Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Temptation

Today, I just want to jump in where I left off in yesterday's post. I left off with the idea that when we are in a difficult situation or facing temptation, we are also given the encouragement of those who came before us. The greatest encouragement we have in everything we face is Jesus, who faced the same temptations we face and lived a sinless life. Being perfect, He offered Himself as a sacrifice for all of us so that we could be right with God. He was scorned and mocked by the very sinners He sought to save, yet He continued on His mission because His love for us was greater than the temptation to walk away. That is why it is so important to turn our eyes to Him when we are overwhelmed by our temptations and situations. Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT) says,
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin."
 Jesus has done so much for us so that we could have victory over sin.  This is why it is so important to keep our thoughts on Him when we are struggling with temptation.  None of us are immune to temptation - even Jesus face it.  But that is the very reason we can turn to Him; He understands how overwhelming it can be at times and He also shows us that we can come out of it victorious.  We just need to turn to Him.  Hebrews 12:4 reminds us that He has done so much more than we have in our struggle against sin, so we have to turn to Him and remember His sacrifice.

James 1:12-13 (NLT) reminds us:
"God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else."
Our temptations may be a time of testing that God can use to perfect us; however, He is never the one who tempts us.  In fact, James 1 continues to tell us that our temptations come from our own desires.  But when we endure the temptation and trials, we have the promise of eternal life!  We fix our eyes on Jesus who endured so much more than we have and know that it is because of Him that the hope of this promise is ours.

Are you being tempted today?  Have you turned to Jesus and remembered His sacrifice?
 

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