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temptation

This tag is associated with 14 posts

Jesus Understands Your Struggles

http://bible.com/r/S.J

Today I am reading day 19 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 19

Jesus Understands Your Struggles

Hebrews 4:15 15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Imagine meeting the new politician who is to represent your district or neighborhood only to discover that he is not familiar with your neighborhood’s needs and problems. You will wonder, “Can this guy really represent us? Does he know anything about our living conditions? Is he familiar with the various challenges that families here are facing? Can he help me get my child into one of the schools here?” I am sure that you would prefer someone who truly understands your challenges to represent you!

In the same way, I am so glad that right now at the Father’s right hand, we have someone who came as a Man to redeem us, and who fully understands what man goes through. When Jesus walked on earth, He went through every human emotion so that He could identify with us in all points. Jesus is God, but He is in the Father’s presence as a Man, representing us.

My friend, you may feel that no one understands your struggles. Listen, while this may be true of man, it is not true of Jesus. He knows exactly what you are going through and He can sympathize with your weaknesses because He was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”.

None of us have been tempted in all points. But God allowed Jesus to be tempted in all points so that He can understand and identify with the struggles of every single person on this earth. He can be touched by our humanity — our weaknesses, tears, disappointments, griefs… all points!

There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with. My friend, the moment you go through it, right there and then, He feels it too. That is the kind of representative you have in Jesus! That is the love of God so that you will draw near to His throne of grace (not judgment) to find mercy and grace in time of need! (Hebrews 4:15–16)

Thought For The Day
There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with.

Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus

http://bible.com/r/2B.5d

Today I am reading day 349 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus

Hebrews 3:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest.

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Proverbs 4:23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

When you are tempted, do whatever is necessary to turn your attention to something else.

Satan can’t get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. That’s why the Bible teaches us to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and to fill our minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” (Philippians 4:8 TEV)

When we’re serious about defeating temptation, we will manage our thoughts and monitor our media intake. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived warned: “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23 TEV)

Don’t allow thoughts to run indiscriminately in your mind. Be selective. Choose carefully what you think about. Follow Paul’s model: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV)

This takes a lifetime of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can discipline the way you think.

Don’t Give Temptation Power

http://bible.com/r/2B.5c

Today I am reading day 348 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Don’t Give Temptation Power

2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Have you ever watched a food advertisement on television and suddenly felt you were hungry? Have you ever heard someone cough and immediately felt the need to clear your throat? Ever watched someone release a big yawn and felt the urge to yawn yourself?

This is the power of suggestion working within your mind. We naturally move toward whatever our attention is focused on. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you.

This is why repeating, “I must stop eating too much or stop smoking or stop lusting” is a self-defeating strategy. It keeps you focused on what you don’t want. It’s like announcing, “I’m never going to do what my mom did.” You are setting yourself up to repeat it.

Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior, and you act on what you feel. The more you focus on “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger temptation draws you into its web.

Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it, just hang up!

Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation. This is one time it is okay to run away. Get up and turn off the television set. Walk away from a group that is gossiping. Leave the theater in the middle of the movie.

To avoid being stung, stay away from the bees!

When Tempted, Seek Support

http://bible.com/r/2B.5G

Today I am reading day 326 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Seek Support

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

When you’re tempted, reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group. You don’t have to broadcast it to the whole world, but you need at least one person you can honestly share your struggles with.

Let me be clear: If you’re losing the battle against a persistent bad habit, an addiction, or a temptation, and you’re stuck in a repeating cycle of good intention-failure-guilt, you will not get better on your own! You need the help of other people.

Some temptations are only overcome with the help of a partner who prays for you, encourages you, and holds you accountable.

God’s plan for your growth and freedom includes other Christians. Authentic, honest fellowship is the antidote to your lonely struggle against those sins that won’t budge. God says it is the only way you’re going to break free: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16 NIV)

Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it; confess it! Don’t conceal it; reveal it.

When Tempted, Resist the Devil

http://bible.com/r/2B.5F

Today I am reading day 325 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Resist the Devil

Ephesians 6:17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

After we’ve humbled ourselves and submitted to God, the Bible teaches us to defy the Devil. We don’t passively resign ourselves to his attacks. God tells us to fight back.

The New Testament often describes the Christian life as a spiritual battle against evil forces, using war terms such as fight, conquer, strive, and overcome. Christians are often compared to soldiers serving in enemy territory.

How can we resist the Devil? Paul tells us, “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NLT)

The first step is to accept God’s salvation. You won’t be able to say no to the Devil unless you’ve said yes to Christ. Without Christ we’re defenseless against the Devil, but with “the helmet of salvation” our minds are protected by God. Remember this: If you are a believer, Satan cannot force you to do anything. He can only suggest.

Second, you must use the Word of God as your weapon against Satan. Jesus modeled this when he was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan suggested a temptation, Jesus countered by quoting Scripture.

He didn’t argue with Satan. He didn’t say, “I’m not hungry,” when tempted to use his power to meet a personal need. He simply quoted Scripture from memory. We must do the same. There is power in God’s Word, and Satan fears it.

This is why memorizing Scripture is absolutely essential to defeating temptation. You have quick access to it whenever you’re tempted. Like Jesus, you have the truth stored in your heart, ready to be remembered.

When Tempted, Humble Yourself Before God

http://bible.com/r/2B.5E

Today I am reading day 324 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Humble Yourself Before God

James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.

Psalms 119:3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.

You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that’s a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part too by practicing biblical methods for defeating temptation.

First and foremost, you want to refocus your attention on something besides the temptation. It may surprise you that nowhere in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation.” We’re told to “resist the devil,” and that is very different. (James 4:7)

The Bible says we’re to refocus our attention because trying to resist a thought simply doesn’t work. It only intensifies our focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its allure.

In other words, whatever you resist, persists.

Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea.

The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. That’s why Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.” (Job 31:1 NLT)

And David prayed, “Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless.” (Psalm 119:3a TEV)

Understand Your Vulnerability

http://bible.com/r/2B.5D

Today I am reading day 323 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Understand Your Vulnerability

Proverbs 14:16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 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.

When you’re tempted, keep your vulnerability in mind and work out ways to protect yourself. God warns us to never to get cocky and overconfident about our ability to handle temptation; that’s the recipe for disaster.

In fact, the prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)

That means we’re good at fooling ourselves. Given the right circumstances, any of us are capable of any sin. We must never let down our guard and think we’re beyond temptation: “Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situations. Avoid them.” (Proverbs 14:16 TEV)

Remember it’s easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it. The Bible says, “Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 MSG)

One final note from Scripture: “And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)

Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus

http://bible.us/r/2B.2D

Today I am reading day 137 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

When you are tempted, do whatever is necessary to turn your attention to something else.

Satan can’t get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. That’s why the Bible teaches us to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and to fill our minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” (Philippians 4:8 TEV)

When we’re serious about defeating temptation, we will manage our thoughts and monitor our media intake. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived warned: “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23 TEV)

Don’t allow thoughts to run indiscriminately in your mind. Be selective. Choose carefully what you think about. Follow Paul’s model: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV)

This takes a lifetime of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can discipline the way you think.

Don’t Give Temptation Power

http://bible.us/r/2B.2C

Today I am reading day 136 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Don’t Give Temptation Power

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Have you ever watched a food advertisement on television and suddenly felt you were hungry? Have you ever heard someone cough and immediately felt the need to clear your throat? Ever watched someone release a big yawn and felt the urge to yawn yourself?

This is the power of suggestion working within your mind. We naturally move toward whatever our attention is focused on. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you.

This is why repeating, “I must stop eating too much or stop smoking or stop lusting” is a self-defeating strategy. It keeps you focused on what you don’t want. It’s like announcing, “I’m never going to do what my mom did.” You are setting yourself up to repeat it.

Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior, and you act on what you feel. The more you focus on “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger temptation draws you into its web.

Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it, just hang up!

Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation. This is one time it is okay to run away. Get up and turn off the television set. Walk away from a group that is gossiping. Leave the theater in the middle of the movie.

To avoid being stung, stay away from the bees!

When Tempted, Seek Support

http://bible.us/r/2B.26

Today I am reading day 130 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Seek Support

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

When you’re tempted, reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group. You don’t have to broadcast it to the whole world, but you need at least one person you can honestly share your struggles with.

Let me be clear: If you’re losing the battle against a persistent bad habit, an addiction, or a temptation, and you’re stuck in a repeating cycle of good intention-failure-guilt, you will not get better on your own! You need the help of other people.

Some temptations are only overcome with the help of a partner who prays for you, encourages you, and holds you accountable.

God’s plan for your growth and freedom includes other Christians. Authentic, honest fellowship is the antidote to your lonely struggle against those sins that won’t budge. God says it is the only way you’re going to break free: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16 NIV)

Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it; confess it! Don’t conceal it; reveal it.

When Tempted, Resist the Devil

http://bible.us/r/2B.25

Today I am reading day 129 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Resist the Devil

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

After we’ve humbled ourselves and submitted to God, the Bible teaches us to defy the Devil. We don’t passively resign ourselves to his attacks. God tells us to fight back.

The New Testament often describes the Christian life as a spiritual battle against evil forces, using war terms such as fight, conquer, strive, and overcome. Christians are often compared to soldiers serving in enemy territory.

How can we resist the Devil? Paul tells us, “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NLT)

The first step is to accept God’s salvation. You won’t be able to say no to the Devil unless you’ve said yes to Christ. Without Christ we’re defenseless against the Devil, but with “the helmet of salvation” our minds are protected by God. Remember this: If you are a believer, Satan cannot force you to do anything. He can only suggest.

Second, you must use the Word of God as your weapon against Satan. Jesus modeled this when he was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan suggested a temptation, Jesus countered by quoting Scripture.

He didn’t argue with Satan. He didn’t say, “I’m not hungry,” when tempted to use his power to meet a personal need. He simply quoted Scripture from memory. We must do the same. There is power in God’s Word, and Satan fears it.

This is why memorizing Scripture is absolutely essential to defeating temptation. You have quick access to it whenever you’re tempted. Like Jesus, you have the truth stored in your heart, ready to be remembered.

When Tempted, Humble Yourself Before God

http://bible.us/r/2B.24

Today I am reading day 128 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

When Tempted, Humble Yourself Before God

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.

Psalm 119:3 they do no wrong but follow his ways.

You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that’s a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part too by practicing biblical methods for defeating temptation.

First and foremost, you want to refocus your attention on something besides the temptation. It may surprise you that nowhere in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation.” We’re told to “resist the devil,” and that is very different. (James 4:7)

The Bible says we’re to refocus our attention because trying to resist a thought simply doesn’t work. It only intensifies our focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its allure.

In other words, whatever you resist, persists.

Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea.

The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. That’s why Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.” (Job 31:1 NLT)

And David prayed, “Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless.” (Psalm 119:3a TEV)

Understand Your Vulnerability

http://bible.us/r/2B.23

Today I am reading day 127 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Understand Your Vulnerability

Proverbs 14:16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.

When you’re tempted, keep your vulnerability in mind and work out ways to protect yourself. God warns us to never to get cocky and overconfident about our ability to handle temptation; that’s the recipe for disaster.

In fact, the prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)

That means we’re good at fooling ourselves. Given the right circumstances, any of us are capable of any sin. We must never let down our guard and think we’re beyond temptation: “Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situations. Avoid them.” (Proverbs 14:16 TEV)

Remember it’s easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it. The Bible says, “Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 MSG)

One final note from Scripture: “And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)

You Won’t Take Your Job to Heaven

http://bible.us/r/2B.f

Today I am reading day 41 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

You Won’t Take Your Job to Heaven

Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

You’re not taking your job to heaven. You’re not taking some gold watch or achievement award to heaven. You’re taking YOU, so you want to build character because God is more interested in what you become rather than what you do.

Look again at today’s verse because some people have a misunderstanding about temptation. They think that, once they become a Christian, they should be beyond temptation.

It’s important to realize you will never outgrow temptation. In fact, the closer you are to God, the more you become an enemy of Satan, and the more he will try to tempt you. The good news is that God gives you greater strength to resist it.

When you are tempted at work – to be unkind, to get angry, to be prideful or greedy – remember that every temptation is not only an opportunity to do good but, it’s also an opportunity to grow in character.

For example, when you encounter an annoying co-worker, the temptation may be for you to get upset with that person. But the Bible says to bless those who curse you and pray for those who offend you. So instead of getting mad, use it as an opportunity to praise God.

First, Satan will get annoyed that you’re praising God. The more you praise God, the less Satan will use that as a temptation in your life.

Second, you’ll find yourself naturally growing in godly character as you apply God’s Word to your life.

My journey with Christ

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