Be very careful not to lose your focus!

July 28, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
(1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV))

How secure are you in your faith? How confident are you that you can resist temptation? Are you capable of standing firm in the face of the sin that used to hold you captive?

When answering these questions, it is essential that you don’t forget that you are human and have inherited a sinful, fallen nature. It is a nature that is hard to overcome on your own. Even if you have professed a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, it is still possible to fall back into the very sins that you seek forgiveness for. It takes discipline. It takes focus. It takes the grace and mercy that was freely given through Jesus!

No one is perfect. We may desire to walk in the confidence that we will always do what Jesus calls us to do, but we are only capable of claiming our righteousness because Jesus is righteous. Without Jesus, we are nothing.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
(Isaiah 64:6 (NIV))

Walking with Jesus takes effort. It is not easy.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

The wide gate and the broad road are easier to travel than the narrow road and the small gate. Think of the difference between an interstate highway and a narrow and winding country road. Which is easier to travel on? Which gets you there faster? Which has the twists and turns that build your driving skills? Which holds surprise blessings along the way? If you are traveling the narrow road, you must maintain your focus or you can find yourself in danger of running off of the road. An interstate highway leads you rapidly to where you think you want to go, but is it truly the best way to go? It takes you on a journey that bypasses all of the great things that you would encounter if you focused on traveling the narrow road.

I realize that I took a small detour with the driving comparison. This is a prime example of just how easy it is to fall for a diversion. It shows us just how easy it is to lose our focus.

Be very careful not to lose your focus!

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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Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

March 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Mark 14:38 (NIV))

Things happen in this world. Some of them are good and some of them are not so good. Often, the things that look good on the surface are only deceptions. They are temptations to lure you into things that aren’t good. It is these temptations that we must learn to discern and stay away from. Ironically, it is often the things that look uncertain that often turn out to be good. From a worldly perspective, putting your faith in a man who was crucified two thousand years ago on a cross does not look like a good thing. However, this is the very way that God works. He uses what the world calls foolish and makes it bring blessings. These blessings are far greater than those promised by the temptations that the world throws at us.

It is easy to fall into the temptations of this world when they you are constantly being presented to you in very alluring packages. Fame, wealth, prestige, power, and, yes, sex all are powerful temptations that the enemy uses to lure us away from what God has called us to. All temptations come from Satan. No one has escaped them.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
(Matthew 4:1 (NIV))

We must learn to do what Jesus did when He was in the desert.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

If we train our spirit, we will be able to face temptation and turn it away. Once we have trained our spirit through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we must pray that we will be able to resist temptation in the flesh. No one is perfect. If we let down our guard, Satan will attack. Like a good soldier, we must constantly watch. Like a good follower of Jesus, we must constantly pray.

Are you willing to resist temptation?

Are you thankful that Jesus resisted temptation?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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