Could you pass this test of temptation?

May 18, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.’ ”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

” `He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus answered, “It says: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
(Luke 4:1-13 (NIV))

Satan tried everything that he could do to tempt Jesus!

Fortunately, Jesus did not fall prey to any of the temptations.

How did He face these temptations and walk away from them? How can we face them and walk away from them? Jesus was able to rebuke Satan and his temptations by knowing and using the Word of God to provide support during the temptations.

We can do the same!

True, Jesus was the Son of God, yet, He gave us an example that we can use to avoid temptation in our lives. We must rely on God. We must rely on the grace and mercy that God gave us through Jesus. We must turn to Jesus in honesty and sincerity.

Could you pass this test of temptation?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you tempted when others sin?

March 2, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
(Galatians 6:1 (NIV))

We all like to think that we are masters over our sinful nature since we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior.

How is that working out for you?

Paul knew better than to believe this or to even teach this concept. He knew that it would not take much to distract us before we were back involved in our old sinful habits. He warned us to always be on our guard so that we would not fall for the lies of the enemy and take our eyes off of Jesus.

He struggled with it himself!

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
(Romans 7:14-25 (NIV))

Think about that for a moment!

Paul, the very person who had a personal encounter with the risen Jesus on his was to Damascus, realizes that he sins. Paul, the very person who is credited with taking the Gospel to the Gentiles, recognizes his struggle with sin. If someone who is considered a pillar of faith knows that it is easy for him to still sin, why do we feel that we are perfect and that we can ignore temptation?

Don’t let the sins of others tempt you!

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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In case that you forgot, Jesus is the bread of life!

March 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
(Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV))

I realize that we live in a physical world and that we need physical nourishment for our bodies, but our society has removed a vital aspect of what it takes to sustain us in a healthy manner. We need God. We need a close relationship with God.

It is this close relationship with God that enabled Jesus to rebuke the devil. If Jesus had not been the Son of God, then the close relationship with God the Father would not have been in place, and the temptation could have been too strong to avoid. Before you explode at that last statement, I want you to think about what I just said. Perhaps I should phrase it like this? If you had been in the situation that Jesus was in, would you have been able to resist the devil? Do you have a close and strong relationship with God the Father so that you can lean on Him for strength when the devil tempts you?

How do you strengthen your relationship with God?

Read and study His Word! The books of the Bible are often referred to as God’s love letters to humanity. They tell of His desires and His love at the same time that they tell of the history of God’s creation, the fall from grace, and God’s plan for redemption.

I want to ask a rhetorical question.

Are you ever tempted?

If you are honest with yourself, then the answer is going to be yes.

How do you resist temptation?

God has a plan for that. He has a plan for anything and everything that we can and will go through in life. That plan calls for us to rely on Him and His Word. We need to feed ourselves spiritually on the very heart of God!

In case that you forgot, Jesus is the bread of life!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is it that tempts you?

November 11, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12 (NKJV))

Many of you may remember the comedy routine of Flip Wilson and his “The devil made me do it,” but where does temptation really come from?

It is true that Satan tempts us, just as he tempted Jesus, but what makes us give in to this temptation when Jesus was able to stay strong? I know that human nature is weak, but there is more to this than a weak character. We cannot be tempted by things that we are not fascinated with to begin with.

Think about that last statement!

What is the one thing that causes you to shudder? What is the one thing that makes you literally turn away in disgust?

Could you honestly ever be tempted by that?

Now, what is the one thing that you long for? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it power? What if someone offered you a million dollars to do the one thing that disgusts you? Which would win out?

Satan uses our innermost desires to tempt us. He finds out what they are and then he turns the lies up full blast until we give in to his lies.

We must stand firm! We must stand strong on the promises that God has given to us. We must focus on God’s Word and on Jesus! If we make these things our innermost desires, what desires do we have that Satan can use to tempt us?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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You are what you eat!

July 14, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Finally, brothers, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV))

The old saying, “You are what you eat” is true also for the spirit. If you feed on things of this world, then you will continue to hunger for things of this world. If you feed on what is righteous in God’s eyes, then you will grow to hunger for His righteousness no matter what the situation you may be in.

A true test of someone’s character is when they are in a different situation all alone. How many times have you been tempted when you are not around your family or church family? It is in these times that the test of your character comes about. If you have fed on what God wants you to feed upon, then you will be that and display all the appropriate character traits of righteousness. If you have not fed on things that are of God, then you will “feed” on the world when you are able.

From where do you feed?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you answering the call to repent?

February 13, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
(1 John 3:4-6 (NIV))

Ouch!

Do you realize what this means?

Think about your life and the things that you do out of habit. Think about what Paul wrote.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
(Romans 7:14-20 (NIV))

Are there things that you do not want to do, yet you find yourself still doing them? Do you repent and ask for forgiveness after you do them? Are you sincere in your repentance?

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
(Matthew 26:41 (NIV))

How do we balance a willing spirit with weak flesh? How do we stop the body from causing us to sin when our spirit seeks to be without sin? How do we balance faith in Jesus with what we must endure in the physical world?

How often do you correct your course when you are driving a car? You don’t simply get in the car and sit back and wait to arrive at your destination. You are not a passenger in a taxi cab. You must make continuous adjustments to your course of travel. Following Jesus is the same! We don’t simply decide to follow Jesus and then just sit back and end up at our destination. We must continuously make course adjustments all along the way. These course adjustments are what allows us to grow in our faith. We must desire them. We must recognize the need for them. We must be willing to abandon the things that Jesus is telling us that we must leave behind. We must be willing to turn when Jesus tells us to turn.

We will all sin for we are only human. It is the desire to leave our life of sin and follow Jesus that makes us His disciples. It is our willingness to repent when we fall that shows Jesus our heart. Take a look at the three times that Peter denied Jesus. Jesus knew Peter’s heart and He called Peter to repentance. He is calling each of us to repentance for the times that we sin.

Are you answering the call to repent?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must take a look at our actions

August 22, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
(Romans 14:21 (NIV))

Do we ever stop to think about our actions and how they effect those around us?

We tend to think that our actions only have an impact on us, but that is far from the truth. Most of us realize that our actions have a direct effect on those around us, after all, our outlook on life can impact other people. Have you ever stopped to think that what we do, and what we don’t do, can have a very big impact on people?

Would you have an alcoholic drink in front of someone that you knew was battling this temptation? Would you be so callous as to partake of a very large meal in front of someone who hadn’t eaten in several days? Would you encourage someone to steal something because they can’t afford it?

What if you were battling an eating disorder and someone accidentally tempted you? What if you were a drug addict under control and someone left something at your home?

Would you have the will power to resist? Would you be upset with those who left the temptation there for you?

Why do people sin?

It is a matter of personal addiction to something. If the temptation is removed, many can people can focus enough to ignore the sin. It is the introduction of temptation that leads to the person falling. Not everyone has the same temptation. What may cause one person to sin may not be what will cause another to sin. We, as the Body of Christ, must be careful that our actions do not lead others to sin. Contrary to what society may say, we should not only think of ourselves. We must think of others. We must be observant enough to know what may cause others to sin.

We, as the Body of Christ, have a responsibility to lift each other up. We must not be a hindrance. We must take a look at our actions.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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