The Devil is Selling Lemons

(Update of a devotional from 1998)

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:5-11.

Have you ever bought a car that was a lemon? Wikipedia gives this definition for an automobile that is a lemon: “A lemon is a defective car that, when purchased new or used, is found by the purchaser to have numerous or severe defects not readily apparent before the purchase. Any vehicle with these issues can be termed a ‘lemon,’ and, by extension, any product which has major flaws that render it unfit for its purpose can be described as a ‘lemon’.”

I did once buy a used car that was a “lemon” and it was not a pleasant experience. The car was for my oldest son and on the outside it was beautiful, however, I failed to inspect it sufficiently. It was raining on the day we purchased the car and so I did not crawl underneath of the vehicle. If I had crawled under it I would have seen that the car had been in a severe accident. Later I found out that it had been totaled and sold for salvage or junk. Someone had bought it and rebuilt it enough for it to pass as a desirable vehicle.

This car was at the mechanics too many times to remember. I thought that eventually we could replace and repair what was wrong with it. We had too much money in it to just give up or at least that was what I was thinking. After sinking several thousand dollars more into the car a service manager told me that if it was his car he would get rid of it. Why? Because it was a “lemon” and it would never be a good car and it would always have problems. Now he tells me, right!

That old devil is constantly trying to sell us some things too. They all look good on the outside but if we look at them closely we will see that they are lemons. What harm will one snort of cocaine do? Ask the person who drops dead from a heart attack. What harm will a few minutes with a prostitute do? Ask the man who contracted HIV. What harm will a little gambling do? Ask the person who develops an addiction and loses their family.

Before we buy what the devil’s selling we ought to crawl underneath and take a good long look. Submit yourself to God’s will in every area of your life and resist the devil – the Lord will “exalt you in due time.”

(Before buying what the devil is trying to sell we should think long and hard about the consequences.)

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