Beware of Temptation

Do you ever wake up and determine youre going to be nice all day? What happens? The kids are slow. Youre impatient. A billboard takes your thoughts in the wrong direction. Within an hour, you feel rotten.

God has put up walls of protection for us, but sometimes we climb right over them. Satan often attacks us through two seemingly innocent mistakes: carelessness and self-confidence.

Were careless when we hurry through our daily Bible reading or prayer. Or were proud for overcoming temptation–and not watching for the next thing that trips us.

Self-confidence is a poor substitute for daily walking with God and relying on His power. Second Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” Thats right–its through Gods power.

Dont stop relying on Jesus Christ. And keep getting to know Him better! This is what will keep you from falling, and give you a holy witness.

Tenacity of Life

My lifelong friend Brad, has the most remarkable capability to finish everything he starts. And he doesnt just finish things- he is incredibly effective and efficient. He has always encouraged me to live life to the fullest. When we were younger, this often manifested itself in getting in all sorts of trouble. But now that hes older, and knows the Lord, his gifts have been used in incredible ways.

Hes the president of his company. He has a great family. His life is the picture of success. But theres more to Brad than that. Several years ago, he was challenged to start sharing his testimony. And like everything else- He has done it faithfully! He realized that hes been given his influence and drive, not just for worldly success, but to bring others into the Kingdom. Paul writes in Romans, “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? (…)As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Brad has purposed to bring the Good News to those who may not have heard. He has focused his “can do” attitude, on reaching his world. If you have Brads passion for life- focus it on reaching your world, just as he has. God will use the person He created you to be, to draw others to Himself.

Power in the Blood

The famous 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote, “We began to live when at the cross we looked up and saw the flowing of those founts of forgiveness…we expect to die looking for our Lords appearing and resting upon His finished work.”

You know, my father did exactly as Spurgeon described- he lived sold out for Jesus, and died singing praises to Him! My father had peace and joy in what seemed to many a hopeless situation. But death was not hopeless or scary for my Dad because he knew, as a follower of Jesus, that physical death brought him eternal life!

Isaiah wrote, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” There is real power in what took place on the cross- power to heal and make new! You can experience this power too, if you accept Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord. When you do, you will experience joy and peace like never before. You too will be able to face death with peace, not fear, knowing that Jesus Christs sacrifice on the cross is sufficient.

Joy Despite Circumstances

Charles Spurgeon is one of the most famous Bible teachers of all time. He drew more than 6,000 people to his church every week! He dedicated his life to reaching his world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. However, his life was not without difficulties. Spurgeon had many harsh critics, and suffered from severe bouts of depression.

Spurgeon wrote, “In deep waters, in sickness, in poverty, in sorrow, in depression, through fire and through water we discover the mercy of God. Yes, he deserves to be trusted although we cannot see Him.” Spurgeon could find joy, and peace- even in troubled times- because hard times brought him to a deeper understanding of God.

David wrote in the Psalms, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” If you are struggling right now, cling to God. Remember His love, demonstrated on the cross. And remember there are things to be learned through your hardship- things you can share with others. Believe Gods promises, even when its hard, and He will use you in ways you cannot imagine.

The Lord’s Graciousness

Some people complain that the Lord isnt being gracious with them when they go through a hard time. When they are struggle financially, they think God has forgotten them, or that He no longer cares. But God does care. He hasnt forgotten. God is always God. Hes always gracious.

And that goodness is especially evident by the miracle of the cross of Jesus. St. Paul writes in the book of Romans that the “wages of sin is death.” All of us have sinned against God, so none of us deserve to be with Him in Heaven. It is only through Jesus death on the cross that we can be with God for eternity.

Be careful if youre hurting not to blame God or become angry with Him. He loves you so much that He died and rose for you. That should be more than enough for you to remember His goodness. Praise God today for all that Hes done for you. You can rejoice in your salvation, even if you have temporary difficulties here on earth. Share Gods goodness with a friend today and explain the reason for your joy, even when things are hard.