How often during the day to you experience temptation to sin?
How often do you fall to it?
Join the club.
We live our lives in the middle of a spiritual battlefield. There is an enemy of our soul who is literally hell bent on doing all he can to destroy us, or to render us as spiritually impotent and ineffective as possible. He hates God, His purposes and His ways. And he hates all who are children of God.
The Bible calls our enemy the Tempter. And he has you in his sights.
To resist temptation, it’s important to know the Tempter’s methods and strategies. And it’s important to know the resources God has provided for us to enable us to stand strong in the face of temptation.
Here is what the Bible teaches us about temptation:
1. God does not tempt us to sin.
James 1:13 makes it clear. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
2. Satan is the tempter.
Look no further than Matthew 4. Jesus was led into the wilderness by God. And in His weakest moment, after 40 days of fasting, who shows up? The tempter, seeking to derail his Messianic mission before it ever begins.
And Peter says that we will face the same kind of temptation. “Be sober-minded” he writes. “Be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
3. God governs temptation.
Read Job 1. It’s clear that no temptation happens unless God has permitted it to occur. Satan has power, but he can do nothing that God has not signed off on first.
4. Temptation is not sin.
Jesus was tempted. Jesus did not sin.
5. Temptation can lead us to sin.
James exposes how temptation works when he writes in James 1:14-15 “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
6. You are prone to sin. It’s your bent.
When we get to Romans 7, we’ll hear the Apostle Paul confess his own ongoing battle with sin. “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
Ever felt like that? Yeah, me too.
7. You cannot resist the Devil in your own strength.
We need the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10 ff). Let to your own devices, you’re a sitting duck. But greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
8. In Christ, it is possible to resist every temptation.
That’s what 1 Cor. 10:13 tells us. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
9. There is spiritual benefit that comes when we face and resist temptation.
Resisting temptation is like exercising a muscle. Every time you push back, the muscle gets stronger.
The Puritan John Owen said that “Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.
So how do we do battle against the tempter and his strategies? Here are seven things you can do today.
1. Pray daily that God will lead you not into temptation.
2. Watch and pray that you don’t fall into temptation.
3. Don’t go back again to the place where the temptation showed up the last time without safeguards in place.
4. When you face a temptation, cry out – out loud – and ask God for help.
5. Humble yourself with someone else and become accountable.
6. Determine ahead of time what will the be positive, proactive activity you will turn to instead of the falling to the temptation.
7. Remember the cross. As you contemplate the mercy and grace of God shown to us at Calvary, it reminds you of the price God paid to redeem you from your sin. And it strengthens you in your struggle.
Remember what James 4:7-10 teaches us.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Please continue to pray for Jeff and Lauren Brinsfield as Jeff recovers from his round of chemotherapy last week.
And continue to pray as well for Eric and Sherry Dahinden. Here is Eric’s update from today:
Sherry remains pretty much as she has been since we removed the ventilator and all medicines on Monday night. She is breathing regularly and peacefully. Still no higher level response. With the help of two Benadryl, I was able to sleep 8 hours. I was thinking that maybe Sherry was giving me the opportunity to get the rest that has been lacking most of this week…
My sister arrived from Australia this afternoon and we just got back to Sherry’s side. Her heart rate is accelerated and appears to be more variable. It is up to 110+ from a pretty constant 60 previously. Sherry opened her eyes as we talked to her and stroked her head. It is the same that I observed this morning. No cognitive response. They let us stay in the ICU room until my sister arrived. We may be looking at a move in the morning.
The doctors are using terms like persistent vegetative state. Which means we will have to transfer to Hospice soon. I need your prayers. Unless the Lord’s will is for miraculous healing her body needs to be at rest. I need wisdom and strength which only comes from above. Thank you.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Eric and Sherry.
So, we had a whole bunch of elementary aged folks at our church this morning…
The first of our four Kid’s Summer Fest events took place today. We had 16 kids who showed up to learn about Jesus as their rock, fortress, and deliverer, all from Psalm 18. The kids made pet rocks to remind them that our God is a relational God. They also painted larger rocks with Psalm 18:1 and decorated them to put in gardens or by the front door or their houses to be a reminder for them and their families.
Lots of moms helped out with the event, but an extra special shout out goes to Jen Gurney, Sarah Waymire, and Abby Elkins. Next Summer Kids Fest is in two weeks, on Wednesday, June 21, same time and place. We hope even more kids will come and learn more about Jesus.
Don’t forget to contact Matt or any of the elders if you are interested in being baptized on Sunday afternoon, July 9. We’ll be setting up a time to meet with all who are interested in baptism, so the sooner you can let us know you’re interested, the better!
This Sunday night – it’s Ice Cream and a movie!
As you know, we’ll be showing a new feature length movie that I’ve helped write and produce this year called Like Arrows: The Art of Parenting.
We’ll meet at church at 6:30 for ice cream sundaes. And the Kids Small Group team will be on hand to keep the 12 and under crowd busy while we show the movie.
Here’s big news for the unmarried, college age and up single people at RCC. You’re invited to dinner! Free food for you! Courtesy of Jim and Terry McMurry! All you have to do is RSVP and then show up on Friday night, June 16, at 6:30 PM at the McMurry’s house at 6 Pilot Lane in Little Rock.
Why are they doing this? Because it’s summer! Come have dinner, enjoy the fellowship and celebrate the start of summer!
And Jim says “If you want to play a game, bring it.”
PLEASE RSVP by text to Terry at 501-412-6875 so they’ll know how much food they need. And don’t wait until the night before, okay? I mean, c’mon!
Were people in the Old Testament saved by faith in Jesus? How could that be, since they didn’t even know His name? What exactly did Abraham believe that was credited to him as righteousness?
We’ll look at Romans 4:1-8 this week.
See you in church!
Soli Deo Gloria!