Summary: We hear many promises. Which ones do you believe?
Psalm 119:148 "My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises."
Have you ever had anyone lie to you before? Someone looks you right in the eye and completely lies to your face. When was the last time that happened to you? It actually happens to you every day in high school. Do you know who does that? It's Satan.
I bring this up because our Scripture lesson for this week talks about how we are to meditate on God's promises. But God's not the only one making promises to you. Every day, the Devil makes promises to you too, but all of his promises are lies.
"If you sin, you will be happier," this is the Devil's favorite lie, and you hear it every day in high school. Satan used it on Adam and Eve: "If you eat of that forbidden fruit, I promise you, you will be happier. You will be like God, knowing good and evil." Adam and Eve believed that promise, and as it turned out, they weren't happier. They were miserable. It was a lie. The Devil does the same thing to you today: "If you sin, you will be happier," the Devil says. "If you cheat, you'll be happier, because you'll get better grades. If you smoke or drink or do any kind of drugs, you'll be happier, because you'll feel a buzz or a high and it will help you relax." These are the false promises the Devil whispers in every teenager's and really every person's ear. "If you gossip, you'll be happier, because everyone will want to hear what you have to say." Have you ever believed those promises?
They don't come true, you know. The gossiping student eventually loses all of her friends because no one trusts her. The drinker or the drug addict eventually can't pay bills and or hold down a job and doesn't have any real friends because of his destructive behavior. The cheater keeps living a double life, but the guilt starts to gnaw at him, and his lies start to catch up to him. He's not happier. Nobody's happy. It was all a lie, a promise from the Devil that didn't come true. You will not be happier if you sin.
I hope this doesn't happen to you. It doesn't have to. The writer of the Psalms tells us how to avoid this mess. Listen to this passage: "My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises." Focus on God's promises, rather than on the Devil's promises, and you will be blessed.
God promises you, first of all, to forgive you for all the times you've fallen into the Devil's trap. Has there ever been a time in your life when you sinned, because you thought it would make you happier? You deserve to be punished by God for that sin. But God promises to forgive you. He promises to cover your sin with the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. "The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." That's a promise you can count on that is really true - you are really forgiven and really loved by God.
Don't believe the false promise of the Devil that you will be happier if you sin. It just isn't true. Instead, focus on the promises of God. Believe the one who died for you. Believe the one who promises to be with you always. Believe him, and not the Devil. You will be blessed if you are honest, promises God. You will be blessed if you work hard. If you obey your parents. If you stay away from things that harm your body. You will be blessed if you not only hear God's Word but do it. Jesus once said, "Blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and obey it." Believe the promises of Jesus, the One who has saved your soul, and you will be blessed.
Let's pray: Lord God, forgive us for sometimes believing the false promises of the Devil, that we will be happier when we sin. Forgive us for our sins and all of our sins. Help us to focus only on your promises, and to believe them.