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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000”

What might be the heaviest moment of today’s episode?

The townsfolk of Ponyville spent a great deal of this episode being rather unhappy about the cider situation and, in particular, Sweet Apple Acres. They complained a lot about how it took too long to make their cider, how they never had enough for everypony, and how they all had to wait for hours to get even a single stein…and often only to find they had run out. They were frequently upset that the Apples couldn’t keep up with the demand, with some of their irritation turning almost into personal animosity against them. When the Flim Flam Brothers came to town with their own cider-making machine, promising to give them all cider far quicker and in greater supply than the Apples could produce, many of them were rather keen on the idea and the hope that it could finally satiate the demands of everypony in town.

Yet that changed a bit once the Apples lost the contest to the Flim Flam Brothers, when the townsfolk saw that the price of getting what they wanted was a tad hollow compared to having the Apples being forced off of their family farm. After all, Applejack and her family were known by the whole down, and Applejack had the reputation of being one of the most dependable and helpful citizens. They realized they were going to lose her…and all they’d get for it was cider.

I know I’ve been in the place of those townsfolk before. There have been certain desires I wanted more than anything. Maybe it would be for a material good. Maybe it would be to “zing” someone or get even with them. Maybe it would even be to indulge in a sin or two or some other temptation. At the time, that was all I could think about. And all I could focus on was the pleasure I’d receive from having the item or saying the insult or getting the revenge or indulging myself. It seemed that would be the best thing. Yet in the end…once I had what I was thinking about…I realized just how petty it was, and how whatever guilt, shame, or even negative consequences I received far outweighed the momentary good. As soon as my emotion and passion died down, I felt more awful than ever. And I found myself wishing I could have felt as bad as I did now back before I did the act, because then I wouldn’t have gone through with it.

One of the most oft-quoted lines from the Book of Proverbs is 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” A more common proverb that can go along with it is “Hindsight is 20/20”. Temptation, desire, and perhaps even most sin always feels “good” at the moment. If it didn’t feel good, no one would ever do it, after all. It might be the benefits it confers sometimes, however unjust or petty. It might be the sense of pride or satisfaction. It might even be the “emotional high” we get from it. But just as the Bible says, the end is always “death”. Eventually the pleasure runs out. Eventually the high diminishes. And eventually we’re left in a place worse than before and asking ourselves “if only”. We get exactly what we want but we lose what we didn’t even know we had. And, just as the Bible says, in the worst case this ends up in death…not just physical but eternal.

The fact is that emotions can lie to us. Passions toy with us. And focusing extensively hard on something we don’t really need or is even harmful gradually blocks out everything around us until all we see is that desire, and at that point we will eventually act on it…and end up wondering why we didn’t think to avoid it before.

The remedy in this is also located in Proverbs, in particular 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” The rules and advice for healthy living that are located in the Bible are universal and unchanging; regardless of time, seasons, country, or frame of reference. It is the Word of God, and the Word of God neither changes nor goes unfulfilled. Because of this, when faced with temptation or an inclination to sin, we need to turn to it and/or pray to him for his revelation on the subject at hand. While human understanding or perception can be flawed or skewed, Romans 2:11 declares: “For God shows no partiality.” He reveals the truth and his word on a situation to those who ask it of him, and makes his command clear to those who consult him.

The only remaining question is if we are willing to ask.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your Word. In the words of David, (Psalm 19:7-10) ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.’ When faced with temptation or desire, please help me to meditate and live by them. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”