Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Resisting Temptation

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ~ Hebrews 2:18
The "He" mentioned here is of course Jesus Christ. He became a man to live among men, teach men, be tempted like man, and die a man's death. But, because He is also the Son of God, He lived a perfect, sinless, life. Then, also because He is the Son of God, He conquered death when He rose from the grave and ascended to Heaven. All of this -- His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection -- God brought it all to pass as a sacrifice for US, so that WE have a way to attain eternal life!

Now, if Jesus could accomplish all that, there is no limit to what He can accomplish, including helping me and you. Because, unlike Christ, we don't live perfect, sinless lives. We're born imperfect sinners, every single one of us. I've heard it said many times, you don't have to teach a child to be bad. They're going to hit other kids. They're going to bite others. They're going to pull each other's hair. You tell a little kid not to do something, and I mean a little bitty toddler, and they're going to try their best to do exactly that! You don't have to teach them to be bad. Because it's our nature to sin from the day we are born.

Even after we've been taught right and wrong, the temptation to sin is there. You've heard "rules are made to be broken." How many people do you know who never stole anything. Even stealing a piece of candy is a sin. We're ALL tempted, and even if we know right from wrong, we ALL fall to temptation at times. Because of that, we ALL need help to resist that temptation.

We are called to live Holy lives. We are called to imitate Jesus. Yes, the perfect, sinless, Son of God is who we are supposed to model our own lives after.But we can't do it on our own. Satan is there to lure us from it. The devil is the one who tempts us, prowling like a lion, seeking to devour us. And it's hard! It's hard to resist temptation. It's hard to make the right choices and live the Holy life we're called to live.

But, if we lean on the One who did lead a perfect, sinless life, if we cry out to Jesus and ask Him to help us, He will help. He will help us face down temptation. All we have to do is ask. He will help us turn away from sin when we do fall to temptation. All we have to do is ask.

Jesus Christ is waiting, wanting to help every single one of us face down temptation. Every single one of us! He didn't die to save just me. He didn't die to save just the pastor of your church. He didn't die to save just one nation. He didn't die to save just one race. He died to save us ALL!

So whether you find yourself being tempted for the first time, or whether you're so deep in sin it feels like you're in over your head. Cry out to Jesus! He's ready and waiting to keep you from falling in, or to reach in and pull you out. He's ready and waiting right now!

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