“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12
Dear friends, thank you so much for supporting me in this journey! I am so blessed to have you in my corner. As always, I appreciate you!!!
We have all been tempted with something. In fact, we are all probably tempted with something right now. Some might be tempted to miss the services of the church and sleep in on Sundays. Others might be tempted to use profane language. Some people are tempted with mistreating others or behaving abusively toward another person.
Whatever the temptation, we are all tempted at some point with sin and to sin against the Lord of heaven. And just because we are tempted does not make us sinners. You can be tempted to drink alcoholic beverages but not be a drinker. You can be tempted to steal, but not be a thief because you never steal. You can be tempted with homosexuality but not be a homosexual person. You can be tempted to gossip, but not be a gossiper.
I’m not saying that those thing are acceptable. Let me be clear: I don’t in any way endorse those sins or any sin. I’m not a drinker of alcoholic beverages. I’m not a thief. I have no desire to take what does not belong to me. I am heterosexual. I love men and hope some day to marry a God-fearing one, if the Lord wills. And I am not a gossiper. I don’t like to put other people down, especially when they are not around to defend themselves; I like to encourage others with my words. I stand with God and the Bible in condemning all sin. The point, however, is that temptation is not equivalent to sin. Even Jesus was tempted in all points as we are but He was sinless (Heb. 4:15).
Since we’re all going to be tempted with something, it’s important to know what the Bible says about temptation. We’re encouraged that no temptation will come upon us that is not common to man and that God is faithful to provide us a way of escape so that we don’t sin when we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13).
Jesus said, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Lk. 22:40). Remember in the model prayer Jesus said that we are to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Mtt. 6:13).
Temptations come to test us (1 Pet. 4:12). And when we have endured the temptation and come out on the other side approved, we will receive a crown of life (Ja. 1:12). We have a beautiful picture of the rewards of resisting temptation from the prophet Isaiah.
“He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil: he will dwell on high;
his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure.” – Isaiah 33:15-16
Friends, we will be tempted with something. Everyone’s temptations won’t be the same (Ja. 1:14). But when we are tempted, we don’t have to sin. We can pray to God, take His way of escape, and flee from sin.
If you have given in to temptation and you are living in sin, don’t be discouraged; there’s hope. You can repent. You can turn to Christ, and He will wash away your sins through His blood that He shed for us on the cross. The only way you can come into contact with that blood is through baptism. You don’t have to keep living in sin. Repent and be baptized today.
When temptation comes, we can follow the perfect example that we have to not sin. Christ leads the way.
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