Memorise: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. – James 1:14
Read: James 1:12-16 (KJV)
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Bible in One Year: Judges 9, Jeremiah 50:31-43, Hymn: Sing hymn 6
Many people have been taken captive in different ways. Some have become captives of war, while some others have fallen prey to traps set by the enemy. May God deliver us from satanic booby traps! However, you really need to exercise caution if you do not want to fall prey to the devil. Watch those things you take pleasure in because sooner rather than later, they can become the very things the tempter will use in enticing you! Today‘s memory verse tells us that temptations start with us: they emanate from what we secretly or openly long for. Some people nurse some unvoiced thoughts and ideas and do not really care whether those thoughts agree with the standard of Philippians 4:8. This standard states:
''.... whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ''
For nonchalant Christians, the devil soon sets them up to reveal exactly what is in their heart, and thereafter they are confronted with temptations. An example here is Esau, who loved good food. He loved eating so much that the devil decided to use food to secure the loss of his destiny, and he fell for it. If you secretly admire the opposite sex, the devil will find out about it someday, and before long, you will be battling with sexual lust or some other form of immorality.
Men are drawn by their own lustful thoughts. Lust pulls the one lusting into further sin. Do everything possible to avoid lust because before you know it, it will bring you into the pit of sin. If you lust after money, before long, you will find yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to sell out on your salvation or betray someone who is close to you in exchange for money, like Judas lscariot and Joseph's brothers did. What do you secretly lust after? If you ignore it, you will later regret it by the time the tempter is through with you. This is the time to prayerfully check and cut off any seemingly harmless pull from lust. Where there is a pull, it continues until there is a build-up. When the build-up has become formidable, it will become too difficult to resist its compelling force to sin. Therefore, do everything possible to love only those things that are good, and feed your mind on the word of God. Also, avoid the tendency for a build up by resisting the subtle lure of lust. Prayerfully keep your thoughts in check and closely monitor what you allow into your heart.
Action Point: To prevent sexual sins, covetousness, murders and the likes, stop it at the thought stage. Don't allow it move from thought to lust.