July 24 Snares of the World

Scripture Reading: John 10:11–18

Key Verses: Hebrews 13:20–21

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Cattle ranchers know all too well that the barbed-wire fences designed to protect their livestock can become dangerous traps for curious animals. In an effort to reach grass that is just outside of the fence, cows often poke their heads between the twisted wires and become entangled in their razor-sharp snares.

At this point of entrapment, the cow is generally helpless. Though it may pull and thrash, the barbs only dig deeper into its flesh. It must now cry out for help. A seasoned rancher will be able to quiet the animal and carefully release it from its place of bondage.

Though it may not be quite as obvious, we, too, can become deeply entangled in the world’s snares. Many times traps can exist deep within the hearts of those around us. Inner struggles can often prove to be more painful and destructive than external trials.

How wonderful it is to know that we have a “seasoned rancher” in our lives! Jesus is often referred to as the Good Shepherd, and for good reason. Throughout the Bible, we are likened to sheep in need of direction and rescue. Jesus came to earth to physically, spiritually, and emotionally experience our trials firsthand. He came to answer our cries of help and to release us from the barbs of the evil one.

When the devil tries to ensnare you, there is no need to fight, struggle, and thrash. Instead, be still and call out to the attentive Good Shepherd. He tends to His flock faithfully and will be there for you in your time of need.

Lord, keep me from the snares of the world. Give me direction so I will not be entrapped by the barbs of the evil one.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 215). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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