Prevent It/ Fight It! – April 15, 2016

Matthew 4:1, Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give You,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.

Hebrews 4:14, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin.

Psalm 119:9, How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. 10I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. 11I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.

This week’s blogs examined the topic of temptation. So far, we have defined temptation, talked about not letting temptation deceive us, and agreed on the fact that the best way to handle temptation is to run from it, not stare at it. We learned that if we do fall to temptation and sin, we should own it and confess it. If you missed any of those earlier blogs, you can find them on my daily blog, www.johnmarkcaton.com. A final thought on temptation this week is that you CAN fight temptation and prevent it from leading to sin. The Bible says in Hebrew 4:14 that Jesus was, “…tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin.” Wow, He did not sin! But it does not do us any good to just say, “He didn’t sin.” We need to see how He kept Himself from sinning.

In Matthew 4:1, we are told that that “the tempter,” who is Satan, came to Jesus and tempted Him several times. Take note that Satan is the “tempter.” Satan was the tempter in Adam and Eve’s day, in Jesus’ day and Satan is still the one who tempts us today. However, to every temptation Jesus had a simple response. He responded with the truth of God’s word. That is still the best way to keep your temptations from turning into sin. The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word… 11I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” So, how do you keep your temptation from turning into sin? By living according to God’s word and placing it in your heart.

Think about it…and have a blessed weekend!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D