Ever been in a situation where people try to twist your word or trip you up?

No manipulation zone

People come looking like they want your help or advice, but that isn’t their true intention. They act authentic but the reality is they are trying to trick you or trip you up. You need wisdom when people come to you. You need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to speak into the situation so that you know what they are really trying to do and so that the answer you give is one that will stand and won’t allow them to trip you up. Don’t walk in fear, but put all of your hope and trust in God! He is Love! He is Light! There is no darkness in Him!

Let’s allow God to guide our step, our thoughts, our words, and our actions!

This morning’s reading starts out on this theme, let’s first take a look there…

The Question about Paying Taxes

(Matthew 22.15-22; Mark 12.13-17)
19The teachers of the Law and the chief priests tried to arrest Jesus on the spot, because they knew that he had told this parable against them; but they were afraid of the people. 20So they looked for an opportunity. They bribed some men to pretend they were sincere, and they sent them to trap Jesus with questions, so that they could hand him over to the authority and power of the Roman Governor. 21These spies said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is right. We know that you pay no attention to anyone’s status, but teach the truth about God’s will for people. 22Tell us, is it against our Law for us to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?” 23But Jesus saw through their trick and said to them, 24“Show me a silver coin. Whose face and name are these on it?” “The Emperor’s,” they answered. 25So Jesus said, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” 26There before the people they could not catch him in a thing, so they kept quiet, amazed at his answer. –from Luke 20

Ever noticed they even try to butter you up first? Ever notice they try to pump up your pride first before they try to trick you? They did to Jesus too …”pretended to be sincere”, “we know what you say and teach is right”, …

Don’t be fooled, allow God’s wisdom to lead you and guide your answers!

Where are you at today? What will you face? In whom will you trust? In whom will you depend?

11God has appointed me as an apostle and teacher to proclaim the Good News, 12and it is for this reason that I suffer these things. But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me. 13Hold firmly to the true words that I taught you, as the example for you to follow, and remain in the faith and love that are ours in union with Christ Jesus. 14Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, keep the good things that have been entrusted to you. 15You know that everyone in the province of Asia, including Phygelus and Hermogenes, has deserted me. 16May the Lord show mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, because he cheered me up many times. He was not ashamed that I am in prison, 17but as soon as he arrived in Rome, he started looking for me until he found me. 18May the Lord grant him his mercy on that Day! And you know very well how much he did for me in Ephesus. –from 2 Timothy 1

Let’s hold onto the truth! Let’s remember the one source that is dependable and unshakable! Let’s not be shaken, but rather remain in the faith, in the love that comes from our relationship with Jesus! Let’s stand firm on the foundation on which we have been put of Jesus Christ! Let’s build our lives upon Him!

15Condemning the innocent or letting the wicked go—both are hateful to the Lord. 16It does a fool no good to spend money on an education, because he has no common sense. 17Friends always show their love. What are relatives for if not to share trouble? 18Only someone with no sense would promise to be responsible for someone else’s debts. 19To like sin is to like making trouble. If you brag all the time, you are asking for trouble. 20Anyone who thinks and speaks evil can expect to find nothing good—only disaster. 21There is nothing but sadness and sorrow for parents whose children do foolish things. 22Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time. 23Corrupt judges accept secret bribes, and then justice is not done. 24An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions. 25Foolish children bring grief to their fathers and bitter regrets to their mothers. 26It is not right to make an innocent person pay a fine; justice is perverted when good people are punished. 27Those who are sure of themselves do not talk all the time. People who stay calm have real insight. 28After all, even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet and keep their mouths shut. –from Proverbs 17

God is just! Let’s live and do what is right in His eyes! Let’s be more than just book smart, let’s allow God to give us minds with clear thoughts and common sense. It’s not all about you, it’s about God working in and through you for the glory of His kingdom! so let’s not allow ourselves to be deceived, but rather, let’s  be lead and guided by the Holy Spirit into the place where God wants us to be and to glorify Him! Don’t allow pride to fill you for pride comes before the fall. Don’t allow others to fill your head with pride and then see yourself falling into a ditch.

Put your hope and trust in God! Allow Him to lead your path and make it straight!

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