A Life that Has Victory Over Temptation

Temptation is something that we all struggle with and we are sorry when we give into temptation. There is something within that tells us right from wrong. If we give into temptation then over time wrong will no longer seem wrong but will seem right and then we end up self destructing. We can see it clearly in others but the wrong that we ourselves do has blinded us to our own destruction.

James 1:14,15 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

The word “lust” in the Greek in this verse literally means desire. A desire that is outside of God’s will and standards is a lust. It can be overeating, laziness, sex, drinking and anything else where we want to indulge our flesh and we know that it is wrong. When lust is conceived it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived. Sin brings forth death and with death comes defeat, guilt and regret.

James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

The devil wants you to sin because he wants you to experience death and destruction. Sin brings destruction to soul and body. The devil came to destroy you. He is a thief. He wants to rob you of your worth, peace, joy, and everything else that is good.

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

The devil only uses one weapon to get you to sin and that is a lie. He is the father of lies and he continually tells you lies hoping that you will be deceived and believe one of his lies. He will want you to think that whatever that temptation is, that if you will do it then you will be happy. He will appeal to your flesh, your eyes and the boastful pride of life. He will also tempt you to take things into your own hands to even meet your own needs. If he can get you to compromise for any reason then he has won the battle. If you are a Christian then he has lost the war, for you belong to Jesus, but the devil can still cause you to lose the battles in your daily life so that you will live a defeated Christian life.

John 8:44b He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

If you want to have victory then you must have the truth to identify the lies. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. You resist him through the truth of God’s Word.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

When you resist the devil through God’s word then you will see the escape that the Lord has provided for you so that you can flee from the temptation.

I Corinthians 10:13 No 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.

Flee from the temptation but don’t just flee from temptation but pursue righteousness with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Faithful is He who calls you to Himself and He also calls you to become like Christ. He sets you apart for Himself and will complete in you what He began when you first became a Christian and that is the amazing transformation into His image.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Desires the Truth

One of the changes that the Lord makes in a person is that after they become a Christian they want to know the truth. This is an evidence of their salvation because Jesus is the truth.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

We are set apart from others because of the truth. God’s Word is the truth and is not a lie. The world can not distinguish between the truth and lies and they often believe a lie. Any explanation that takes God out of the picture is a lie and Satan is the Father of lies.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

One of the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus is that they will know the truth through His Word and the truth will set them free.

John 8:31,32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Jesus was full of grace and truth and as we grow in our relationship with the Lord then we also should be growing in grace and truth. Truth is what we receive into our lives to change us and grace is what we give to others who fall short of the truth.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Father seeks those who worship in the Spirit and truth.

John 4:23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

The Lord is near to those who call upon Him in truth. He wants us to pray His Words back to Him.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

All His commandments are truth. When we keep His commandments then we will be living according to His truth and we will be free from the snares of death. He came to give us life and this is how we experience His life, by keeping His commandments by His grace, which is His power to obey Him. He gives grace to the humble and He leads the humble in His truth.

Psalm 119:151 You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.

His lovingkindness and His truth will preserve you.

Psalm 40:11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

There are many other benefits of knowing the truth. The Lord says to buy it and not to sell it. The more you share the truth of God’s Word with others then the more it will become a part of you.

Proverbs 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Don’t seek to have your ears tickled by listening to what you “desire” to hear. The truth may not always be what you want to hear but you will be glad that you heard it and obeyed it. Over and over again, Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

II Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

A Life that Runs Well

The Lord has called us to run. One of the ways that He wants us to run is to run from temptation. People often will talk about resisting temptation but that is not what the Lord says, he says to flee from temptation.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

The Lord says to flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who have a pure heart. The Bible says that those who have a pure heart will see God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Those with a pure heart will not be deceived by the lusts of the heart. The word “lust” in the Greek means “desire”. A lust is a desire that is outside of the will of God. Many lusts are greater temptations in our youth because we don’t want to wait for the Lord to give us His gifts. We want them now and so we “give in” to temptation.

James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

However, when you get what you want and it is not God’s will then you also lose the ability to fully enjoy it, that is why, the Bible talks about the passing pleasure of sin. It is only for a moment and then the guilt comes. We were deceived. We are always deceived when we sin. However, if our friends have a pure heart then they will help us in our weakness. The Lord will also help you flee from temptation. He understands your weakness.

Hebrews 4:15,16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The other way that we are to run is that we are to run to Him and we are to run with endurance the race set before us.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The saints who have gone before us are watching and they are the cloud of witnesses. Therefore, lay aside the things that make it hard for you to run the race and strive to run hard after the Lord. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is at the right hand of the Father and He is praying for you. He also had to endure and was found faithful. You can do it. This is what grace is all about. Grace is the power and strength to be faithful to the end. Don’t grow weary or lose heart. Ask others to pray for you if you find yourself struggling. We all struggle. Jesus struggled. It is in the struggling that our faith is strengthened. It may seem like forever but in view of eternity it is only a moment. You will never regret being faithful but you will have great regret if you are not faithful.

Psalm 144:4 Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Our life is like a mere breath and our days are a passing shadow but eternity is forever.

 

 

A Life of Faith and Love

The most exciting life is a life of your faith and His love. You will be amazed at His faithfulness and so in love with the Lord when you see Him be true to His Word. A life of faith is a prerequisite to seeing His faithfulness. When you declare, by faith, His lovingkindness in the morning then you will see His faithfulness at night.

Psalm 92:2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night,

A life of faith is taking Him at His Word. There is no limit to experiencing His love for you other than your unbelief. Fearing Him is respecting Him in an all consuming way where you believe His Word so much that you know that it is true and will do what His Word says to do. Fearing Him is obedience. You can fear Him now voluntarily by faith or you can wait until you see Him and how true His Word is to what He says will take place and then you will really fear Him but that kind of fear is one of a terrifying fear.

Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

When you live by faith then His lovingkindness is what will describe your life. It will be the explanation for who you are and everything in your life because He loves you so very much but you must take Him at His Word to see that love.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

The Lord will be your boast and in Him you will glory. You will not be able to stop talking about Him and all of the incredible things that He has done for you.

Psalm 89:24 “My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted.

You will anticipate each new day and what His great lovingkindness holds for you. No matter how much you mess up the day before His lovingkindnesses and compassions are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-25 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.

Everything that the Lord does for you is done in His faithfulness. Trust Him and let Him direct your steps. He is good.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.

Underneath are the everlasting arms and He has destroyed the enemy from before you.

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’

Will you trust Him again as you did when you first became a Christian? Of if you have not yet trusted Him with your life then today is the day to begin. You can begin with the prayer that the person prayed, “Lord, I want to believe, help me in my unbelief.” He is more than willing to help you. He wants to give you this incredible life that is overflowing but first you must trust Him.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

There are only two choices in life…one of a life that is ultimately destroyed or a life that is saved. These two choices go into eternity but are made by you here on earth. Do you choose the destroyer or the Savior?

A Life that Is Fruitful

The promise of a fruitful life is made to the person who abides in the Lord and God’s Word abides in Him. The word abide means to live in, therefore you are to live in God’s Word and He lives in you.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

The Lord wants you to be fruitful and He knows that you must abide in Him if this is to happen. He, the vine produces the fruit and you, as the branch, bear the fruit.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The sooner you realize the truth that you can do nothing apart from Him the happier you will be and the sooner you will quit striving on your own to bear fruit. The branches bear the fruit, they do not produce the fruit.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The fruit is produced through vine. You can not make yourself love someone. He will love through you if you abide in Him. In the same way, you can not produce joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control. He must do it.

John 15:7 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

You will not have to prove that you are a Christian. Your fruit will bear witness that you are a Christian.

Matthew 7:16-18 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

The Lord loves us and wants us to abide in his love. When we abide in His love and in His Word then our spirit will be nourished and His Spirit in us will produce the fruit that the world will see.

John 15:9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

The way that we abide in his love is to keep his commandments. Is there anything that you know that He has commanded you to do and you have not done? There is nothing that is worth keeping us from his love.

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Jesus kept His Father’s commandments and abided in His Father’s love. He went before us and showed us how it was to be done.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus Himself chose us to bear fruit and instructed us on how it was to be accomplished.

John 15:16,17 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples and to us so that our joy may be made full just as His joy was made full.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

 

 

 

A Life as An Ambassador

The Lord wants you to be His spokesman and represent Him to the world.

Jeremiah 15:19-21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.
They for their part may turn to you,
But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
“So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

When you turn to Him, He will restore you and use you. You will be able to stand before Him. The precious that is extracted in others is the image of God that is restored in all people who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says the heart of the wicked is worth little and yet the Lord says that He wants to see them saved.

II Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

The Lord has sent you into the world. He has entrusted the message of salvation to us which is the Good News of the Gospel. He has made you to be His ambassador.

John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

 

The Lord has made it clear to us in His Word that He requires a life of faith and faithfulness of those who belong to Him. He has given each one of general commands and specific commands. We are all commanded to fulfill the Great Commission and to go and share the Gospel and make disciples. How blessed you will be if you are faithful.

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

.You will have to give an answer to Him who sent you. How blessed you will be if you have the right answers. The only way you will have the right answers is if you know His Word and do what He says in His Word.

Proverbs 22:17-21 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
To make you know the truth of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer to him who sent you?

If you are faithful to represent Him to a lost and dying world then you will stand before Him when He returns.

Luke 21:36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

You will not shrink back in shame if you live by faith and have been found faithful.

Hebrews 10:38,39 And,“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

The Lord wants us to be a blessing to others. This is one aspect of what it means to be a witness of who the Lord is. He is good and He wants to show to others who He is through Christians. NonChristians do not have the correct view of God due to our fallen natures from the sin of Adam and Eve. The devil has distorted our view of God and often it is twisted. We do not really believe the Lord loves us because if we did then we would run to Him. It is easy to believe that God is mad at us or that if we trusted Him with everything then He would do with us what we do not want and would deprive us of things that we think would make us happy. The list is endless of the lies that Satan has put into the heart of man of who God really is. None of the lies are true but we will never know that until we come to Him.

Acts 14:17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

The Lord is good and He gives to us even when we do not deserve it. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are blessed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

He blessed us that we might be a blessing to others. He wants us to be a witness of who He is. John the Baptist was the first witness of who Jesus Christ is.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

The Lord wants us to be a witness of who He is that others may believe in Him. He is not desiring that any should perish but that all might believe in Him.

John 15:26,27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The purpose of a witness is to testify about something or someone. We are to testify to the world that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He is the only One who can do this because He is God and took the penalty for our sin. We are to testify that God is good by the works that we do, which are to be good works because God is good.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved us by His grace through faith in Him. Not as a result of any works that we have done but that we may do good works and testify to the world who He is, that He is good.

Titus 3:3-5a For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,

We all were foolish at one time, being disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in doing wrong and having evil in our hearts– but He saved us. He showed us mercy and forgave us and He wants us to go out into the world and do the same. Is there anyone you need to forgive and show mercy to? That person may be the one whom Jesus Christ wants to save next. The greatest blessing that we can give to others is to show them who God is through our lives and remove any obstacles that prevent them from coming to know Him as their Savior and Lord.