The Grizzly

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
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Listen while you read: "Now Thank We All Our God"1 (Lyrics)

As I approached the Yukon border, I noticed a bear hunkered down beside a highway sign. Slowing down in case he decided to run onto the road, I was amazed when he stood up on his hind legs and began waving at me with his left arm and paw. It was like he was trying to flag me down and hitch a ride to Whitehorse. His antics were so hilarious, I couldn't help but laugh. If I hadn't known better, I would have been tempted to stop and roll down my truck window to greet him, as he was a gorgeous, beautiful, blond grizzly with darker paws and lower legs, the first in that colour that I had ever seen. Fortunately, though, I did know better.

Knowing better about situations is important, especially in terms of knowing the difference between good and evil in this world. The book of Hebrews provides a solution to this dilemma:

Hebrews 5:13-14 – Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (NIV)

Being able to distinguish good from evil is a skill that comes through the constant use of righteousness, doing as God calls us to do through His Word, that we might be divinely and morally right. Constant use means just that. In a world that is teaching more and more that all religions are good, that there are many ways to heaven, and that everything anyone does is morally acceptable based on their own personal view, we must be diligent and not become lazy in regard to continuing to grow in Christ Jesus and the righteousness of His teachings. Being bombarded with material through books, the Internet, television, and movies, which constantly present immorality as normal and right, can have a very subtle effect upon our minds. I have discovered that when I hear or watch something often enough, my conscience and reactions can gradually become less and less offended and more and more accepting. I must therefore think not as merely human but as the kind of Christian that Paul encourages:

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

How about you? Do you know better when it comes to distinguishing good from evil? Are you continuing to develop your skill through the constant use of righteousness and the renewal of your mind? I hope so, as there are a lot of worldly grizzly bear situations out there just waiting for the unwary to come along and embrace them, and which never lead to a good end.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that through Christ Jesus, we have the daily opportunity to be renewing our minds, so that we are able to test and approve what Your good, pleasing, and perfect will is. Keep us diligent to the end in this matter, O Lord, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    A good message, Lynne. Thanks.

    Excellent post, thank you for the great reminder. God bless you!

    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this grizzly encounter and devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thanks, Lynne
    It is always refreshing to be inspired by you.

    Today’s is a powerful devotional Lynne Phipps.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for that illustration re the “grizzly”. Knowing what is right and not doing it can have dangerous consequences.

    Hi Lynne, thanks for the devotional – so well said!
    Quite the story about the grizzly! Glad you didn’t get out.

    O great! Another one that sticks in the brain due your superb use of language and metaphor today, Lynne. Thanks for the vivid bear description and its application.

    Thank you, Lynne: WE do get so brainwashed that after a while, we just stop fighting, or put our angst into some new or worse attack, and thus accept the former by default. We must be vigilant.

    Lynne- I always so enjoy your devotionals. The antics of the bear – wow!! Then you turn this around and give us a much needed lesson – we must know better than to give in to our initial thoughts. Thank you for sharing this important message Lynne. God Bless you.

    Good Morning, Lynne,
    Today after reading your current devotional contribution, I thought, well, I need to send this to all the grandchildren. Nonetheless, you should know that the devotional, like many of yours, struck a chord with me.
    Thank you.

    Hi Lynne….What a beautiful creature you have described in “The Grizzly”! I am envious in that we would certainly not see one of those bears in this part of Canada. Just as well, perhaps. Once again you have hit upon an excellent analogy for a life lesson. Thank you! Please stay friendly with this creature; he may remember you the next time you meet. Blessings,

    Wow! I think I would have stopped to see if he needed help!! As our pastors are both retiring soon, I’ve been thinking about all the extra time I’ll have since there won’t be the same Bible studies twice a week and possibly no daily morning prayer service. Your story makes me think again – that I’ll need to replace those times with the Lord with new times with Him.

    Hi Lynne:
    After handing the grizzly a peanut butter and honey sandwich, I would have been his/her lunch as well! Love bears!
    Seriously though, I know what you mean in your devotional. Being a Christian is hard work. Struggling to do the will of God and living as Jesus loved can be daunting and at times I find confusing. It is something I pray about diligently.
    Stay safe out there my friend and God be with you always.

    Hi Lynne, …a Grizzly! Oh my! Your devotional was wonderful, a very well-illustrated, instructive, reminder for us to be diligent in God’s Word so we are able to discern matters of good and evil. Thank you!

    Hello, Lynne,
    Just a note to say how much I appreciated your devotional.
    Keep up your writing skills and good health for our Lord’s sake.

    Hi Lynn,
    As soon as I read the devotional I thought it might be from you. While living in northern BC we never did see any grizzlies, but black bears roamed our camp on the Alaska on a regular basis.
    You asked the question about keeping good from evil. We do our best to keep walking the straight and narrow.
    Thank you for writing another good devotional.

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