Friday, May 23, 2014

Precious Temptation

Read: Luke 4:1-15

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.                                      Luke 4:14

     When Jesus was here on the earth, He subjected Himself to many of the things that we are subject to today. He was God, so to make sure He remained sinless as a man, He could have removed all of the human qualities. He could have literally just been God in a human body. But Jesus, being full of compassion, wanted to feel everything we feel and experience everything we experience. So as one-hundred percent God, He became one-hundred percent man. That’s why He felt hunger. That’s why He felt sorrow. That’s why He felt anger and thirst and pain and agony. And that is also why He subjected Himself to temptation. Why would the creator of the universe allow Himself to be tempted to sin by one of the fallen angels that He had created? Why would He risk everything, including His ability to save, by allowing the opportunity to sin to be presented to Him at a time when he was humanly physically weak? The answer is quite simple: because He needed to prove that we can fight temptation, that we can endure it, and that we can walk out on the other side victorious.
     Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Temptation, though difficult to endure while we are experiencing it, can be a very precious thing. We are never more like Christ than when we face a temptation head-on, say no to that temptation, and come out stronger on the other side. That is exactly what resisting temptation does for us. It makes us stronger. Luke 4:14 says that Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit after He resisted temptation. If you want to gain permanent victory in your thought life, then you have to say no to those wicked thoughts the first time. If you want to stop listening to the wrong kind of music, then you must turn it off the first time. It works that way for any area of temptation. Once you say no the first time, it makes you stronger to say no the second, third, and fourth time, as well. Soon you will have victory over your area of struggle.
     If you are like me, then you hate to see temptation coming because it means there is going to be a battle. But, the next time it comes, remember that Christ has been where you are. He knows what you are going through. Invoke His help, and resist that temptation. You will come out stronger on the other side, and it will end up being a blessing in disguise.

Quote of the day: “Temptations are like bums – treat one nicely and he will return with many of his friends.”

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