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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, December 20, 2014
I wanted to include a portion of Faye Roots’ (Queensland, Australia) story written in The Upper Room titled “TEMPTED.”
“Our lives are filled with major temptations. However, Christ can give us the strength to triumph, even in the little ones.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God will see and know the choices we make
Prayer: Dear Lord, keep our hearts pure before you. In the little temptations as well as major choices, be our guide and strength this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Temptation comes from evil desires inside us, not from God. It begins with an evil thought and becomes sin when we dwell on the thought and allow it to become an action. Like a snowball rolling downhill, sin grows more destructive the more we let it have its way. The best time to stop a temptation is before it is too strong or moving too fast to control. See Matthew 4:1-111; 1 Corinthians 10:132; and 2 Timothy 2:223 for more about escaping temptation.
People who live for God often wonder why they still have temptations. Does God tempt them? God tests people, but he does not tempt them by trying to seduce them to sin. God allows Satan to tempt people, however, in order to refine their faith and to help them grow in their dependence on Christ. We can resist the temptation to sin by turning to God for strength and choosing to obey his Word.
It is easy to blame others and make excuses for evil thoughts and wrong actions. We use excuses such as: (1) It’s the other person’s fault; (2) I couldn’t help it; (3) everybody’s doing it; (4) it was just a mistake; (5) nobody’s perfect; (6) the Devil made me do it; (7) I was pressured into it; (8) I didn’t know it was wrong; or (9) God is tempting me. A person who makes excuses is trying to shift the blame from himself or herself to something or someone else. A Christian, on the other hand, accepts responsibility for his or her wrongs, confesses them, and asks God for forgiveness.
The Bible often compares goodness with light and evil with darkness. (NLT)
James 1:12-18 – God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession.
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
DECEIVE, DECEIT, DECEPTION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/deceive-deceit-deception/
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
ACHIEVEMENT, ACHIEVEMENTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/achievement-achievements/
PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perseverance-persevere/
HURT, HURTING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hurt-hurting/
1 The Devil’s temptations focused on three crucial areas: (1) physical needs and desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride. But Jesus did not give in. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.” He knows firsthand what we are experiencing, and he is willing and able to help us in our struggles. When you are tempted, turn to him for strength. (NLT)
Matthew 4:1-11 – Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. Then the Devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.”
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.’”
Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.’”
Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”
Next the Devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will only kneel down and worship me.”
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’”
Then the Devil went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.
2 In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul encouraged the Corinthians about temptation. He said that (1) temptations happen to everyone, so don’t feel you’ve been singled out; (2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out. God will help you in resisting temptation by helping you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, (2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what is right, (4) pray for God’s help and (5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted. Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 10:13 – 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.
3 Running away is sometimes considered cowardly. But wise people realize that removing themselves physically from temptation often can be the most courageous action to take. Timothy, a young man, was warned to run from anything that produced evil thoughts. Do you have a recurring temptation that is difficult to resist? Remove yourself physically from any situation that stimulates your desire to sin. Knowing when to run is as important in spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight. (See also 1 Timothy 6:11-124.) (NLT)
2 Timothy 2:22 – Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
4 Paul uses active and forceful verbs to describe the Christ life: run, pursue, fight, hold tightly. Some think Christianity is a passive religion that advocates waiting for God to act. On the contrary, we must have an active faith, obeying God with courage and doing what we know is right. Is it time for action of your part? Don’t wait—get going! (NLT)
1 Timothy 6:11-12 – But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
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