SETTING BOUNDARIES AGAINST TEMPTATION

2 Timothy 2:20-22

Do you have a sin that you simultaneously hate and love? You really want to overcome it, but as soon as you’re tempted, the anticipated pleasure erases all your willpower. These love/hate temptations are what cause us the greatest struggle, but sometimes part of the problem is our lack of boundaries.

Although we’ll never be totally free from temptation, we can take steps to protect ourselves—namely, we can establish practices and boundaries to guard us from wandering into a danger zone. When Scripture addresses this topic, it presents two contrasting instructions.

Flee lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Tim. 2:22). The goal isn’t simply to resist temptation, but to move as far as possible in the opposite direction, toward godliness.

Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). Trying to withstand temptation is futile unless we first commit to living obediently before God. With submission comes the power to resist.

Don’t conform to the world, but be transformed by renewing your mind (Rom. 12:2). If we fill our head with the ideas and priorities of the culture, we’ll be easy targets for temptation. But Ephesians 6:17 calls God’s Word our “sword of the Spirit”—a weapon we can use for defense against the enemy’s attacks.

God showed us the boundaries behind which we are safe. He’s warned that if we toy with our cravings and place ourselves in the way of temptation, we will fall. So draw near to God (James 4:8) and the protection of His Word, wisdom, and power.

 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 23-25

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SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries.

COMMIT TO LIVING BY YOUR VALUES

“[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26 NIV).

The first resolution: Choose to be who God wants you to be. The second resolution: Choose short-term pain for long-term gain.

And then Moses made a third life-shaping resolution: He chose God’s values, not the world’s. And that’s why God used him!

Hebrews 11:26 says, “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (NIV).

Moses made a value judgment. He clarified what mattered most to him.

Let me ask you: What matters most in your life? What are the top three or four values in your life? Can you name them easily?

If you ask me, I’ll tell you quite simply what they are for me: integrity, humility, and generosity. I decided more than 30 years ago that I wanted to build my life on integrity, humility, and generosity because they’re the antidotes to the three traps of leadership.

Can you name the three most important values in your life right now? If you can’t, then you certainly can’t live by them. You’re not living your values if you can’t even name them. Before you go one more day, you need to sit down and ask, “What’s most important to me? What are the top values in my life?” And you need to write them out, because until you clarify your values, you can’t live by them.

Moses chose God’s values over the world’s values. Why is this so important? Because if you don’t decide what’s important in your life, other people are going to decide for you. They’re going to push you into their mold. And you’re going to live your life by their values, not yours.

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