Sunday, January 31, 2016

1 Corinthians 13: But Have Not Love

But Have Not Love

In verse 1 Paul starts off naming the spiritual gifts and calls out the lack of importance they have and how insignificant the person is without love in their hearts. Imagine you have the spiritual gift of wisdom or knowledge or speaking in tongues but you are just not a loving person. How wasteful would that be to have that gift and not be loving. The next thing we look at is how to define love.

If you have ever been to a wedding then you more than likely have heard 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. In these verses Paul uncovers what love is. He says it is patient and kind and does not boast and whole host of other descriptive terms. But if you read verse 8 you will see that love cannot fail. The verse reads "love never fails." If you love someone and you no longer love them, you never loved them. You may have loved the feeling of being around them. You may have loved how they made you feel, but did you actually love them? If you did, then it would not be past tense.Love doesn't end and it cannot fail.

The last verse is 1 Corinthians 13:13 points out three attributes- faith, hope and love. We might say that faith is the most important to have as in faith in God. Or maybe hope is the most important as in hope that God will answer prayers. But if there is no love of God and love for others, then what do the others matter? Paul says the greatest of those three is love and God shows this to us by having sent his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual Gifts and One Body

Spiritual Gifts and One Body

There are various types of spiritual gifts. These are not just things that you are good at, but gifts given to you by God for the "manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (verse 7)." The gifts are listed in verses 8-11 and range from utterances of wisdom and knowledge in the same spirit, prophecy, miracles and tongues. All these gifts are of the same spirit and not different ones. Why would Paul be pointing this out? Because there needed to be an understanding that the spiritual gifts were under the same God and this could also help create more unity which the Corinthian church lacked. 

We see in regard to spiritual gifts (verse 13) a solid statement by Paul that whether Jew or Greek or slave or free, our source is under the same Jesus. He continues and tells us that the body does not consist of one member but many. If everyone had the same gift then there would be missing needs in the church. In verse 17 he explains that if a body was an eye then how would you hear or be able to smell. Each gift is important and special and needed for the church and God to be given glory.In summation, verse 27 tells us that we are all the body of Christ and individually members of it.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Focus #24

Do Not Sit in Shame

When we look at the sword shame you can attribute it to various parts in your life such as guilt, shortcoming or embarrassment. You could feel guilt and shame from getting caught doing something you know you should not have (like stealing). Or you could feel shame from losing a competition (athletic, academic or business). Or you could have been trying to make a solid impression (maybe for a job) and you find out that how you saw yourself is not how you were seen. All these situations and many others can bring about that feeling of shame. It hurts. It hurts in public and it really hurts in private. But remember, God does not want you to carry that feeling. It does nothing good for you nor does it honor Him.
Shame started with Adam and Eve when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Adam heard God coming he hid. The text reads he was afraid (Genesis 3:10), but if you know you have done something wrong and the person who told you not to do it is coming back and they will see you did exactly what they said not to do, you will feel shame. Shame starts here but it does not end here as we know that God is our shield (Psalm 3:3) and when we do as He commands (for our own good) then we avoid shame.

For those who have accepted Christ we also know that there is no shame in that. When we   mess up and repent, we sin no more. We do not carry that shame of the sin with us. That is not necessary. Granted, you will remember what you did and seek to avoid that again, but to carry the burden of the shame around with you does not honor God or your mission to fulfill His purposes for your life. 


Thursday, January 28, 2016

1 Corinthians 11: Christlike, Leadership and Unity

Christlike, Leadership and Unity

Paul starts off in verse 1 by stating something so simple, but yet it is so deep. He says "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." He shows his leader ship and authority but also shows that he is under authority under Christ. Imagine working for a big company and your boss is the president but the president also has a boss which is the CEO/owner. Paul has authority but is not the ultimate authority.

The word "head" in this section as a simple understanding means source. So, when Paul says God is the head of man and man is the head of woman, that means that from x came y. If you go back to Genesis and read about the creation of man and woman then you see where that comes from. But head also meant authority, not as in controlling but as in leader or lead. This verse (3) is where people get confused and refer to the Bible as sexist and what not, but this is a farce as there are plenty of women God has used to do wonderful things in the Lord. 

1 Corinthians 11:20-21 calls out the believers who were not united in the church when it came to eating. He says people were having different meals when they used to share a common meal. He calls them out for having different meals and getting drunk at church to show proof that they were not unified.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Wake Up #24

It Cannot Be Unsaid or Unheard

I remember being in a men's group at Saddleback Church a couple of years ago and discussing how saying mean or hurtful things is just like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. Once it comes out, it cannot go back in. The damage has already begun to take place. "I'm sorry" doesn't take the words back or make it so it never even happened. Another way to think about this too is what we type/text to people. Once they have read it, it cannot be unread. The eyes have already taken those words in. We need to be more mindful of what we say to people (and type) so that our words are coming from a place of love and not from anger that could lead us to regret them later.

If you have read through Proverbs, you have seen a ton of verses that could easily be used as daily reminders for self control. One of those verses is Proverbs 12:18. It compares our words to swords which cut deeply and or tongues (if used by the wise) as a source that can bring healing. Do we really want to be known as the type of person who uses harsh and rash words that just cut at people all the time? Or would you rather be known as someone who is looked at as one who brings healing with their words? I would rather be the latter rather than the former as I seek to do what is pleasing to God, not people. It might be very easy to do what others expect or would do in your shoes, but they don't have to deal with the consequences of your words, but you do. So instead of doing what you may feel pressured to do by people and expected social norms, do what you feel led to do by God.

And sometimes we can get caught up and say that we are just being honest or just speaking the truth. But, is the truth and honesty rooted in helping someone with love that builds them up? In Ephesians 4:29 we are given a reminder to not give into any unwholesome talk and let what comes out of our mouths be what builds others up. What we say needs to be helpful. Not helpful for doing what we want them to do, but what God would want them to do. It also needs to be for their benefit and for those who hear it. 

In Psalm 19:14 we look at the source from where our words should come. As stated previously is it what is it just that it is socially normal to speak that way or does it need to come from God's will. The focus of the verse is on the words and the heart being acceptable to God. He is where we look for our guidance as to what we should be saying and what we let come out from our hearts. Once it is said it cannot be unsaid, so make sure before you say it that it is pleasing to God.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1 Corinthians 10: Temptation and Idolatry

Temptation and Idolatry

Paul wanted to warn the Corinthian Christians against idolatry. He is still on the point of eating food that has been offered to idols. Paul saw that as a temptation and idol worship. Of course it is. If you eat something offered to a god and not God, that is idolatry. The temptation comes from that when the desire is to do that which God would not honor. As natural as you may feel it is, which it may very well be, giving into that is still temptation.We must remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 as rely on that to pull away when we are tempted.

1 Corinthians 10:21 shows us that Paul was trying to keep people from having a dual partnership with demons and with God. You cannot drink from a cup or eat of food offered to demons and still be on God's side. that would not honor God. As much as people might have said "Paul leave us alone, it is not hurting anybody", they would have been sadly mistaken. I hear many people in these days say that certain things are natural or no big deal and "mind your own business", but being that Paul built that church and believers were getting it wrong, he had to say something.

Lastly, 1 Corinthians 10:23 has been used out of context numerous times. I have heard it used to validate someone's sinful behavior while only quoting the "all things are lawful" part while completely ignoring the context of the chapter and of this letter to the Corinthians. It wasn't about "how bad is it" it is about "how good is it." Paul points out "not all things build up" which means not all things that are allowable as your own personal rights as humans are able to build you up as Christians. Our rights under Christ are what matters most.


Monday, January 25, 2016

1 Corinthians 9: Giving Up Rights

Giving Up Rights

This chapter shows us how Paul is perhaps becoming frustrated to have to keep correcting things that have become excuses for the Corinthians Christians. They saw it as their right to eat meat that had been dedicated to idols, yet Paul says that they only have rights under Christ. He uses himself as an example that he has rights as a human as well, but since he is an apostle of Christ who has seen an accurate vision of Christ (post resurrection) that he submits to Christ rather than human desires and rights (1 Corinthians 9:1-7).

Paul had planted churches and decided to pay his own way through things rather than allow people to say that money was his motivation in the ministry. He points out that he has a right to do so but did not. The point here is that even though he has the right to do something, he chose not to, unlike the Corinthian Christians who had rights and gave into them rather than submit to the will of God (1 Corinthians 9:15). 

Paul's final point was that athlete's do things for a prize, at the time it was a wreath. That prize does not last. But we as Christ followers "fight" for a prize that does not perish. that should be our focus on the prize that does not perish (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

1 Corinthians 8: From One God

From One God

This chapter is a short one, but let us understand one very important verse. In verse 6, Paul breaks down that there is one God who is our Father that created all things and is the reason we exist. Then he continues by telling us there is one Lord, that is Jesus, and through him (not from- see the difference) we exist and are all things. There was an issue with people dedicating food to idols and eating it and serving other "gods" but Paul needed the church to recognize that there is one God and no more.

Paul then reminds the church members in verses 7-13 that if their eating of a meat, especially one that is offered to a god and not God, then that could cause a brother to stumble. What we eat doesn't make God like us more or less, but we do need to honor God with what we eat and how much of it. In other words, we do not over eat or starve ourselves. Our body is to be a living sacrifice in all facets of life (Romans 12:1). Ultimately, we want to honor God with all we do and when it comes to eating food that was offered to idols, then a brother in Christ might see that and do the same. We honor God and we love others.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

1 Corinthians 7: Marriage and Living as You Are Called

Marriage and Living as You Are Called

Paul breaks down how men and women should treat their respective spouses. I have heard stories of spouses with holding sex from one another for whatever reason (not due to health reasons) and the marriage falls apart. I'm sure there are other reasons why it happens, but if you refuse to have sex with your spouse, what are you expecting to happen? Paul says that the wife has authority over her husband's body and the husband has authority over his wife's body. They are not to deprive one another (1 Corinthians 7:4-5). Deprivation isn't being done in love. That is often done due to bitterness, anger and unresolved hurts. We stop being loving when we no longer like that person. Also, notice that Paul did not make mention of men marrying men and women marrying women and how that should be done. Remember he has already spoken about homosexuality on numerous occasions.

Next, in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 Paul addresses people in the church who were followers of Christ but were also confusing circumcision with being saved. It became a "Christ and", not just being saved by Grace. He mentions bondservants and how if they are that and are saved by grace then they are free in Christ. But if they get their physical freedom then they ought to take that opportunity. Serving the Lord was the priority, not your position or social standing. 

Lastly, Paul discusses those who were not married. He was not speaking to the time and into the future, but specific to the time. There was a problem that he slightly touches on but doesn't go into detail. He tells them that married men are at a disadvantage in serving the Lord as they have to divide their attention to pleasing their wife and other worldly things. He is not saying that having a wife is bad or against God, but you know that if you are married, the joy of your spouse and the contentment within your marriage will be a concern that will need addressing on a regular basis. That is a fair statement, generally speaking. But, those who are not married can focus more on pleasing the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:35).


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Focus #23

Being Loving Like Jesus

For those of you who know me, then you know (other than football and pro wrestling) one of my favorite topics to discuss is relationships. They are vital and date back to the beginning of man- see Genesis 2:4-25 and Adam and Eve. We were designed to be among other people. We were designed to live life with other people and have friends and date and marry and have children. It is great to do these things, but there is a point where those people that we have been living life with do things or say things that we get upset about. It is up to us on what we do with that emotion. Do we submit to the emotion and ignore people that we have known for a long time (or even a short while)? Or do we focus on being loving like Jesus? Hard to do, but here are some reminders.

In Matthew 5 we read through the sermon on Mount. In verse 44 Jesus speaks on what people have been taught and teaches them a new way. He says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This can also be applied to a person you are having a relational issue with. If you and your friend/family member are having an issue and you saw them on the side of the road with their car broken down in the pouring rain or snow, do you just drive on by them and just hope they get help? That is not very loving. Even if they are an enemy for the time being, be loving. If you know of someone or a group of people who is persecuting you, pray for them. Pray that they will let God come into their life and take over their heart. We as Christ followers have to set the standard on being loving, just as Christ loved us by dying for us on the cross.

In Romans 12:1 we read that we are to be living sacrifices to God. We sacrifice those things that please us in moments in order to please God. We worship Him by doing what is right in his eyes with His will. Jesus, while man and God at the same time, showed us what it is like to submit to God's will even when it is truly painful. Yes, what someone said or did was painful, but that does not mean that you have to wish them hell or throw away the relationship forever due to an offense or disagreement. I love to make jokes and while I have brought smiles to many, there are some that I have offended. Their choice was to tell me about the offense and forgive me even if I defended my joke and attacked their sensitivity.  There are numerous times where I had to go back and apologize because in the moment I was not walking with the Holy Spirit and needed to seek forgiveness in order to restore the relationship.

I challenge you today to seek forgiveness from someone that you have offended. I also challenge you to forgive someone who did or said something to you that has hurt you. Then I challenge you to make a phone call or see someone to reconnect. This gives them the chance to also apologize for what they may have said. But overall, it allows us to shed what was holding us back relationally and put on a robe of righteousness  in moving forward to honor God.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

1 Corinthians 6: Legality and Immorality

Legality and Immorality

Paul confronts the church on trivial lawsuits. Church members were suing other church members over trivial issues. Paul asks if there is no one wise enough among them that could handle the small stuff instead of going to the outsiders/unbelievers. His point is if we cannot handle the small stuff with each other (other believers) then how can we be entrusted to judge angels. Paul even suggests that let yourself be cheated in examples like this rather than going to the courts. This does not mean in all situations we should just let others cheat us and take advantage of us. That is not God honoring, but in trivial things do not go to the courts, just let it go. We need to change the focus from what is happening to us and remember what Jesus went through so that we could be reconciled to God. He was tortured on our behalf. He could have stopped it but knew that the prophecies would be invalid and God's will would not be done. God sacrificed HUGE for us. It is time for us to start sacrificing for His glory (Romans 6:1-8).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul really breaks it down for us telling us/the Church in Corinth who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. He tells that neither the unrighteous (those not submitted to God's will) nor the sexually immoral, nor those who have false idols, nor those who practice adultery, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor revilers (criticize in an insulting way) nor swindlers (scammers) will inherit the Kingdom of God. That is a long list? Why is it so long? I think it had to be because at the beginning of the section Paul says "do not be decived" which leads me to believe there were those who believed that they could do all those things and still get into Heaven. But I will take it a step further and say, if you do all of these things or even just one as a regular part of your life as an adopted practice, then is the Holy Spirit in you? The Holy Spirit will not lead you to scam people or cheat on your spouse or lead you to have homosexual relations. It is one thing to slip up, it is another to adopt it as part of your life and accept it and leave it for light (God) and dark (sin) cannot exist in the same place.

We are to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) and treat our body as a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). That person you have been having sexual relations with, that isn't God honoring. Those drugs you have been doing are not doing anything good to your body. That is not God honoring. That food you have been eating and the exercise you have not had is not good for your body. That is not God honoring. One day we will leave this earth and we are not to ride our bodies into the ground full force but treat them well while we have them in order to show God we are thankful to him for what he gave us.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Wake Up #23

When the Going Gets Tough

I once read a quote from Winston Churchill who said "If you're going through hell, keep going." Now, that does not mean keep everything the same and just sit there like a dead duck; it means don't give up. But, how can that be applied to our walk with the Christ? Would God ever want us to give up? What does God want from us anyway?

When times get tough God wants us to be patient. The problems do not always just go away over night. During these times we can stay prayerful in our personal time with God. We can pray for wisdom and the strength to endure (Romans 12:12). Know that God will hear you if you are righteous (Psalm 34:17). Maybe that is why things are tough for you. Have you been living a way that God does not want you to live? Have you been treating your body well? Are you surrounding yourself with Christ followers encouraging you to do what is right in the Lord? Have you submitted your will to Christ and accepted God's grace?

Let us also not grow weary (tired) in doing good. It may be easy to try to get revenge on someone who is doing you wrong, but that is not our responsibility. It is easy to be full of wrath when we go through these trials and tribulations, but that leads us away from doing what God wants us to do (Psalm 37:7-9). In our patience and perseverance we will reap if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Every week via text or phone conversation, my accountability partner and I remind one another to stay strong in the Lord. That means don't give up when things get difficult and keep pressing on to do what is right in God's eyes. I encourage you to do the same (Hebrews 3:13).


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

1 Corinthians 5: Corinthians and Sexual Immorality

Corinthians and Sexual Immorality

Paul also calls out another problem. Paul brings forth the issue of sexual immorality. He says even the Pagan don't practice this and here a church was welcoming a man who was engaged in sexual activity with his father's wife. Now, this could be a step mother or it could have been the man's birth mother, but either way, it was not his wife and was the wife of another man. Paul says that this person should be removed from the church. Many today would say "don't judge" and misquote Jesus and the meaning of what he was saying. We are to judge in the right spirit for those within the church.

Even though Paul wasn't there, he already passed judgement on the one who did this and said that person should be delivered to Satan. That does not mean that person needs to be a human sacrifice as per a ritual, but they need to be put out into the world which is Satan's domain. 

Paul calls them out for being boastful about their ignoring this man's sin. His point is that it is not loving to accept sin of this kind into the church. We are all sinners, sure, but we cannot collectively as a church just accept sin as a-ok and ignore it like it isn't there. Paul warns us about associating with fellow Christ followers who indulge in sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, etc (1 Corinthians 5:11). We are not to judge those outside the church, but those on the inside. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

1 Corinthians 4: Favorites and Correction

Favorites and Correction

Paul continues on the topic of favoritism and non-biblical attributes given to the teachers in the church. Being that Paul saw the dissension among these ideas he thought it wise to address it, which it was. Why see a problem and not address it? That makes no sense. The problem does not just go away if it is ignored. Problems need to be addressed and be done so respectfully. This is what we see here. Paul sees a problem in the church and brings it to light, not just from worldly teaching and what seems rational, but also what is spirit led. In 1 Corinthians 4:7, Paul points out that the church members also have gifts from God that help them in their lives, but as they should not be bragging about them, then they should not be comparing one teacher/leader to another as it pertains to the church. 

1 Corinthians 4:14, I have heard people say that Paul was getting arrogant and shaming people in his letter to the Corinthians. I do not see it that way and neither did Paul. It was not a letter laced with insults and tirades. It was a letter that was written to correct what was breaking. If a parent tells a child to stop a behavior or they will get in trouble, the child can feel shamed but that does not mean that was the parent's intent. If you boss wants to correct a way that you take meeting notes, stock shelves or speak with customers, the intent is to correct, not to shame. We have to see the whole picture not just how we feel. Just because we feel something it doesn't mean that was the intent.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

1 Corinthians 3: God's Workers and Fields

God's Workers and Fields

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul tells the church in Corinth that they are not yet spiritual people, yet they are of the flesh. Paul could only teach them with spiritual milk (like a baby) and not with spiritual meat (for the grown up believer). The focus had not been on God but on the ones who taught God's word. There was favoritism in the church.

While the favoritism can be attributed to the different sects of Christianity, I do not believe there were more sects of the faith at the time. The church as a whole was still growing. The word of Christ was still being delivered to those who didn't know of Christ. As we stand in 2016 the unity within the church could simply mean within your specific church. If you are favoring one pastor over another and only want to hear from one pastor then that could be part of why this church in Corinth was divided between those who followed Paul or Apollos.

One pastor waters and another may plant seeds, but they both have responsibilities under God who is the ultimate authority. If you are only likely to do what your pastor says and not read your Bible and seek to understand it on your own, you are doing yourself a disservice. We are all responsible for our role in our faith and our growth. God doesn't expect us to be experts in scripture to where we have to fill out tests when we reach the pearly gates. This isn't that kind of test. The test is while we are here. We are to learn and spread the word of Christ and be loving and not show partiality based on race or gender or anything. We are not to be partial. God does not want division in His temple (1 Corinthians 3:17). 


Saturday, January 16, 2016

1 Corinthians 2: Spiritual Wisdom

Spiritual Wisdom

Paul writes and tells the church in Corinth that they do impart wisdom among the mature (spiritually mature, but not regular earthly wisdom. The wisdom Paul is referring to is that of God. He calls it a secret hidden wisdom of God that God decreed before the ages (beginning of time). Paul says if the rulers of the current (at that time) age had known about this wisdom they would not have crucified Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). Good point.

Paul also writes that they have received the spirit of God, not the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12). That is two differnet types of spirit. The spirit driven by man seeks to fulfill the man in which it dwells. The spirit of God drives people to glorify God's name. Self vs. others. People of the world will reject spiritual wisdom because it makes no sense to those as they are not discerning with the same spirit. 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Focus #22

God's Power is Bigger Than Your Biggest Problem

Do you know the story of David and Goliath? Not the claymation cartoon from the 1960s (as us old people may remember) but the boy who slay a giant that struck fear into the Israelites. There are some points to take home from 1 Samuel 17.These points were taken from a message by Pastor Kerry Shook from Woodlands Church (link at the end of the blog).

First, we you must attack the giant in your life. We do not do this with reckless abandon, but with God's power and direction (1 Samuel 17:45). How do we know what God wants from us? We must read His word. We must talk to Him. We also have to look at who we are and how we are designed in order to carry out the plans God has for us. David did not cower in fear or pretend like it wasn't there. He faced it head on. What is your biggest fear right now? Is it a relationship? Is it health? Money? Job? 

David's instinct after knocking Goliath down was to cut his head off (1 Samuel 17:51). He did not celebrate and pat himself on the back. He wanted to be rid of the Goliath and the fear he was causing in the battle. David didn't want the giant to only be knocked down, but wanted to be rid of the fear and problems Goliath caused. How can you cut off your giant's head? Are you spending too much money? Cut up the credit cards! Are you always getting drunk with your friends? Find new friends that can keep you accountable. There is something major in your life that is causing a problem that needs to be severed from your life. Extreme measures are needed for extreme problems.

David also had an expectation of more giants to come. Life has issues that will not always be the same thing over and over again. But what do we learn by doing the same thing over and over again. 1 Samuel 17:40 tells us that David selected 5 stones from the stream. Why 5 stones? We learn in 2 Samuel 21:15-22 that there were 4 more giants that were related to Goliath. David may have known this before hand which is why he could have selected 5 stones in stead of just one. He was preparing for what else may be around the corner. Once one giant is destroyed we must be ready to face more in the future.

If you would like to see the message from Kerry Shook on David and Goliath in a message called "Giant Killers" please click here.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

1 Corinthians: Divisions in the Church

Divisions in the Church

In this first letter from Paul to church in Corinth, Paul has some things wants to share with the church about what they have been struggling with. Paul had been instrumental in building the churches and helping them grow and so his letters serve as if they were to come from a mentor, but a mentor who is a Christ follower and was not after his own gain.

Paul saw division in the church. He saw that church members had favorites from the church leaders. The members of the church made it more about who they followed then actually keeping their worship to that of Christ and remembering what he did on the cross. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 he specifies that he is appealing to them to stop them and to recognize that Christ is not divided. yes we all have our roles, but one's role in the body of Christ is no more significant than other roles in the body.
We have to remember as followers of Christ to stay united with other believers and not cause division in the church. What kind of example are we setting for those that look at us from the outside. Abraham Lincoln is known for saying "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I'm sure that quote applies to the Civil War, but would it not stand true to a home where the family does not get along? How would they look to the community? What about a church full of people who are not united in Christ? How would it look to those who are not Christ followers? While we are not perfect, we Christ followers have to remember that we are examples, imperfect examples, but examples nonetheless of what it is to be a Christ follower.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Wake Up #22

Jesus Faces Temptation

When you read through Matthew 4:1-11, you get to see a time where Jesus experienced temptation in ways that we also experience it. Satan knows what your struggles are. He knows how to tempt you, that is why what you keep doing but have been trying to stop doing hasn't stopped yet. Satan knows when you are weak and vulnerable. Satan knows that when you are with the wrong group of friends, you will be lead away from doing God's will. Satan knows that when you are alone you can hide your sin from others, but you cannot hide it from God. 

Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. He was not doing this to lose weight and get that great summer body, it was his way to show honor to god. After that 40 days and 40 nights he was hungry. Satan tempted him to turn rock into bread so that he would not be hungry. Jesus responded by quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3 and said that man should not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Jesus was tempted and went to scripture. Temptation does not come from God. He allows for it to happen so that we can be strengthened by it through the work of the Holy Spirit. 

Satan also tried to tempt Jesus by telling him to throw himself down from the highest poin of the temple. Satan even manipulated scripture (as many still do today) in order to get Jesus to do what he wanted. Jesus again responded with scripture. Finally, Satan tempts Jesus that he can have all of the kingdoms of the world if Jesus worshipped Satan. Jesus again responds with scripture amd tells satan to get away and Satan finally leaves him.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we learn that there is not temptation that happens to us that is not common to man be it sex, money, drugs, lies, power, prestige, popularity and so on. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can deal with. he will provide a way out because He is faithful. We must decide if we want to take that way out or not. No matter what you are tempted with, know that Jesus was tempted but He knew how to fight. Also know that others are tempted like you and will be tempted like you in the future. We don't have to fight alone. When tempted, call a Christian brother or sister. Go for a walk, but also pray to God. We have to know how to fight. Not on our own power, but with the Holy Spirit. Amen.