Tag Archives: temptation

How Are We Led into Temptation?

How Are We Led into Temptation?

Temptation---SNowball

Snowball out for her walk in the world. What temptations will she find?

When we walk our little dog around the neighbourhood, she loves to check out everything. She sniffs the ground scouting out the next interesting discovery.

The other day she found an old tissue and snapped her jaws around it. Reluctantly she finally gave it up to me. However, the next day the tissue was still there. And she repeated the same action. She hadn’t learned her lesson.

We act the same way. God will wrestle with us over something. Reluctantly we agree with  Him and give it up. But when we are confronted with the same temptation again – we head toward it.

Why?

I have learned that God does not tempt us – our desires do.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (James 1:13, NIV).

Temptations are strong. They make us feel good; they feed our self-image; they give us warm fuzzy feelings. Until… until God shows us through His Word that we should avoid them. We may not even see them as temptations until God shows us.

but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15, NIV).

Therefore when God has made us aware of what He wants us to avoid – we must work to not repeat that action. (tweetable)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we know there are many temptations here on earth. Help us to see them as You see them. Give us guidance and strength to combat the pull that entices and give us strength to turn away. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

ARE YOU CROSSING THE LINE?

Are You Crossing the Line?

crossingtheline

by Patricia Day 

The term ‘crossing the line’ means:

to cross boundaries; to disrespect another’s rights or privacy; to give in to temptation and break rules or laws that are put in place to direct one, in society.

Recently, on a journey, I encountered serious snow squalls.  The line showing the centre division on the road was invisible, so proceeding carefully, I hoped I would stay on the road.

Imagine my horror when I saw cars coming directly at me.  Head on.  I had inadvertently crossed the dividing line and was no longer on my side of the road.  Crossing the line put me at considerable risk. It had been so easy to do, but for my own and everyone else’s safety, I needed return to my rightful place.  I found that retracing my ‘steps’, to get back on track, were much harder to accomplish but little by little I found my rightful place.  I got back onto the right side of the centre line; back to relative safety.

“if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins”  (James 5:19, NKJV).

Crossing ethical, legal or moral lines can also
thrust us into dangerous territory. Tweet this.

It is called sin.  It can be very easy to lose direction in life, but so much harder to recover.

Anguish grows in your heart with each rejection encountered: with each wrong choice.

You have crossed the line of what is right, and must take control or you will quickly  succumb to more temptation. Tweet this.

To seek professional help can be a good place to start.  To give your life to God through Jesus, can be a life-saver.

” Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.  Open my eyes that I might see wondrous things from Your law.  I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.  My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times, You rebuke the proud-the cursed, who stray from Your commandments”  (Psalm 119:17-21, NKJV).

Prayer:

Abba, we can so easily lose our way in life.  Please help us to stay on track as we respect the boundaries put in place, for our wellbeing and for the rights of others.  Amen.

Patricia Day

Patricia Day

Writing has always been a passion of Patricia. She can express myself better in writing, than verbally.  She enjoys creating short stories and devotionals. Her favourite past-times: family-time; gardening; reading; walking and listening to good music. Married.  Mother of two sons; step-Mom to a son & daughter and Nana to ten.

Look for her devotionals at Pepe Prays and her blog at Patters Matters.

Patricia has recently completed her first novel – Eleanor, A Stolen Childhood – which is in the process of publication.  Her second novel, Priscilla – Hidden in the Shadows is now being written.

HOW BUSY ARE YOU?

At this moment when you are reading this I am on a mission trip to Poland with International Messengers. Please pray for our team and the Polish people we work with.

Airport to Poland

Our IM Team in airport 2011

How Busy are You?

by Jan Cox

Continuing from last week  – What are your tin gods? We were reading a letter from Satan’s Meeting. I left you with these words:

“This is what I want you to do, said the devil: “DISTRACT them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

Continued from last week:

“HOW SHALL WE DO THIS?” his demons shouted.

“KEEP THEM BUSY in the NONESSENTIALS of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

Are there things in your life that keep you from God? Are you running and running and never have time to listen to Him?

“TEMPT them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 to 7 days each week, 10 to 12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!”

Tempt Them

Do you need to rethink your priorities? Do you need to find a balance? Are you playing a catch up game? Or are you content where you are?

“OVER-STIMULATE their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small Voice.”

Over-stimulate Them

Do you always have the radio or music playing? Do you take time just to sit – and listen to your heart, your soul and your God?

“Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. To keep the TV. VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it they every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”

What Music Do you Listen To?

What type of music do you listen to? Do you play praise and worship songs so you can fill up with the Holy Spirit?

“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards.”

“Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every king of newsletter, and promotional, offering free products services and false hopes.”

Are you listening to the World or God?

Are you listening to the world? Or the Word of God? How much do you read your Bible? One verse a day would be a good start? One little bit can counteract much of the worldly on slot.

Prayer:

Father I know I am tempted to get too busy. Help me to plan my time so I can remember to take time with You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Write and tell me what you think? Is this true? Is Satan happy about pulling us away from God? Is he keeping you so busy that you forget your Creator?

Counting my blessings while in Poland and I will have a huge list when I return in two weeks.

Some other posts on the topic of BUSY:

Looking Back   Rest    Connected   Time is Flying By  – Last Year’s Planned Trip to Poland

 Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

WATCH AND PRAY

Watch and Pray

by Violet Nesdoly

“The sleep of the disciples”
Alexandre Bida

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Mark 14:32-65

TO CHEW ON: “‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.'” Mark 14:37-38

Jesus’ first request that His inner circle stay awake and watch while He has it out with His Father seems rooted in His need for their spiritual support of Him (Mark 14:34). His second request implies they needed to watch and pray for their own sakes, “…lest you enter into temptation.”

Bible writers link sleep with a dangerous spiritual state in other places.

  • Jesus speaks of the master of the house returning to find His servants and doorkeeper asleep, implying that there will be trouble for them if this happens – Mark 13:35-36.
  • Paul warns of the “spirit of stupor” (Romans 11:8) and advises his readers to “awake out of sleep” to become aware of how how time and events are progressing (Romans 13:11). Again, he implores the Thessalonians, “Therefore let us not sleep as others do but let us watch and be sober” 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

I have a lot of empathy for these sleepy disciples. I have been there—physically falling asleep when I meant to pray. However, this passage alerts me to the even more dangerous possibility of being asleep spiritually, even though I may be awake physically.

How easy it is in our noisy world to take a spiritual nap while we are preoccupied with  many things—family matters, the state of our finances, world events, entertainment, the need to work harder and harder, information and stimuli that bombard us through our electronic tools and gadgets. Then, because of our lack of alertness and prayer, we become ripe for temptation’s picking.

PRAYER: Dear God, I confess that I am often in a spiritual stupor. Please help me to stay awake and prayerful as I view all of life through a spiritual lens. Amen.




Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.

SOME OF THE BEST ADVICE ON PRAYER I HAVE EVER HEARD

Some of the Best Advice on Prayer I Have Ever Heard

by Mark D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

When Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, he expected his disciples to pray as well. He walked a short distance from them and fell upon his knees, where he wrestled with his Father in prayer. Finally, he got up and returned to his disciples, only to find that they were sleeping, “exhausted from grief” (22:45). “Why are you sleeping?” he asked. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation” (22:46).

Jesus intended “Get up and pray” for his disciples, so that they would not give in to temptation and fall asleep when they should have been praying. Yet, I believe this is some of the best advice for us if we seek to be faithful in prayer. The Greek verb translated here as “Get up” means “rise up, stand up.” In context, Jesus is telling his disciples not to sit or lie down as they pray, but to stand up on their feet. In this way, they would be able to stay awake. It’s pretty hard, after all, to fall asleep while standing up.

For most of my life, I have prayed in a sitting position. And, for most of my life, I have struggled to pray for any long period of time. I have tried kneeling, which is an excellent posture for prayer. But my knees aren’t very cooperative, so I can’t kneel for very long.

I remember once, when I was an associate pastor at Hollywood Presbyterian Church, I was seated on the chancel of the sanctuary to help lead a worship service. One of our other associate pastors offered a lengthy pastoral prayer. With the lights dimmed and the organ music playing softly, before long, I was fully asleep, yes, right there in front of a thousand worshipers. But, even in times when I wasn’t literally falling asleep, I have found it hard to pray with length and depth while sitting. I know I’m not alone in this.

About twenty years ago, I stumbled into a practice of standing up to pray. Sometimes I would stand in my office at church. Often, if I could, I would go to a place where I could walk and pray. My physical posture helped me to focus, to keep my mind clear as I entered into deep and even long conversations with the Lord. Praying while standing or walking has made a major difference in my life.

If you struggle to keep alert in prayer, if you find yourself giving in to the temptation to sleep, maybe you should try standing or walking. For me, “Get up and pray” has been some of the best advice for prayer that I’ve ever heard.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What posture or postures do you usually use for prayer? Are these helpful to you? Do you ever kneel when you pray? Do you stand? Do you walk?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know you weren’t giving general instructions on how to pray when you told your disciples to stand up and pray. Yet, as I read this text, I find that I am filled with gratitude for having learned that I can pray more effectively when I’m standing or walking. Thank you for teaching me this through your Spirit.

I expect that many who read this reflection today do just fine if they pray while sitting. Others prefer to kneel. But I want to pray for those who may get some help by praying while upright. The point isn’t the posture, of course. The point is being attentive and alert, so that we might share our hearts with you and so that we might be open to what you want to say to us through your Spirit.

So, help us to be alert when we pray, Lord! Amen.

Mark D. Roberts

Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)

He blogs at  http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts, and writes a daily devotional for http://www.thehighcalling.org.

MY SHEPHERD

My Shepherd

by Brenda Wood

Psalm 23:1-2– The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters (KJV).

The restaurant had a buffet line larger than my entire house. Did I want family food? Italian? Sushi? Chinese? Chocolate-covered, cream-filled desserts? YES!  My knees weakened when I checked out the chocolate line. That’s when I recognized that my long-lived love of food had become an addiction. As a recovered bulimic I knew my eating capacity. I knew I was capable of eating fifty thousand calories or more at a sitting.

Blessedly, the verses of Psalm 23 began to run through my mind. I certainly was in a green pasture. A gal like me could eat all she wanted and more, for only $9.99 and beverage extra! But if the Lord is my shepherd, (and he is, I muttered to myself) then I shall not want!

I could lie down (alright a little loose translation here!) in this place and be satisfied.

I prayed for strength, and turned and stumbled back to my chair with only one serving of woman-losing-weight food. And the waters of greed, and poor me stilled.

What is yelling at us over the quiet, still voice of God? Is it our overloaded credit card? Does our smoking, eating, or gambling desire whine to be fed? Whatever our “feed-me” more problem, let us consider that the Lord is our shepherd and then rest in the peace of knowing that we shall not want.

Prayer:

Shepherd God, help us choose to lie down in tempting green pastures. Still the waters of our riotous minds and fill us with yourself. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Author and speaker, Brenda and her hubby Ron, live near Barrie, Ontario. They have two children and five grands.Her latest workshop is called “Living like a Princess when Your Life is the Pits.Brenda also speaks regularly for Stonecroft Ministries.Her latest book is ”Heartfelt, 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living. Watch for her memoir, due out this year, called ‘Overcoming What is Overcoming You.’ Email Brenda.