September 13, 2019

Rerun Daily Devotional July 14, 2017

One of my favorite weekday activities happen when parents bring their children by the church office so that we can eat popsicles. There are two reasons I think this is very important. First, it helps these little ones understand that the church is a safe place and that someday in the future, when their parents are not able to be there for them, the church will.

Second, I like eating popsicles with the children.

The church staff knows that it is my thing. But from time to time, they try to horn in on the fun. That’s when I have to remind them that it is reserved for me and their jobs are in jeopardy if they eat the popsicles.

Unfortunately, while I was on vacation, Ashley was picking up Jacque and George from our MDO program and texted to see if I was in the office and available for popsicles. Then she immediately followed the first text by saying she had forgotten that I was on vacation and not to worry about it.

About ten minutes later, my phone received a picture showing Brian (our new pastor) eating popsicles with Jacque and George. They were as happy as pigs in a blanket. In fact, Brian had a huge smile on his face like he was doing the right thing.

But when I saw the picture I had a very different feeling. I felt badly because Brian had just gotten to our church and now he was going to have to go. Again, I felt bad about this but rules are rules and eating popsicles with the little ones is mine and mine alone.

Then I started thinking about who sent the picture. In looking at the address, I saw that it was our children’s program director, Amanda. She knew better. That’s when I realized that she was the real culprit and had set innocent Brian on the road to destruction.

Amanda had become a stumbling block.

At one time or another, we’ve all been stumbling blocks for others by tempting them to do something we know is wrong. And peer pressure can be a powerful force that seduces others into ungodly behavior. This is not our way.

Jesus was very clear about what would happen to those of us who point people in the wrong direction. He said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned into the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

So be careful in what you say and do. Never lead others in the wrong direction.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I pray that my words and actions always point others in the right direction. Use me to bring others to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Brian is officially off the hook. Amanda – that’s a different story.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins