This has been a wonderful week of service for me. I had the privilege to deliver Meals on Wheels three days this week delivering 184 meals. I also attended an awesome Brother Night Meeting on Thursday and revived some old revelations, as well made some new acquaintances. I have also enjoyed my studies and quite time a lot more this week. We had the honor of joining the Joe Dillard clan along with his brothers Harry and Sam with sister Carolyn from Calhoun, Ga. for lunch today. We so enjoy their company! Not all peaches & cream though, plenty went wrong, just nothing God couldn’t handle. Thankfully blessed!
At our monthly Brother Night Steve White presented us with a story of Reverend Billie Graham. The story went something like this; A story about Billy Graham goes something like this: In 1948 or 1949, after one of his famous evangelistic meetings, Graham returned to his hotel room to find a naked woman lying on his bed, ready to seduce him in an attempt to destroy his ministry. Graham, cautious and humble as usual, fled the hotel room and immediately implemented a rule that would come to bear his name: From that day forward, Graham would not travel (including by car), eat or meet alone with a woman other than his wife, Ruth.
The biblical definition in encyclopedia.com; In the Bible the word temptation primarily denotes a trial in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God; only secondarily does it signify allurement or seduction to sin…Temptation in the Biblical sense is a situation in which one experiences a challenge to choose between fidelity and infidelity to one's obligations toward God. James 1:14-15 (NLT), 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. No exceptions to the rule, we will all face temptation as long as we live life in the flesh. The question for each of us is; what can, and will we do about it?
In my years as a non-Christian and even in my early years as a Christian, this was a huge problem. My desires were as primal as man himself! What I wanted took precedence over everything else. Most of (no) all my worldly desires seem like a great idea at the time, but that time turned out to be short lived. You see; I gave very little thought to tomorrow and no thought at all, to the big picture, which has one day at a time unveiled itself for nearly 70 years. Looking back at my life, I see exactly what my pastor speaks of when he says, “there are 3 things you need to understand about sin; sin, will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay!”
Now here is something worth memorizing to help us out when we are tempted. Hebrews 2:18 (NLT), Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested. Just this week during my studies I ran across an article by David Pawson. In this article he stated the difference in Temptation and testing, which I thought was interesting. (This is in my words) temptation is of the devil, challenging and arousing one’s internal desires with the hope, they fail. Whereas testing is of God, for strengthening one toward completeness, in the hope that they pass. This was interesting to me as it fits right in with my subject today.
As a member of the human species, I have a real tendency from time to time to see how close to the edge of temptation I can walk and continue to remain faithful to God. There is a word to describe this action (besides stupid) and it’s DANGEROUS! Entertaining any part of temptation can only lead to disaster. This is best explained in the law of reaping and sowing. Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action; reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character reap a destiny. This is the path of both good and evil and it’s up to each of us to decide what we wish to reap!
The good news to this dilemma is found in 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT), By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. The bad news is, we have a part to play, we have to eat this, sleep this, believe this, live this and most of all depend on it! God has given us everything we need to defeat all temptation and pass every test as long as we believe He is the one who arose from the grave to atone for our sins. The good news is, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT), The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. Again, our part is to choose whether to take the way out or not! “No brainer! Right!”
I am closing today with a quote from Martin Luther, “In the worst temptations nothing can help us but faith that God's Son has put on flesh, is bone, sits at the right hand of the Father, and prays for us. There is no mightier comfort.” Remember; Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT), 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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