Friday, February 10, 2017

Beware of Temptation

Chuckle: "A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read; I can't write; and they won't let me talk!"
Quote: "Temptation yielded to is lust deified, and is proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before." --Oswald Chambers

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it" (I Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT).
Excerpts from an old hymn go like this: "Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. . . Ask the Savior to help you, Comfort, strengthen, and keep you; He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through." There you have it, yielding is the problem. Yielding to temptation is devastating to a believer. Temptation overcame Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and they yielded. It can happen to each of us.
How often have you heard the expression, "The Devil made me do it?" This "tongue-in-cheek" excuse reflects an unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions. It is often used to shift responsibility for our actions to the evil one when, in fact, it was our choice to do wrong. You see, what gets us into trouble is not being tempted, but yielding to that temptation which, in turn, results in sin. Paul encouraged the Corinthian Christians in dealing with temptation and gives us several truths about temptation.
1. Temptation comes to everyone, so don't feel singled out as if something unusual is happening to you. The Tempter is no respecter of persons. He is described as a "roaring lion walking about seeking those he can devour" -- get you to yield to temptation (I Peter 5:8). He subtly attacks us where we are the weakest.
2. Others have resisted temptation, and so can you if you live everyday in close fellowship with your Lord and pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to help you. Here, we have a promise that God will not allow his own to experience temptation so strong they can't stand against it. You cannot resist yielding in your own strength, but must depend upon the Spirit’s supernatural strength.
3. Any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out. He will lead you to stay on guard and alert to the wiles of Satan by helping you to stay strong in your faith. There are no moral holidays. There is no freedom from Satan's attack, but there is a power to help you deal with these attacks if you have a genuine desire not to sin.
4. Avoid those people and situations that give you trouble. Run from anything you know is wrong. Choose to do only what is right and pray for God's help. Never say "maybe" to temptation, but a firm "no!" Don't leave the door ajar, but slam it shut. "When you flee temptation, don’t leave a forwarding address!"
5. Recognize that God never tempts us to do wrong. I heard about a man who said to his pastor, "I feel the Lord leading me to divorce my wife and marry another." What's wrong with this picture? Everything! Such a view is totally inconsistent with God's Word and his character.
If you are alive, you are being tempted at this very moment. The devil is after you. Listen to God through his Word and gain victory in his strength.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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