Teachers always have an uncanny ability to catch the troublemakers. A friend and I decided to take the day off from school and play hooky. But since we had already arrived at school when we had crafted our ingenious plan, we walked a block away before calling a taxi to take us on our daring adventure. When the taxi stopped to pick us up, it already had another passenger inside. To our horror, it was our teacher! Guess who stepped inside? Boy was she shocked to see us, but not as surprised as we were at seeing her.

Our teacher asked us, “Where are you boys going?”

I quickly said, “To school.” She never found out why we were taking a taxi to school that day, but the fact that she was in the taxicab with us motivated us to change our plans and go to school.

The law is just like my former school teacher whose presence reminded me about the rules. While the law can show us what is right and wrong, it cannot make us do what’s right. We have to make this choice for ourselves. One wrong choice is enough to condemn us forever: the penalty for breaking God’s law is death. This is why Jesus came. He perfectly kept the law, and then He paid the death penalty in our place on the cross. When we put our trust in His death and shed blood, He gives us eternal life. Then He gives us His Holy Spirit to help us obey His laws and commandments.

God has put teachers in each of our lives to remind us about the guidelines He wants us to follow. Parents, pastors, mentors, and teachers can all help point us in the right direction — but they can’t make us do what’s right. It’s not until we put our trust in Christ that He can help us overcome our sinful desires and live in obedience to His Word and the people He has put over us. Because He is always with us, we should think twice before playing hooky.

The first step toward right actions begins with a relationship — with Jesus Christ. Click here to learn how to begin.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder