Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 29, 2014
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18
Temptation illustrates our struggle to remain true to God and His will, or to take pleasure in doing life our way. “All Of Grace,” not “I Did It My Way” is a sample epitaph for a loyal disciple of Jesus. Like a faithful wife who rebuffs the flirtatious overtures of a man not her own, so we are a faithful bride of Christ when we reject the advances of sin’s attractiveness. It may feel good to our body and emotions to give in, but our soul knows better. It is the superior standard we obey.
Temptation is not a sin, but it can lead to sin. More than likely, as long as we are breathing we will be tempted. Thus, we are wise not to take pleasure in temptation for this is a slippery slope to sin. Why traffic near the edge of sin’s darkness, when we can travel on God’s brightly lit highway of love. The neon signs of sin flash with their dark backdrop promising fun, while leaving undisclosed the cost of capitulation to Christ-less living. Reckless risks lead to regret. Don’t say, ‘It’s just one time,’ or ‘No one will find out.’ Guilty feelings make good guardians.
“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 4:16).
Furthermore, the most effective deterrent to falling into temptation is falling more in love with Jesus. We want to be with Him, because we love Him. We want to please Him, because we love Him. We want to be admired by Him, because we love Him. We want to obey Him, because we love Him. We want to remain faithful to Him, because we love Him. We want to walk with Him and walk away from sin, because we love Him. Our mature and growing love for Jesus leads us away from temptation and into wise choices. Love desires not to disappoint the object of its affection.
So, how do we grow in our love for Christ? Similar to a growing marriage relationship, it takes intentionality. Intentional with our time, so we compare calendars weekly and schedule time to be together. Intentional with our emotions, so we develop skills to better understand each other. Intentional with our intellect, so we learn together. Read the gospels and enter into the story as one of the characters. What do you feel? Ask the Spirit to reveal what you need to know about Jesus. The more you get to know Him, the more you love Him. Temptation melts in fear, in the face of your love for God. When tempted–love for the Lord looks for and finds His way out.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me into a deeper love relationship with You and away from temptation’s affections.
Related Readings: Proverbs 5:1-23; Hosea 3:1-2; John 3:27-30; James 1:13-14
Post/Tweet today: Our growing love for Jesus leads us away from temptation. Love desires not to disappoint the object of its affection. #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Dr. Stanley 4 min. video, Overcoming Temptation- http://bit.ly/1pQPyrj
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