suspenders.” That was his dry wit speaking, but it was also his wisdom. It started me thinking. I know the story is no more than a joke and, as such, can only be stretched so far metaphorically. But there is a lesson here.

You and I wouldn’t purposely hook our suspenders to anything dangerous. And yet many of us might be willing to lean over for a closer look. And that’s what is so insidious about sin. It looks so good to us. It catches the eye. The thunder of its engine seems to hold the promise of high adventure and intense thrills our moped could never provide. It may never be out intention to get on and take a ride. But let us just get a little closer – can’t hurt to look, right? Let us feel the power. Let us smell the leather. What harm could come? The world around us is littered with the mangled lives of men and women who never intended to get hooked. They only wanted a closer look at the shiny colors of some forbidden sin. There’s the husband who never intended to lose his family, but decided it was okay to flirt along the boundaries of adultery; now he pulls himself from the smoking wreckage of his marriage. There’s the teenager who never intended to seriously use drugs but saw no harm in experimenting; now his life is twisted and disfigured by addiction.

There’s the woman who was willing to skim a small sum each year from her company – how could just a few dollars be wrong? – because she was tired of driving an old Ford when all her friends were in BMWs. She never intended to end up in jail. Or how about the man who moral restraints finally gave way as a result of that first “harmless” peak – only a quick glimpse – at the glossy pornographic images available on the Internet. “How far does this go?” he wondered. In the months that followed, like the man on the moped, he never saw the light change. Before he knew it, he was dragged faster and further than he ever thought possible.

Just a thought:

Here’s a fairly intense – but life-saving – thought for today: Sin never fulfills its promises. It will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and make you pay more than you could ever afford. Be careful where you hook your suspenders.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering” – 1 Peter 5:8-9

Sin adds to your trouble, subtracts from your energy, and multiplies your difficulties.