Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Way Out When Tempted

Chuckle:  "A pastor had a lady in his church who was so into TV soap operas that she would even mention some of the characters in prayer on Wednesday nights."
Good Quote:   “Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.  --Unknown source 
"When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so you will not give in to it" (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).
No doubt you and I will be tempted to sin many times today and every day.  We are all tempted as long as we are alive.  We need not feel guilty about being tempted because even Jesus was tempted.  "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18 NIV).  "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin" (Hebrews 5:15 NIV).  The issue is not whether or not we will be tempted to sin; that's a given.  The issue is how do we react when tempted. 
The word translated as "tempted" sometimes means "tested."  Sometimes God allows us to be tempted to test our spiritual metal.  We know that when we are tested, God's purpose is to strengthen our faith and dependence upon Him.  God tested Abraham's faith and obedience by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering.  However, it was never God's intention for Isaac to be killed -- it was a test to strengthen Abraham.  You will remember that God provided a ram at the last moment after Abraham had proven his loyalty to God.  Abraham passed the test of faith. 
Temptations to sin are always from the evil one, never from God.  "When tempted, no one should say God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone" (James 1:13 NIV).  If you are a Christian, I'm sure Satan wrings his hands in glee when you yield to a temptation and are drawn into sin.  He not only has destroyed your joy and peace with God but he has destroyed your testimony and credibility as His ambassador.  Satan knows your sin will negatively affect others around you and bring discredit upon our Lord and His church.  But God, through His indwelling Spirit, has provided the strength for us to resist temptation.  "The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation" (2 Peter 2:9 NASB). 
To successfully resist Satan's temptations, turn your heart toward God and make a promise to yourself that when you face temptation you will turn away from it and take that temptation to God and receive His strength to resist it.  He will show you the terrible consequences if you yield and sin; but He will also show you the way out, in His strength, and lead you to be victorious in every situation.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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