Temptation: What Is It Good For?

Today is Saturday, September 17, 2016. 27 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

Word of the Day

Zymurgy – the branch of applied chemistry dealing with fermentation, as in winemaking, brewing, the preparation of yeast, etc.

Today is International Country Music Day. There’s a lot of debate, these days, about what is and isn’t “Country Music.” But I say, to each his own. Some folks like Conway Twitty, some folks like Willie and Waylon, and some folks like Big and Rich and Garth Brooks. I, personally, lean toward the Willie and Waylon camp, and very heavily toward certain types of bluegrass. For example . . .

Or this:

Or even this!

The weekend finally arrived, and it’s going to be a bit on the busy side. But that’s okay. We have a few chores to get to today, and then I have to be at the Southlake Town Square by 7:00 PM tonight for the Southlake Community Band’s performance at 7:30. We will be performing a few marches, along with music from Broadway, Frozen, Toy Story, Star Wars, and other Hollywood tunes.

Tomorrow, after our worship gathering, C, S, & I will be heading over to Rangers Ballpark to watch the Rangers take on the Athletics, courtesy of USBC! C was offered free tickets for the game, in a luxury suite! She was also given a parking pass, so all we will have to pay for is food and beverages. How sweet is that? And we can watch from inside if we want to.

Speaking of the Rangers, they pulled off another ninth inning win, last night, beating the Athletics 7-6. Jonathan Lucroy was the hero, this time, knocking a ground ball up the third base line into the corner to score two runs. The Rangers’ magic number is now six. The Red Sox dominated the Yankees throughout last night’s game, winning 7-4. Unfortunately, Baltimore and the Boo Jays also won, so they remain two games up, in first place. Magic number is 14 with 15 games left.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. Psalm 67:1
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

(From Praying With the Psalms)

O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron;
he will bless those who fear the LORD, both the small and the great.
May the LORD give you increase, you and your children!
May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.
The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence.
But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 115:9-18

“We do not make God; he makes us. We do not take care of him; he takes care of us.” We should not be trying to invent new attributes and characteristics (or duties) for God. We should, however, allow him to lead us into “new styles of obedience and experiences of blessings.”

“I give glory to your name, O God: I will say words that are obedient to your commands and engage in acts that express your love. I will put the workings of my mind and the movements of my body to your service, in trust and praise. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

First things first. Let us dispense with the notion that this verse tells us that God will never give us more than we can handle. That is a misconception that has been popularly spread throughout the last decade or so. If I never got more than I could handle, I would not need God. It is true, I believe, that God will not allow anything in my life that he and I can’t handle together.

But that is not what this verse is about. This verse is about temptation. The first thing we need to understand is that temptation is not sin. We have not sinned when we experience temptation. Temptation is “the thing we are bound to meet if we are men.” Or, perhaps, better said, “human.” There are times, though, that we suffer from temptations that we should not be experiencing because we have “refused to let God lift us to a higher plane where we would face temptations of another order.”

How we are tempted reveals our nature. “The temptation fits the nature of the one tempted, and reveals the possibilities of the nature.” Now, that’s a frightening statement! My temptations reveal what I am capable of doing. “There but for the grace of God . . .” And when we yield, “Temptation yielded to is lust deified, and is a proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before.”

We cannot escape temptation, it is part of life. We must also not think that we are tempted more heavily than other people. That is simply not the case. What we experience is common to the human race. God will not prevent us from temptations; “He succours us in the midst of them.” (Hebrews 2:18)

Father, you have shown me what I would be capable of if your Spirit did not prevent me. I do not like to see that; no one should like to see that. It is frightening and shameful. But glory to your name for keeping me from such things. Nevertheless, I yield too often to other temptations. I pray for your Spirit to draw me closer to your heart and to walk more fully in your Kingdom, that I might more fully obey you. Let me walk in your love, and let me act in ways that express the love that you have, not only for me, but for those around me.

Come, Lord Jesus! Maranatha!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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4 thoughts on “Temptation: What Is It Good For?

  1. “The first thing we need to understand is that temptation is not sin.” Our pastor spoke about this last Sunday, but I had never heard about what 1 Corinthians 10:13 really meant. Pastor didn’t mention that, but everyone always says that thing you said [was wrong]. There is so much misunderstanding out there isn’t there? Thanks for clarifying! And good night 🙂

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