Category Archives: Temptation/Tempting

Dealing With Sin and Restoring Relationship with the Father

There is a lot going on in the last chapter of 2 Samuel. David sins against the LORD despite Joab trying to persuade him not to take a census.  When it is complete, David recognizes his sin and asks for forgiveness. The LORD gives David a choice for punishment. David’s punishment affects his people, not just him. (Others often share in consequences of our sin.) David throws himself on the mercy of the LORD, and receives it. He then gets closure by building an altar.

David does ask the LORD to let the punishment fall on him rather than others. I deeply respect this request. I also respect that David did not take for free the property and sacrifice offered to him, but rather paid a fair price for it. He did not take advantage of his position as king.

This chapter basically sums up David’s relationship with YHWH. What made him different from so many others? What made David a man after God’s own heart? I believe it was that when David sinned, he sought forgiveness and turned to YHWH and accepted consequences and changed his behavior.  That is something for us all to model.

We also see YHWH’s mercy at play as he stops the pestilence before it if fully rolled out.

Of course, we could also ask…”why is it a sin to take a census?”  “Was it YHWH who was angry that caused David to sin?”

If we cross reference with 1 Chronicles 21, we learn that it was Satan who rose up and incited David to conduct the census. It is likely that the sin here is not counting the people. There are other examples where the people were counted. Perhaps the sin here was pride growing within David and the people about their own might and power as a nation. Let us take care to avoid that trap (pride) that Satan sets for many of us.

Remember also that when sin occurs, and we repent, that does not mean we will not still experience consequences.

As perhaps a last thought, when David sinned with Bathsheba, there is no mention of Satan. That was just a sin motivated by David’s own sin nature. This event is different. This is an example of spiritual warfare in which Satan tempted or incited David to sin. We must be on guard for both.

2 Samuel 24

The Census Taken

      1Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 3But Joab said to the king, “Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel. 5They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. 6Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, 7and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9And Joab gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

      10Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12“Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the LORD says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 13So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

Pestilence Sent

      15So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

David Builds an Altar

      18So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the LORD had commanded. 20Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23“Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Temptation is a Trap that Leads to Sin, So Flee From It

David was a man after YHWH’s own heart, but even he was susceptible to temptation and sin. One of his most significant failures began when he should have been at war with his army. He stayed home. He allowed himself to be idle and let his eyes wander and then linger where they should not have done so.

Then, as he lingered, his desire increased and he took action to inquire about the woman. It leads to adultery and that then leads to even more sin, in this  case murder, to try to cover up what he did wrong. As David arranges fro Uriah to be murdered, he also causes the death of others in the battle. David sinned and then escalated the sin to try and cover. He was totally self absorbed and absent any thought of the impact on others. Did he forget that we can not hide such a thing from YHWH? or was he only focused on himself and the judgment of men?

Let us be bold enough to turn from temptation and flee from it early before it becomes a trap and leads to sin. If we sin, let us repent and come clean before YHWH and man and not escalate in our web of deceit and sin.

Perhaps an interesting context to better understand would be about the role of Bathsheba. Did she have an option to resist the king? or was she trapped by the situation and a powerful man? or was she a willing participant in this adulterous affair?

2 Samuel 11

Bathsheba, David’s Great Sin

     1Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.

      2Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”

      6Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.

      14Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” 16So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war. 19He charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, 20and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21‘Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

      22So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate. 24“Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’; and so encourage him.”

      26Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Neither Be Nor Pursue the Harlot

Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.

      2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.

      3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

      4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;

      5That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

      6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,

      7And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,

      8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,

      9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.

      10And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.

      11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;

      12She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.

      13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:

      14“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.

      15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

      16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.

      17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

      18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.

      19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;

      20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”

      21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.

      22Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,

      23Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

      24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.

      25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.

      26For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.

      27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.

Avoid the Enticement of Sinners

For some this message may seem obvious, but for others, you need to hear the message and take it to heart. There will always be people who try to draw you into their own sinful lifestyle and choices. Sometimes it may be obvious in terms of things we call illegal in today’s society like what is laid out in Proverbs 1, but other times it may be subtle, even within a church or people who claim to or actually want to follow Yeshua. We must carefully study the word and test everything not against “what everyone else is doing”, and not against “what the preacher in a church teaches”, but against YHWH’s written word in the Bible. We do well to also seek the insight of the Holy Spirit to guide us through prayer and supplication.

In the end, whenever we make choices to follow those who entice us to sin or follow a path that is not the LORD’s, it is our own life we ambush and our relationship with the Father. Do not remain around those who entice you to sin. Separate from them.

Proverbs 1:8-19

The Enticement of Sinners

     8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;

      9Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

      10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

      11If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

      12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

      13We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

      14Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

      15My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

      16For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

      17Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

      18But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

      19So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Our Struggle Is Not Against Flesh And Blood

12For  our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul provides us important guidance about the reality of spiritual warfare.  Too often Christians dismiss spiritual warfare and focus only on the things we can see and touch. This leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. If we do not recognize the true enemy, we will struggle to win against him.

     10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

      18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Some key points upon which to reflect:

  • Our strength comes from the Lord, not ourselves
  • The devil is real and he has strategies he uses to lie, cheat and destroy. He will use more than one strategy against us.
  • Warfare does not always take place in physical world, sometimes it is in the spiritual world. Don’t believe me? Read the book of Job.
  • Just putting on one or two pieces of the armor of God is not enough, we need to put on all of them.
  • Prayer and a relationship with Jesus is necessary! Jesus tells us to pray daily and to pray specifically to not let us yield to temptation, and to be rescued from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
  • We are to stay alert and pray for others in addition to ourselves. Pray for those preach the gospel that they would preach boldly!

Let’s explore what it really means to put on the full armor of God.

Truth can simply be defined as the real facts about something.  Surprisingly the world today proposes that truth is relative when it comes to God or how we live… “True for you but not for me”, etc. This is no more accurate than saying “If I do not believe in gravity, I will not fall off a ladder.” Gravity is true whether or not I believe in or accept it. God lovingly and in great detail shares truth in the Bible and reveals it in the world around us. There is absolute truth.

Righteousness is characterized by living consistently with God’s standards of morality, justice, virtue, etc. As God’s standard is Himself, it is a lofty bar. We will never achieve it to perfection but He is the standard and reference point none the less. We should keep our eyes on Jesus and seek help from the Holy Spirit and thus keep changing to be more like Him.

The peace that comes from knowing the good news is not a promise that we will avoid conflicts and trials, but rather an affirmation that when we have relationship with Jesus Christ we know He is with us in this life and that we have eternal life on the other side of this world. We can have peace through the mightiest storms.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1. In this context Paul reminds us that we must trust in God even when we are under attack by Satan. Just because we can not recognize how God is working in the situation does not mean that He is not there. We can be confident He is with us.

Salvation is deliverance from sin and its consequences, which is death. It is not enough to know or acknowledge Jesus Christ. Even Satan and his demons due that. By asking and accepting Jesus into our  lives and repenting from our sinful ways we receive salvation through grace.

The sword of the spirit, or word of God, is what Jesus Himself used to defeat Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-11. We must know the word of God before the attack comes just as a soldier must train and be prepared before he goes to battle.

To be effective we must understand and use all of this equipment daily. It ceases to become “something we do” and becomes “how we do everything” in our lives.

Remember to heed Paul’s warning and guidance for prayer. The battle is not ours alone, but the Lord’s!

      18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Neither Follow Nor Be The Harlot

Many fall prey to the seductive ways of the harlot and families are wrecked, lives are destroyed. It promises excitement and pleasure, but delivers crushing blows to our walk with God and to those in our lives around us. Those who would hold to wisdom turn and run from adultery or immorality. Those without self control may be drawn into its trap.

Let there be no rationalizing. Adultery (and sex outside marriage of any kind) is wrong and is destructive. There are no exceptions. Note how even in Proverbs 7, there is a reference to the harlot making her peace offerings. Today as well, some will claim the name of Christ and then rebel against Him through adultery and immorality.

Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

     1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.

      2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.

      3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

      4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;

      5That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

      6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,

      7And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,

      8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,

      9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.

      10And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.

      11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;

      12She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.

      13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:

      14“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.

      15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

      16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.

      17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

      18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.

      19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;

      20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”

      21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.

      22Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,

      23Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

      24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.

      25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.

      26For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.

      27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.

Turn and flee from temptation as Joseph did in Genesis 39.

11Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. 12She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.

Do not do as Eve did in Genesis 3 when tempted in the garden, lingering to look upon the forbidden fruit and talking about it with the serpent.

    1Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Avoid Common Mistakes That Displease God

Just because we may claim the name of Christ or we may be baptized does not mean that we are living our lives in a way that is pleasing to our Creator and Father.

1 Corinthians 10:1-14

Avoid Israel’s Mistakes

     1For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3and all ate the same spiritual food; 4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

      6Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” 8Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Take care not to consider idolatry to narrowly. People make idols out of many things… false gods to be sure, but also the environment, other created things such as money, sports, self, another person… it is placing something in our heart where we are focused on it instead of the right focus of God.

Consider immorality by God’s definition, not by the definition of our culture. Man today continues to redefine what is immorality through courts and television and other means but God’s position on what is moral or immoral has not and will not change.  Sex outside of marriage is wrong. Marriage is designed for and constrained to a man and a woman. It is not really complicated until man tries to change it to avoid confronting his own sin.

Do not overlook grumbling. Yes, even grumbling is a sign of lacking faith and trust in our Father. It is a sign of an ungrateful heart that takes for granted what blessings the Father has already poured out on us. This is one area where I continue to need the Lord’s help to grumble less and less and praise Him more and more, even when things seem to be tough.

Let us each take on the challenge to  honestly confront our own attitudes and actions and compare them to Paul’s warnings from 1 Corinthians. Do not be complacent because of a one time decision to follow Christ. Instead seek Him daily and seek to keep changing yourself to be more in His image. Let us keep thankful heart and praise Him for who He is and what He has already done for us, regardless of our personal situation!

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Immorality Devastates Individuals and Families

Immorality is destructive. It may seem tempting to some at times, but leads to destruction. Take heed God’s warning, or just look at the destruction it has ravaged in the families in our culture around us. Broken families ending in divorce, children out of wedlock by different parents,  deception and lack of intimacy with your family even for those who don’t “get caught”.

It is far better to observe discretion and flee temptation.

Proverbs 5

Pitfalls of Immorality

      1My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;

      2That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.

      3For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;

      4But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.

      5Her feet go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.

      6She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

      7Now then, my sons, listen to me
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.

      8Keep your way far from her
And do not go near the door of her house,

      9Or you will give your vigor to others
And your years to the cruel one;

      10And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien;

      11And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;

      12And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!

      13“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!

      14“I was almost in utter ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

      15Drink water from your own cistern
And fresh water from your own well.

      16Should your springs be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?

      17Let them be yours alone
And not for strangers with you.

      18Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

      19As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

      20For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

      21For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He watches all his paths.

      22His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

      23He will die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

Do not be one who “will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.” The consequences are devastating to families and individuals.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Avoid Those Who Would Entice You To Sin

We are all inherently sinners. We are imperfect. Sin can be very tempting. Each of us must learn to identify sin by learning God’s instruction in the Bible. Then we must take heed to avoid it, even when it seems appealing. If we are not careful, the wicked will entice us to sin alongside them and we find ourselves trapped in sin and following the flesh instead of God’s instruction.

Proverbs 1:8-19

The Enticement of Sinners

     8Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;

      9Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

      10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.

      11If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;

      12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;

      13We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;

      14Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”

      15My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,

      16For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.

      17Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;

      18But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.

      19So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Sin is a trap no different than quick sand. It seems harmless at first, but once we are in it, we may not be able to get out. We do well to avoid sin from the beginning and avoid those who would invite us to sin with them. They are not your friends. Seek instead the kingdom of God and those who would lead you there and encourage you on that path.

Which choice will you make today?

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

I remember a line from a Spider-Man movie I saw years ago. “With great power, comes great responsibility.” While I do not look to movies for my guidance, this one nailed home a good and biblical point. When God raises up someone as a leader, He expects us to use that position and power wisely and justly, in accordance with His instructions.

God has expectations that we conduct ourselves with self control and with our mind set toward leading in a righteous and godly manner.

Proverbs 31:1-9

The Words of Lemuel

       1The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:

      2What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?

      3Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which destroys kings.

      4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,

      5For they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

      6Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.

      7Let him drink and forget his poverty
And remember his trouble no more.

      8Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.

      9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Take caution to avoid sins of the flesh such as adultery and drunkenness, for they open the door for leaders to fall from grace or abuse their position and power. Focus on those you lead… those you are serving. Speak for them when they can not speak and defend their rights when they can not do so themselves.

These principles apply for kings, but they also apply for the rest of us whenever we have positions of authority, no matter how humble we may think they are.  When God puts you in a leadership position, He expects you to lead His way and be a light for all those whom you serve.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.