Posts Tagged ‘Temptation

10
Aug
17

Jesus Was Real

The Apostle John made a very important point at the very beginning of his first letter – Jesus was real. He wrote in verse 1:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. – 1 John 1:1 (NIV)

Notice that John said that Jesus was heard, seen, looked at and touched. Jesus was not a ghost or a figment of his imagination. Jesus was real. Since Jesus was real, it means that He went through the full range of human experiences. He breathed air. He ate food. He probably stubbed His toe. He was even tempted to sin. What it all means is that Jesus knows what it is like to be human. This is why the Bible says that He can sympathize with us. Jesus is not aloof and unsympathetic toward us. He is kind and compassionate and that’s the kind of Savior we need and that’s the kind of Savior He is.
26
May
17

Resisting God and Surrendering To Temptation

Friendship with the world makes God your enemy. If God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, then we should be humble before God. Who wants God to be their enemy? James writes:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 (NIV)

Tragically, we often do the opposite. We resist God and surrender to temptation. When temptation comes calling, we ignore the Holy Spirit of God and His warnings to flee temptation. We welcome the devil and his offerings of temporary gratification. When we come to our senses and realize what we’ve done, guilt and shame set in and fear takes hold. Does God still love me in spite of what I’ve done? Will God welcome and accept me despite my sin? The answer is yes. God will not reject you because you’ve sinned. Jesus died for sinners like us in order to bring us to God. The invitation to surrender and submit to God is still there and we can accept it at any time.
15
May
17

The Power Of The Tongue

What if you could be perfect? What if you could overcome every temptation, struggle and sin in your life? What if you had the self-control and self-discipline to never sin? James says that if you could control your tongue, you would have the ability to be perfect. This is what he says:

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. – James 3:2 (NIV)

It takes more self-control to control your tongue than it does to control any other urge to sin in your entire body. In verses 3-6, James compares the tongue to a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder and the tiny spark that can start a raging wildfire. Though each of these things is relatively small, they can have a great impact. So it is with the tongue. This tiny part of our bodies, James says, can start a raging fire. If you could control your tongue, you could be perfect. That’s the power of the tongue.
17
Apr
17

God Doesn’t Tempt You

Have you ever heard someone say, “I think God is trying to see how strong I am” when it comes to temptation? James says that God and temptation are mutually exclusive. He wrote:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. – James 1:13-15 (NIV)

God will never tempt you to do the wrong thing in order to see how strong you are. Never. He isn’t trying to see if you can withstand the temptation to cheat on your spouse. He isn’t going to put something in front of you to see if you will steal it or not. He won’t tempt you to lie or cheat your way to the top at work. God doesn’t tempt you. But the Bible says that He will provide a way out when you are tempted. If you feel tempted to sin today, look for the way out and then take it. You’ll be glad that you didn’t do the wrong thing.
29
Mar
16

God’s Spirit Is Greater

1 John 4:4-6 (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
 
We oftentimes give the enemy too much credit.  The spirit of the antichrist (which John says is in the world in 1 John 4:3) is not greater than the Holy Spirit.  Those who deny Jesus Christ have the spirit of the antichrist.  Those who follow Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit is greater than the evil one.  God’s Spirit is more powerful than the devil.  For the follower of Jesus, the One living in you has already defeated Satan.
Do not give the enemy more credit than he is due.  Yes, the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.  But that doesn’t mean that he can can devour you.  Surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit and submit to His guidance.  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit when tempted by evil to deliver you from the temptation.  Don’t blame the devil every time you give in to temptation (“The devil made me do it”).  The enemy is dangerous, but he is also defeated.  God’s Son defeated Satan when He arose from the grave on that glorious Sunday morning!  We have Resurrection power living in us.  Let’s trust in God’s Spirit to empower us to overcome sin, temptation and the evil one.
PRAYER: Father, protect me from the evil one today.  On my own, I am weak.  But in You I find strength to overcome sin and temptation.  Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today for He is greater than the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, amen.
08
Feb
16

The Father Protects

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.

04
Feb
16

What Do I Look Like?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
— James 1:22-24 (NIV)

There are days when I hear my wife say something and I have no idea what she said.  She may as well have spoken to me in Japanese because I either did not listen or comprehend.  I heard words coming out of her mouth, but I did not listen to them.  I was either too busy to hear her or too distracted to understand.  She said something, possibly something important (“The toaster oven is on fire…again!”), but I failed to grasp its meaning or its importance.

James is tough stuff.  He tells us that we need to not only hear God’s Word, but we need to live it out.  There are several mirrors in our house and they are good for one thing.  That is fixing one’s appearance.  Either the clothes we are wearing or the goop in our hair, we use our mirrors.  I have never forgotten what color my eyes were (blue) or the color of my hair (brown, no gray like my younger brother) or the length of my hair (short to medium short depending on the season and time since my last haircut).  What I have done, though, is to hear God’s Word and forgotten to put it into practice.  How many times have I:

  • forgotten to love my neighbor, let alone my enemy?
  • had impure thoughts?
  • failed to treat others as I wanted to be treated?
  • not loved my wife as Christ loved the church?
  • lied?

I’m pretty sure that Scripture addresses all of these issues (and more!) and I know what it says, but I have failed to live out God’s Word.  I have heard it, but I haven’t lived it.  What about you?  How are you struggling to live out God’s Word today?  How many sermons have you heard but have forgotten by the time you hit the parking lot?  How many morning or evening devotions have you read but failed to apply that very day or the next?  May the Spirit call to mind those sermons, devotions and passages the next time we are tempted.  May God forgive our forgetfulness!

PRAYER:  Father, please forgive my forgetfulness.  I am guilty of not living out Your Word.  I know what Your Word says, but I often fail to apply it to my life.  Thank You for loving me and for forgiving my many sins.  In Jesus’ name, amen.




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