Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Temptation, James 1:13, 14

Two weeks ago my Pastor spoke on temptation as the theme for his morning sermon using this passage -- James 1:13-14, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”

And since then my friend and I have been tossing back and forth ideas about how it could be that Satan was able to tempt Jesus because He doesn’t have lusts. Well, my reasoning may not be completely correct, but this is what I’ve come up with so far . . . .

We are all of us tempted by our lusts, but being tempted is not the problem, for the Bible clearly says our Lord Jesus was indeed tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:2 and Matthew 4:1). But it is when we give in to that temptation that we sin. Satan tempted Jesus with human lusts – the exact same ones he uses to tempt us. But Jesus has no lustfulness in Him; therefore He did not give in to that temptation and did not sin.

As we grow in our walk with the Lord, becoming more sanctified, more mature, more Christ-like – our lustfulness begins to fade and temptations bother us less and less. However, even as I am writing this, I realize that our lusts are very much still there. The old sins may bother us less, but new sins have crept in – ever so subtly – to take their place; for example, the PRIDE that I’m not doing that “old” sin anymore.

But GLORY be to God that when tempted, Jesus, having ALL power and authority and being fully God, did not just “ZAP” the devil and make him stop bothering Him. No, instead He used the Bible to thwart Satan; the same Sword of the Spirit that every believer has to fight off Satan. Jesus gave us His example, using memory verses from the book of Deuteronomy, to rise above temptations.

And now, I have to stop writing in this blog and go memorize some more Scripture verses!

Ephesians 6:11, 17
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” -- including “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Journal Suggestions:

What sword-like verses has the Lord given to you for fighting Satan in your life?

Describe a time you were able to overcome a particular temptation by using Scripture.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Psalm 1 - The Truth of God's Word

Psalm 1:2-3 says, the Blessed Man … “delights in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

Here we find a 3-step plan every Christian should hope to follow:

Step 1: You “taste” Bible study a few times and you find it is a delight . . . it nourishes you and satisfies you, and before you know it –

Step 2: You begin to meditate upon the Word, both day and night. And as it becomes even more pleasant, you begin wondering how you ever lived without doing Bible study before now! Then one day –

Step 3: You wake up and realize that you are indeed PLANTED in the very words of the Lord – and there is just no other place you’d rather be! The Bible has become a precious and rich soil that the roots of your life fully enjoy and depend on daily to sustain your life. The roots of your soul are deep and they spread wider as time passes and you become more and more familiar with all the glorious richness found in the Bible.

Yes, as promised in Psalm 1, you’ve become firmly planted. And now, your leaf does not wither – even in drought, when life’s troubles and trials are blowing hard all around you – for your roots have found the ever-present Spring of Living Water.

-- Happy first birthday to my blog :-)

Mark 5:19
"Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you."

Journal Suggestions:

What has the Lord been teaching you?

Describe the path you took in becoming a person who digs into God’s Word.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Daniel in the Lion's Den

So why was Daniel in that lion’s den? As we read the story in Daniel 6, we find that the king saw he was a good over-seer and he was faithful to do a good job. Then the other over-seers were jealous. Rather than stepping up their game, following Daniel’s lead, they’d rather just make trouble for him so he looks bad and they’ll look good.

So how’s the story end? Well, Daniel doesn’t have a scratch on him after spending the whole night with the lions – seems they weren’t hungry enough to anger the Lord God! Lesson: we are taught here to be faithful to God in spite of any opposition. God is able to not only keep our souls safe from all harm, but our bodies too when that suits His purposes!