OVERCOMING TEMPTATION

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” – Matthew 4:10 (CSB)

MESSAGE

The gospel of Matthew tells us that after going more than a month without food or water, after spending nearly six weeks in complete isolation, Jesus had to do battle with the devil. He was hungry, and the devil offered bread – tempting Jesus not just to satisfy His hunger but to take control of a situation. Later he offered power and glory, trying to trick Jesus into testing His own Father and worshiping His enemy.

Each time He was met with temptation, Jesus resisted. Though He was weakened from fasting, He leaned on the strength of His Father. Though the devil was sneaky and clever, Jesus leaned on His knowledge of truth in Scripture. And so He resisted the temptation while also giving us a template for doing the same.

Through God’s grace (and years of lessons learned the hard way) I remember the real solution to the problem of temptation. Worrying won’t add a minute to my life. And I remember that what makes a difference in every single situation that arises is looking the devil in the face and resisting just like Jesus. What turns my heart around, even if my circumstances stay the same, is meditating on the Word of God, trusting Him, and worshiping Him with gratitude and awe for who He is and everything He has done and will do.

As we spend this season of Lent letting God prepare our hearts for a celebration of the resurrection, we may find ourselves feeling vulnerable. When we spend time face to face with the magnitude of our God and the depravity of our own sin, when we humble ourselves and repent, when we obey God’s call to sacrifice and to serve others, that is likely when temptation will strike hardest. And it’s then that we must follow Jesus’ blueprint for resistance and leave that devil behind in the wilderness.

PRAYER: “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for facing the devil and refusing to back down. Thank You for looking him in the eyes and bowing to no one but God, our Father. Thank You for showing us exactly how to resist the temptation we face every day, not by being superhuman or super strong, but by leaning on the strength we’re all given by God. Please protect me. Protect me from every temptation, every sin, every familiar disobedience my instincts tell me to embrace. Give me strength, Lord, and give me clarity to remember Your Word in the right moments. Remind me of all the truth I’ve learned about You and what You want for me. Help me resist, God. Thank You”. Amen

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: DAY SPRING

We are in difficult moments because of COVID-19, but we must pray and trust God that He will protect and heal us. Follow all the health protocols and please spread CALM NOT FEAR. 
Rev. Dr. Joyce R. Aryee 
ED, SALM

TEMPTATION

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell those stones to become bread…”Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”Then the devil left him, and angels came and I began to serve him. – Matthew 4:1-11 (CSB)

MESSAGE

Jesus urges us not to be anxious – about our lives, our needs, or our future (Matthew 6:25-34 CSB), but I’ve always found that easier said than done. Or, perhaps, easier read than obeyed. I’m a planner and a nurturer by nature, so finding myself unable to know for sure if I can take care of all the people and all the things leaves me unsettled at best and spiraling with uncertainty at worst. When control has been wrenched from my hands in those situations, my strongest urge is to yank the reins by doing the only thing I can: worry.

But worrying like that is disobeying God. Simply put, it’s a sin. And I know that. He’s shown me many times – just as many times as He’s proven perfectly capable of taking care of all the things and all the people without my interference or input. Still, I struggle. In the face of bad news and doubt, my old friend worry often welcomes me with open arms.

Are you a worrier? Do you fight the urge to fret and fuss instead of trust and believe? Or perhaps you’ve mastered casting all your anxieties on the Lord and depending on Him for your needs. Perhaps your biggest struggle today is something different. Whatever temptation you face today, you are not alone. Every one of us is confronted with the thing we long to do but know we shouldn’t, with the thing we’ve done in the past but have sworn not to do again, with the exact thing we crave most in our weakest moments.

Even Jesus was tempted in the same way.

Every single one of us battles temptation of some sort. What specific temptations are you facing today? We are most vulnerable to sin when we are weakened in some way. Where do you need to lean on God’s strength in order to resist the devil? Reflect on these things, and tomorrow we will look at how Jesus fought the devil’s temptation for the Father’s glory, and how we can, too.

PRAYER: “Dear Lord, help me not to rely on myself to avoid temptations. But give me the strength to stand on Your word and resist temptation.” Amen.

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: DAY SPRING

TWO STEPS TOWARD KNOWING GOD’S WILL

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him.” -James 1:5 (TLB)

If you want to know God’s will, then you can start with these two steps:

Admit that you need guidance.

Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (NIV).

If you’ve never felt God guiding you, maybe it’s because you’ve never admitted that you need His guidance. You go to work assuming that you know what to do without praying about it. You make financial decisions, vacation plans, or career decisions before stopping to pray about them. If you’re single, you might even ask someone out on a date without first asking for God’s guidance.

You think you know, but you might want to stop and admit that you need guidance, because it’s the first step in getting God’s will for your life.

Ask God in faith for directions.

The Bible says in James 1:5-6, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it. But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (TLB).

Notice there are two keys to knowing God’s wisdom. First, you’ve got to ask the right Person: God. You don’t ask your hairdresser, mechanic, or radio talk show host. You need to ask the right Person!

Then, you ask with the right attitude: expecting God to answer. Have you ever asked God to lead you, but you didn’t really expect him to? You must ask, expecting God to answer.

God honors faith, and He promises wisdom for the next step of your life.

Talk About It

What are the big decisions you’ve made about your life recently? How did you know it was God’s will? How did prayer affect your decision?

Who do you go to when you need help discerning God’s will? How does that person point you back to God’s Word and prayer?

Why do you think God wants you to pray expectantly?

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: PASTOR RICK’S DAILY HOPE

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME YOUR FEARS?

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”- Joshua 1:9, (NLT)

The Lord knows our feelings, and He knows we can be afraid. He knows how the devil has tried to use the corona virus to make us run and cower in fear.

Don’t find refuge in fear…but in the Lord!

In fact, fear is one of the first consequences of sin and our separation from God in the Bible: Adam said, “… ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.’” (Genesis 3:10)

The devil’s tactic is to make us afraid. He prowls around like a roaring lion, the Bible says. We are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices…

Fear paralyzes.

Fear distorts reality.

Fear causes us to panic and hoard.

Fear prevents us from making the right decisions.

Fear forces us to retreat rather than move forward.

Fear prevents us from entering into the wonderful plan God has for our lives.

As it did for this man who received a talent but went and hid it out of fear: “‘I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth…’” (Matthew 25:25)

So, how do you overcome your fears?

Start by recognizing the source. Is it fear of sickness, lack, losing your job, even of dying? Here’s what Jesus says to you: “‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’” (John 16:33, NKJV)

 

Receive the perfect love of God. It is His perfect love that casts out all fear. (see 1 John 4:18)

Then, confess the Word of God. Don’t forget: what makes fear afraid is the Word declared! Take your stand…declare that you do not allow fear to rule over you. For God has given you a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Proclaim that you are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (see Ephesians 6:10). Decree that you shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (see Psalm 118:17)

Encourage and reach out to others! They are afraid, too. But the Lord says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.” (Isaiah 50:4, NLT) As you receive God’s love and peace, He will also pour out His love in your heart for others. He will fill you with compassion and allow you to see them through His eyes during this difficult time!

You can also use the very powerful weapon of praise and worship to tear down the stronghold of fear as you sing the lyrics of this song, “Stand in Your Love.”

Today, I pray that you will fearlessly declare that your battle belongs to the Lord and no other! You are safe in His love and empowered to bring encouragement to others!

 

 

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to  fast, pray and read our Bible.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: JESUS.NET

 

 

 

WHAT IS GOD’S WILL?

SCRIPTURE TEXT:“God . . . invited you into this wonderful friendship with His Son, even Christ our Lord.” –1 Corinthians 1:9 (TLB)

God’s not playing games with you. He wants you to understand his will, purpose, and plan for your life.

You may say, “I want God to guide me, but I still get confused. I don’t know what to do.” Often the problem is we’re looking for the wrong thing.

You need to know what you’re looking for before you can find it.

So, what is God’s will?

1. God’s will is not a feeling.
You may be looking for a feeling or a supernatural sign. You want God to pull your heartstrings so you’ll know exactly what to do. The problem is that feelings are unreliable; they will often guide you the wrong way. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful” (NIV). Even your heart plays tricks on you. Even the devil can create a feeling. Don’t wait for a feeling when you’re trying to figure out God’s plan for your life.

2. God’s will is not a formula.
In our culture, we want everything to be easy. We want things to follow a simple formula so it will instantly change our lives. We want a step-by-step guide. But there’s a problem with this approach: There’s no room for mistakes.God’s will is not a closed system. It is dynamic! It is not always an issue of choosing A or B. In fact, many times you can choose from A to Z, and any of them will be okay. It’s your choice. Why would God give you a brain and not expect you to use it? He lets you make choices, and He gives you second chances.

So, if God’s will is not a feeling or a formula, then what is it?

3. God’s will is a relationship.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God . . . invited you into this wonderful friendship with His Son, even Christ our Lord” (TLB).There is very little in the Bible about the technique of knowing God’s will. But there are thousands of verses that talk about developing a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. Why? Because God’s will is a relationship.

The better you get to know Him, the less confusion you’re going to have about what His will is. When you get to know God, everything else becomes secondary

Talk About It

How can you know if a feeling is reliable?

Why do you think God allows us to make choices and even mistakes when we are searching for his will?

What are some ways you can grow in your relationship with the Lord?

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: PASTOR RICK’S DAILY HOPE

DEAD TO SIN, ALIVE IN CHRIST

SCRIPTURE TEXT:“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:6, 10 & 11 (NIV)

Paul challenges the faulty notion that we may continue to sin and yet remain secure and guilt-free in our salvation because of God’s grace.  Christians who held this misguided view felt that they are not obligated to God’s moral law as long as they had faith and relied on God’s grace.  Paul stands strongly against this twisted view of God’s grace by presenting one of the most basic of all spiritual truths about the lives of those who are justified through Christ: genuine Christians are identified as being “in Christ” because they are “dead to sin but alive to God.”  This means that we are free from sin’s control and unresponsive to its influence because we are now willing servants “to obedience which leads to righteousness” – “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” – Rom. 6:16.

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with Him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.  For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace”.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:1-23 (NIV)

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

STAY BLESSED

THE PURPOSE FOR JESUS’S DEATH

We are in difficult moments because of COVID-19, but we must pray and trust God that He will protect and heal us. Follow all the health protocols and please spread CALM NOT FEAR.

Rev. Dr. Joyce R. Aryee

SCRIPTURE TEXT:“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:5

When death was the only inheritance that was ours, when we had no hope of being rescued from the hopelessness of our sins, God gave us His Son to die so we can live.  It is the basis of our hope of eternal life.  And it is the core of all Easters.

The story of Jesus’ birth was ordinary enough.  Born in a manger by two peasants – the hallmark of insignificance.  Dedicated at the temple with two pigeons – the least sacrifice for the poorest of the poor.  Groomed in a carpenter’s shed for a life of toil – the legacy of a poor pedigree.

But Jesus was born for a specific purpose.  It was a purpose that His place of birth, His station in life, His choice of trade, or His earthly pedigree could not obliterate and had been carefully selected to prepare Him for.  He was born for a specific purpose unlike no other, and for which no other could fulfill – to reverse the plight of man originally created in God’s glory and declared good and perfect.

Jesus was born to pay a debt.  But it was not a debt the He owed.  It was a debt that we owed, but could not pay: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23.  Yet He agreed to pay our debt because of His love for us.  The price would cost His life.  The path would cost Him pain.  He would be cut off from earthly support, and subjected to ridicule and mockery.  His own disciples would doubt His divinity, and those who had experienced great miracles of healing and deliverance would not be able to help Him.

Knowing the horrors of this Passion, Christ had pleaded “Father, let this cup pass over me.”  But, knowing the hopelessness of sinful man without the atoning sacrifice of His blood, He had concluded to His Father, “Not My will, but Yours.” – Matt. 26:39.

The devil tried everything possible to prevent Him from going ahead with the plan for man’s salvation.  He alone on earth understood what it meant for Christ to complete that sacrifice for man’s redemption.  He knew it sealed his doom.  He knew helpless captives would be released from His grasp, that his hold of death and hell would be broken, and man could be reconciled with His eternal Father.

He had successfully worked through the years to diminish the focus of the religious
rulers in the Bible. And he had achieved so much success that they did not recognize Jesus when He was among them, teaching, healing, and preaching.  They did not even realize the role they were playing in the fulfillment of prophecy.  He had killed His beloved cousin – John the Baptist – to discourage Him from entering fully into His ministry.  He turned His brothers against Him, making them deny Him publicly.  He filled His disciples with fear so that they fled from Him at His time of greatest need.  None of these defeated the purpose for which Christ was born, which was to die for the sins of the world.

Before Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God had promised that the curse of sin that separated man from God would be broken.  He promised a seed or an offspring of man that would crush the head of Satan – Genesis 3:15. Faithful Israelites had waited for generations for the fulfillment of that promise.  Some grew weary, thinking God had forgotten.  But God had promised, and at the appointed time, He delivered.  “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8. Christ was born and went through the pain of death just so that we might be saved.  He fulfilled His part of the bargain – made the atonement for our sins – 1 John 2:2.

While still on the cross, the curtain that had previously separated the Holy place from the Most Holy place was torn in two from top to bottom.  What used to be hidden was then exposed and made public, symbolizing that the separation that had existed between God and man was cleared.  The High Priest had stopped being the intermediary between God and man and all men were able to get to the heart of God directly.  None could stop the removal of the partition and none could deny it.  God had delivered and spoken plainly, in the language of heaven.  When Christ said “It is finished” on the cross, it was truly finished.

PRAYER: ‘Dear Lord, we praise and thank You for the victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection, help us to live by Your will so that Jesus’ death will not be in vain’. Amen

STAY BLESSED

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S DEFINITION OF LOVE

SCRIPTURE TEXT:“Love means doing what God has commanded us.” – 2 John 1:6 (NLT)

The Bible says love needs to be central to our lives—let’s take a few moments to consider what love really is.

1. The Bible says love is a command.

God commands that we love each other: “Love means doing what God has commanded us” (2 John 1:6 NLT). You can’t always control an emotion, and God would never command you to do something that he doesn’t give you the power and the ability to do. That means that love is not a feeling. Imagine seeing a little kid who’s crying and upset, and saying: “I command you to be happy! I command you to stop crying!” You simply can’t command someone to feel a certain way.

2. The Bible says love is a choice.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:1, “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does” (The Message). If you “go after” something, that means you make a choice. Love is a choice. We choose to love or not to love. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had men or women who are trying to justify a separation or divorce say, “I just don’t love my spouse anymore”—as if that’s totally out of their control. But acting in love when you don’t feel like it is actually a higher level of love than when you do feel like it. It’s one thing to love when the flowers are in bloom, but the real test of love is in the winter, when things are not going great in your life. You choose to love in spite of how you feel and give the other person what she needs, not what she deserves. You choose to love others like God loves us.

3. The Bible says love is a conduct.

Love is something you do. The Bible says, “Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions” (1 John 3:18 TLB).
Every day God puts opportunities around us to demonstrate love. The problem is most of the time we’re too busy. How many times have you thought, “I need to make a call; I need to encourage that person at work; I need to help my neighbor,” but then you missed the opportunity because something else came up? Love takes advantage of opportunities to serve others.

4. The Bible says love is a commitment.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:16, “God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us” (CEV). Our relationship with God is largely affected by our relationship with other people. If we commit to love and stay in love, then we will keep in one with our hearts with God, and he’ll stay one with us—because God is love.

Talk About It

What attributes of God’s love can you apply to your relationships?
“You can’t always control an emotion, and God would never command you to do something that he doesn’t give you the power and the ability to do.” How can this truth encourage you when you’re trying to love difficult people or in a difficult time in your life?
What does it mean to be “one in our hearts with God”?

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: PASTOR RICK’S DAILY HOPE

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS – part 2

LJesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  – Luke 4:1-2a

SUBTLE TEMPTATIONS
The Spirit of God had driven Jesus into the wilderness; the Spirit of Satan now carries Him to Jerusalem. Matthew describes it in this way: ‘The devil then took (Jesus) to the holy city and made Him stand on the parapet of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God’ he said ‘throw Yourself down…’ Jesus said to him… ‘You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’’ – Matthew 4:5-7.
Jesus was standing on the pinnacle of the temple, probably perched at the corner of the temple looking down to the valley below – sheer drop of four hundred and fifty feet. The time was probably daybreak so blasts from the priests’ silver trumpets would be heralding a new day and Jerusalem would be thronging with people.
‘Jump’, taunts Satan. ‘Let everyone see Your Father catch You in His arms. Hasn’t He promised to send His angels to watch over You in times of danger?’
I Jesus had leapt, like ‘superman,’ from this pinnacle, His fame would have spread throughout Jerusalem. He would have won the applause, adulation and admiration of everyone. But Jesus refused to become a sensationalist by drawing attention to Himself through the miracles He performed. He silenced the enemy with the reminder from Scripture:
‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’. – Matthew 4:7
William Barclay explains it this way:
‘He meant this: there is no good seeing how far you can go with God; there is no good putting yourself deliberately into threatening situation, and doing it quite recklessly and needlessly, and then expecting God to rescue you from it…God’s rescuing power is not something to be played with and experimented with, it is something to be quietly trusted in the life of every day.’
SUBTLE SUGGESTIONS
Satan does not give up easily. He has tried to persuade Jesus to bribe people into the Kingdom of God by simply meeting their material needs; he has tried to encourage Jesus to attract attention to Himself through the spectacular, to stoop to using magic to bring people to God. Having failed in both these attempts, Satan pesters Jesus with a third suggestion. Luke describes it in this way:
‘Then leading Him to a height, the devil showed Him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to Him, “I will give You all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose. Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.” But Jesus answered him, “Scripture says: ‘you must worship the Lord your God, and serve Him alone.’” – Luke 4:5-8.
Jesus hadn’t eaten for six weeks. He was weak physically. He knew that He faced the ‘gargantuan’ task of winning the world for His Father; of snatching it ack from the clutches of the evil one. And Satan chose this moment of vulnerability to take Jesus out into God’s wonderful world. There on a mountain top they viewed the splendor of God’s creation in all its glory. How could one man capture all this for God?
Into Jesus’ mind, Satan whispers an idea: ‘worship me and I will give all this to You. Your task will be easy.’
What the tempter is whispering here may be summed up in one word, ‘compromise’ By stooping to the mortal standards which the world accepts as the norm, Jesus could have attracted a great following! ‘why don’t you strike a bargain with me?’ suggests Satan. ‘Change the world by becoming like people who live in it. Then they will follow you in great numbers.’
Jesus’ response to this suggestion is ruthless: ‘Go away, Satan.’ Jesus knew that He could never defeat evil by compromising with evil. He was called to be light shining in the darkness of the world not to become a part of that darkness. His task was to raise men’s standards until they were brought into perfect alignment with God’s. Nothing less than that would do. Once again, the result of this temptation is that Jesus submits Himself to the Father. He determines to do God’s work in God’s way.
My little child, Relax! Remember that I have branded you on the palms of my hands. Remember that, though Satan would sift you like wheat, I have asked the Father to protect you from the evil one now and always.
TEMPTED JUST LIKE ME!
During Jesus’ forty day retreat in the desert Satan aimed, in the words of Michael Green, to ‘separate Jesus from His Father by doubt, by disobedience, by distrust, by disloyalty, by compromise, by exhibitionism, by idolatry and by short-circuiting Calvary.’
Today, Satan’s target is Christians. They stand on Satan’s firing line. But the author of the letter to the Hebrews reminds us that because He too was tempted, Jesus is able to help us: “Because He has Himself been through temptation He is able to help others who are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:18
Satan is always on the rampage. The more we try to please God, the more He will seek to sidetrack us. As Peter puts it: “Your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat.” – 1 Peter 5:8.
Satan selects a variety of ways to bring about our downfall. For example, he tests us through our feelings. On the days when we cannot feel God’s presence he tries to persuade us that God has abandoned us; that He is a God who is more absent than present. He would even tempt us to doubt God’s trustworthiness. These lies are to be rejected.
The tempter is also capable of using our innermost thoughts and desires to bring about our downfall. He launches his attack against our mind, our will and possessions so that even though we know that a certain course of action is not permissible for the Christian, we do it; even though we know that a certain place is riddled with temptation, we go there. And Satan wins another round in the eternal conflict between good and evil in our lives.
There are times when Satan confuses us so much that we don’t know whether we want to obey God or not.
The season of Lent challenges us to re-discover ways of combatting the Enemy and triumphing over him as Jesus did. Jesus defeated Satan by confounding his lies with the truth found in the Bible. Martin Luther used to advise: ‘The best way to drive out the devil if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.’
It seems almost a law of life, dear Lord, that after every great moment I experience I swing from the stars to the mud. And it is while I am struggling in the mud of my own defeat that Satan comes to me as the accuser using my weariness and discouragement, my moods and my depressions to cause me to doubt you. Teach me to resist the devil, Lord, just as you did. Cause me to be vigilant, conscious that he is ever ready to trip me up. May I, like You, triumph over him by submitting to the Father’s will.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know the full force of temptation, yet You conquered it in the fight against Satan. Breathe into my life strength of Your Holy Spirit that I, too, may expose evil constantly, confront Satan valiantly and come out of conflict victoriously. In every moment of testing, may I stand fast as You did. In challenge to combat evil in my life, may I grow neither faint nor weary but rather persevere to the end; until I hear Your ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’
Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing to us that You endured these fierce assaults at the hand of the evil one. Thank You that because of Your own experience You can identify with us when we are similarly tested. And thank You that You have shown us how to overcome Satan. Give us the courage we need to confront Satan and to banish him from our presence. And give us such a love for Your word, the Bible, that we may be able to use its truth to expose the lies Satan whispers in our ears. Give us the victory over Satan which You enjoyed, that our effectiveness for You might increase.
Stay Blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightgh.org

BLAMELESS UNTIL THE LORD COMES

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” -1 Thessalonians 5:23

Your entire spirit, entire soul, and entire body are to be preserved blameless. Until when? “Until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Listen! “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (v. 24) Do what? “Sanctify you wholly.”  And if He has not done it already, you are casting aside the completed work of Jesus Christ.

The gospel of Jesus Christ does not consist only in the forgiveness of sin, not by any means. The gospel does not end with the fact that God loved you with unmerited mercy and forgives you of your sins. That is only the beginning of it. But the full gospel of God is that He enables you to love others as He does. He permits you to live and walk and breathe and move in this natural body with the likeness of Jesus Christ. Oh, blessed be God!

PRAYER THOUGHT: “Holy Spirit of Christ, cleanse me completely and equip me to live in the likeness of my Lord, beginning from this Lent period and until You appear in Your glory.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED