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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Temptation is all around us

Thought for the Day: "For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world." (1 John 2: 16)

In Mark 1: 9-13 it is recorded that Jesus was baptized with water by John in the Jordan River. When he arose from the water, Jesus saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descend upon Him like a dove. God the Father says, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' The Spirit then leads Jesus to the wilderness, where He fasted 40 days and 40 nights before being tempted by Satan.

"For in that He himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." (Hebrews 2: 18)

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4: 15)

Temptation comes from Satan, our battles within. Mine comes from eating, not necessarily overeating, but eating those things which are not necessarily good for my body. God Himself does not tempt us. God the Father nor God the Son has anything to prove to Satan nor to us. Satan is out to prove Jesus is not sinless, not worthy. God's purpose for allowing Satan to tempt His son was to prove otherwise, and it was so.

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed (lured). Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (sorrow, mourning, great loss)." (James 1: 13-15)

Temptation comes in many forms -- it is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, all that is in and of the world. Lust - what is lust? It is an obsessive craving, a desire for what is forbidden, that which is contrary to God's will. Such as unrestrained sexual desires for men and women in heterosexual and homosexual relationships, masturbation, fornication, money, power, power, pleasure, alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography, possessions, eating disorders, abusive relationships. In connection with this, I came across an article on Lifeway about the temptations young people may face as they step from high school to college and beyond. Read Off to College: 10 Strategies for Beating Temptations.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10: 13)

God tests us to bring us in closer fellowship with Him, but He never tempts us. When God tests us it is to produce patience, endurance.

"And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matthew 6: 13)

"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
(Matthew 26: 41)

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4: 16)

Prayer: Dear Lord, Please, I pray, keep the devil from gaining a foothold into my mind and causing me to give in to forbidden desires. Please help me be obedient to Your will, not mine. In your name I pray. Amen.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6