Early this morning I was tossing and turning because of an earache. It seemed like I just woke up and I heard the snap of the mousetrap that I set out last night. We catch the critters every few nights or so. When the trap snapped, I said “yessss!” and Al (who I didn’t realize was awake) said, “Aren’t you glad there aren’t any people traps?” He thought there could be one at the library for all the books I shouldn’t be reading (no – not the romance novels – ick!), or on the computer for all of the sites we shouldn’t go to (not that we do – maybe a FB trap!), or next to me when I get angry with the kiddos… anywhere I could be tempted to sin!

I got thinking about it after he got up and realized how glad I am that God does not set ‘people-traps’ and that He is not out to snap down on His children. The bible says in James 1:13, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” That’s not to say that we aren’t tempted and even trapped. First, by our own evil desires in James 1:14, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed,” And we are also tempted by the devil, I Thess. 3:5 “I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” Satan, the evil hunter, intends destruction – I Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

But God, and the people of God, intend escape and restoration for the ensnared children of God. I Cor. 10:13″No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” and Galations 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

Along the way of my Christian walk, I believed that God was a performance-oriented God. That when I was ‘good’ God liked me and when I sinned, God was mad at me and didn’t like me as much and I needed to scramble and earn my way back into his good graces. I misunderstood the grace and love of God and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers.

I hope these selections from Romans 8 will minister to your heart about the love and intentions of God toward his children…

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:15-17

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39

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