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Friday, February 18, 2022
An Amish buggy approaching the White Rock Covered Bridge in southern Lancaster County.
There is a distinct sound of the clickety-clack of horseshoes on the wooden bridge deck!
"Dealing With Temptation"
Message summary: Today we will face temptation in many forms but may God give us grace and power to resist!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13).
One of the common issues we see in the course of our chaplain ministry is people dealing with addictions of various types. Of course there many (probably most) who never divulge their struggle. They aren't ready to deal with the uncomfortable steps of overcoming which includes accountability, and there are others who are in denial. Sadly, some are quite content in their addiction.
Helping people to be freed of their addiction is an important part of our role as chaplains, as we seek to point them to Christ, the ultimate Overcomer and source of all overcoming. Of course, there are those who need more extensive assistance and we might refer them to a Christian rehab where proper treatment and support is given. When we extend the addiction problem to extended family members we observe that many, many deal with some kind of addiction in their family.
We see an employee regularly who had a wonderful deliverance last year. He was delivered from alcohol and accepted the Lord. He has opened up to us and each visit we rejoice in his progress. Last week he told me that he had a temptation moment when he went to buy groceries. He was shopping and the alcohol store was next to the supermarket. He faced a temptation moment. The supermarket had two sets of entry doors and with resolve he entered and left through the doors farthest from the liquor store!
That reminds me of a story I heard years ago about an alcoholic who complained to his preacher that he was no longer drinking when he was at home but every time he went to town he came home drunk. The preacher asked, "Where do you tie your horse when you're in town?" "To the hitching post in front of the saloon" was his reply. The preacher said, "Next time you go to town find a different hitching post."
Temptation is common to all so let's consider a foundational verse concerning temptation.
Our text is taken from the Lord's Prayer. Most all of us have probably memorized it as part of our recitation of the famous prayer: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
"And lead us not into temptation." R. Kent Hughes asks (as many of us have) "What does 'lead us not into temptation' mean?"
"Certainly it cannot mean (as some have wrongly thought) that God is the prime mover behind all temptations. James 1:13 makes this clear: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ … nor does He tempt anyone.” On the other hand, others have imagined that if Christians truly pray this prayer, they can be delivered from all temptation. But the Bible is clear that temptation is an unavoidable part of human existence. All the apostles and all the great saints have lived in continual temptation. The key to what “Lead us not into temptation” means is found in the fact that the word translated “temptation” has two meanings. It can denote an enticement that has the goal of causing one to sin, or it can refer to a test or trial of the validity of one’s faith. The word occurs twenty-one times in the New Testament, and twenty of those appearances have the latter idea of testing or trial. Thus the meaning of “Lead us not into temptation” is simply, “Do not allow us to come under the sway of temptation that will overpower us and cause us to sin.” If temptations helped shape the life and ministry of the perfect Christ (Hebrews 2:18) much more do they do so for us! Temptation is necessary for the development of our moral character."
"But deliver us from the evil one." Jesus had personal experience in being tempted and being delivered from the evil one, both in his formal temptation (Matthew 4:1-11) and throughout His life right up to His death. At one point Peter tried to get Him off track concerning His main mission and Jesus rebuked him, "Get thee behind me Satan". Christ is the ultimate example of an overcomer. "In every respect He has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
Peter, who had received the rebuke from Jesus went on to be one of the leaders in the early church and wrote a good word of caution for all of us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Today we will face temptation in many forms but may God give us grace and power to resist!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we know that Satan is a thief who "comes only to steal and kill and destroy" and millions fall victim to his enticements. Knowing our inclination to sin, help us to carefully lay Scriptural boundary lines that enable us to stand against the enemy's cunning lies and destructive force in our lives. We desire purity and holiness in our inmost being that will also be seen in our words and actions as we daily pursue Your righteousness. Forgive us where we have resented, ignored, or disobeyed Your guiding principles in any area of our life. Grant enduring patience and wise counsel to those whose loved one(s) is gripped by a deadly addiction. May they find salvation through Christ so that You can break every link of the chain that binds them to the devil's control. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Yield Not to Temptation" Video Steven Anderson
"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" Video Matt Boswell
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God's own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" Video Hannah Hardin
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer
"Break Every Chain" Video Jesus Culture
"Chain Breaker" Video Zach Williams
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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