Able to Bear, A Way Out

1 Corinthians 10:13No 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 you can stand up under it. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A key word in this verse that can easily be missed is also. First off God has given us the ability to simply resist temptation. And while we do not need it, He also has given us a backup plan. With every temptation He will provide a way of escape.

My Advice – Do not think that your temptations are special. They are common. Others have escaped them and you can too. God doubly blesses with the ability to resist as well as a means of escape.

Strong to the End

1 Corinthians 1:8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We rely on our own strength too much to combat temptation. We are not strong enough in our own strength, but more than strong enough if we rely on God’s strength.

My Advice – Do not think that you are too weak to resist temptation, too weak to be obedient. God will keep you strong if you ask Him too.

Lessons Learned, Pitfalls Avoided

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2 Samuel 11:1-4,14-15In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite? Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:7-9Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.”  (NIV 1984)

2 Samuel 12:13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – David was not where he was supposed to be.  He was supposed to go off to war with his army, but he stayed at home.  In his idleness (boredom), he ended up being where he should not have been and seeing what he should not have seen, which led him to do what he should not have done.  One sin (adultery) led to another (murder).  Yet,  [God] testified concerning him: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22, NIV 1978)

How can this be?  Surely not because of his sins (they were horrible),  but because of how he responded when confronted.  No excuses, no shifting the blame and no denials.  Confession and repentance. Like David (maybe not as bad as David), we all make mistakes (sin).  Of course it is always better for us not to sin in the first place.  Often we can avoid sin by being where we should be and not where we should not be (if Eve did not want to eat the “apple,” why was she hanging around the tree?).  But when we do sin we need to respond like David.  There may be consequences (there were for David and Bathsheba – their child conceived in sin died), but our sins will be “taken away.”  For, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984)

My Advice – We all heard the sage advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Prevention can mean avoiding idleness.  Making sure we are where God wants us to be.  When we know the “fruit” is forbidden (and we do), not hanging around it.  Nonetheless, whenever the inevitable sin occurs (and it does not “just” occur), recognize that we “are the man (or woman)” and respond appropriately.

Beware of Opportune Times

Luke 4:13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We can gain victory over temptation and the devil will leave us alone. But not for ever. He will look for us to let down our guard or come at us from a different angle. But just like before, we can beat back attack after attack.

My Advice – Don’t get too cocky when you resist temptation that you let down your guard. And don’t focus so exclusively on one temptation that you leave yourself vulnerable to another. Be vigilant. Expect Satan to attack when you gloat and when you are unguarded. The expected attack is the best attack to defend against.

Holds Out Against Sin

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James 4:7Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NIV 1978)

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My Musings – Sin. Our earthly nature. We read the items on the list (sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed – among others) and are outwardly repulsed by them. Yet, because we still have a sin nature (our old self) we Continue reading “Holds Out Against Sin”

Dishonest & False

Micah 6:11 – “Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Scales and weights. They imply accuracy and precision. Just because they allow us to cheat and get away with it, does not make it right. Not getting caught is not the same as being right.

My Advice – Make sure you are honest, not only in your personal life, but also in your professional life. Your job will require persuasion, make sure you do it honestly and not deceptively.

A Higher Standard

Ezekiel 11:11, 12 – “I will execute judgment on you … and you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We are constantly subjected to worldly standards that are contrary to God’s moral laws. We must be careful that our Godly standards are not worn down and eroded by the world’s standards.

My Advice – Do not conform to the standards of this world. You have been called to a higher standard. Bear the standard of God with pride. Conform your life to the image of His Son.