Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Temptation and Faith
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
:18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
:19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
:21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff.
:22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
:23 By faith Moses, when he was born was hidden three months by his parents because they saw that he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.
:24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,
:25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
:26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
:28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
:29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dryland, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
:31 By faith the harlot Rehab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
:32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets.
Are you looking for a second chance with God? There's a widespread idea that if you once miss "God's best" you can never again render gold-medal service to Him. But in Hebrews 11, faith's 'hall of fame', we read of several who failed yet came back strong for the Lord.
Abraham, often willful and impatient in waiting for the son God had promised, demonstrated amazing faith in offering up Isaac. Jacob, the schemer who stole his brother's birthright and blessing, became a man of faith who blessed his children and worshipped God. Moses spent 40 years in Midian before leading God's people out of Egypt.
Our previous mistakes don't necessarily exclude us from serving God. His best for us is that we turn away from our sin, learn from our failures, and begin anew to follow Christ. That's how you get a second chance.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Some people think temptation is sin. It isn't. Acting on the temptation is sin. The devil wants you to blame yourself when you are tempted. When you believe that you are condemned and discouraged. That is when you will act on the temptation. Then it becomes sin. So when you're tempted reject the devil's condemnation and reach for Christ's overcoming assistance.