Category Archives: temptation

Overcoming

TODAY’S VERSE
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day we make choices. Some choices, however, are more subtle than others. For example, the old saying, “Not to decide is to decide already.” Otherwise, if you need to make a choice and you do not say “yes” to it, then you have really chosen against it. It is like that with most of the things that we “lust” after. Lusting implies that we desire something that we cannot (or should not) have at that moment. The trouble, however, is not in the one time choice to lust. All of us struggle with occasional temptations. Instead, it is the rebound effect that gets us in trouble. You know, get close to something you know is wrong, withdraw and then rebound, getting closer the next time. It is like the proverbial frog that boils in water, never noticing that the water was gradually getting warmer and warmer. As time moves on, we eventually find ourselves in the grips of the thing we were trying to avoid. How much better to choose ahead of time not to trifle with those habits, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to trouble. We do this by being quick to repent when we slip and then asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes. If we throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life like we would a burning jacket, and instead, let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes, God can help us discern what temps us so we can determine ahead of time to set our limits and boundaries. Today, let us give our various temptations over to God and ask Him to help us overcome them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit, You know that I struggle with temptation and lust and need Your help. Renew my thoughts and attitudes so I can live the way you want me to. Help me continue to say “no” and throw off those things that war against me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Sin Issues

TODAY’S VERSE
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
Romans 5:20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s grace is amazing. Paul knew this, so he wrote, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Paul explains that grace has set us so free in Christ that we are no longer slaves to sin. In “True Faced” the authors write, “The environment of grace provides me with truth, acceptance, healing, safety, perspective, freedom, and the power that I did not before know; these realities are foundational to resolving my sin issues.” You see, God’s grace is more than forgiveness. It is the availability of God’s power to help us mature. He forgives us and then helps us live for Him. Today, don’t run and hide from God. Talk to Him about sin issues in your life. Though you are overwhelmed, He will forgive you. He will help you. His grace is greater than your sin.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Your son Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Guide me, direct me, work with me, and by Your grace, help resolve the sin issues in my life.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!
Matthew 26:41 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If ever we needed Jesus’ admonition, we need it today. Television, internet, media – all around us are temptations ready to take us out spiritually. Peter said it this way, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” So what do we do? Jesus said that we must live “in” the world, but we are not to be “of” the world. That is why He told us to watch and pray; He didn’t want us to fall into temptations. When Jesus said, “watch and pray,” He wasn’t suggesting a casual Christianity. He was biding us to follow Him in a life of vigilant spiritual discipline involving devotion, prayer, and consecration. Today, keep alert toward the many temptations surrounding you. Keep your eyes and heart on Jesus. Pray, spend time with God, and confess your sin when needed. Praise God; He is faithful, He is forgiving. He will give you all you need to live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I want to live for You, but I can’t do it by myself. Because of the precious blood of You son, my Lord Jesus, forgive me, cleanse me, and empower me to live for You.
AMEN

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A Way Of Escape

TODAY’S VERSE
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
I Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How subtle sin can be. We begin to wander from the things of God, and soon our life starts to take a different course. Most people that end in some sort of addiction or negative situation never intended to get there. They didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I will go down a road that will ruin my life.” No, it was small little navigations that got them to the foreign shore. Likewise, in the life of a Christian, we don’t wake up one day and say, “I will be far from God.” It starts with missed opportunities of fellowship, lack of discipline in prayer, Bible study and mediation, weekdays between church services without Christian influence. Little by little, we become more and more like the world around us and trade our Christian experience for a mask we wear on Sunday. What can we do? Thank God for the reality of what Paul shares in today’s passage. Paul reminds us that the temptations that you and I face every day are the same as everyone else’s, but God is faithful and will show us a way out. On every descent away from God, there is a window of sanity. There is an opportunity to repent, to turn around, to come back to God. The prodigal son found it. Peter found it. God enables us to “come to our self,” to come to our senses, and He does provide a way out. Today, if you find yourself far from where God wants you, ask yourself, “Who moved?” God didn’t. He loves you; turn around, there is a way of escape.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so easy to wander from You. Forgive me. Help me to escape today from all that entraps me. Help me break away from all that has taken my heart from You. I come to You now, dear Lord. I want to follow You.
AMEN

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Rescue Me

TODAY’S VERSE
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.– What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15, 24-25 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have we found ourselves in this dilemma? We sit in the aftermath of some mess we have just created and wonder, “How in the world did I get here?” Paul knew what it felt like to utterly fail at trying to change his behavior. Who can’t relate to this passage? At the end of the day, we have all felt like the “wretched man” that Paul is writing about. Dr. William Backus, in his book, “Learning To Tell Myself The Truth” explains it this way, “The sinfulness of human nature, man’s deepest spiritual disorder, involves a quarrel with God. Springing from this rift are underlying false beliefs about God and His attitude toward us (Spiritual misbeliefs), which in turn lead to untruthful thoughts, thoughts that affect our feelings and behavior and created difficulties in our relationship with others.” Out of these core misbeliefs, come all sorts of evil. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He asks, “Who will rescue me?” Then he gives a resounding answer, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Backus says it this way, “The reality of sin and its effects in our daily lives is not the final word. As Christians, we have the ultimate good news, the key to a healthier spiritual core.” Today, come to Christ for cleansing. Accept His total forgiveness. Ask Him to point out any Spiritual lies that are dragging you down. Throw off “wretched man” thinking and accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know my temptations, struggles, and failures. I confess I have believed lies about You that I need to get rid of. Help me know what they are and begin my inner cleansing. Thank You that Jesus Christ has rescued me.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Temptation. Who has not felt its sting? Who has not been knocked in the gut and brought to their knees by this cancer of our soul? What keeps us in such bondage is the mistaken belief that temptations are “out there”. We see them as external enemies sneaking around waiting to ambush us. Now it is true that we have an enemy of our very soul, the devil, and he does seek to devour us. However, James shares that the root of our temptations come from within us. James says that “temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” We can blame the magazine publisher or the movie producer but it is our own lust, our own unmet needs or misguided thinking that has caused us to dwell on pornography. It is our own misbeliefs and internal dialog that keeps us coming back to drugs so we can self medicate. That is why Paul makes it clear that God is the one that must help us. He writes, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” What God’s grace does not prevent, because of our own humanness, God’s grace forgives. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Today, let Jesus untie the ropes that bind you. Like Peter, get up from the cell you are in. You are free! You have been liberated. Hear the words of Jesus, “Arise and sin no more.” “My son, my daughter, go, your sins have been forgiven you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear liberator of my soul, I bring you my shackles. Take them. I bring you the key to my heart, unlock it. Heal me from the inside. Defeat my misguided thoughts, cast down the enemy of my soul. I look to you, who knows me better than I know myself. By your power, in your grace, because of your mercy, free me, forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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