Victory In The Face Of Temptation

Mark 14:38–Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation–Jesus was watching and praying for he was facing a temptation Himself. He was tempted in all ways even as we are, yet without sin and is therefore touched with the feeling of our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). “In that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18). He is able to help us in our time of need. He was attempting to prepare the disciples for what was about to happen and the temptation that they were going to face. God often seeks to prepare us for things that are about to happen if we will be watchful and stay in communication with Him. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in this. The way to victory in the face of temptation is to be watchful and aware of what is happening and to call on God to keep and to protect us.

The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak:
1. The spirit is that part of us that has been born of the Holy Spirit. It is the new man; the spiritual existence we have in Christ. It is always ready to hear God and to respond to Him. The spirit is ready and willing to stand against temptation and to overcome it.
2. The flesh is that old nature that still exists in the Christian. It is bent on following temptation and sin. It consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is weak and helpless in the face of temptation.
3. “The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17). This is why we must be ever watchful and ever ready to call upon God for help.

The Power Of Testifying

Mark 5:18-20–And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
He that had been possessed with the devil–He was possessed with many devils and Jesus had cast them out of the man. He prayed Jesus would allow him to go with Him but Jesus had a mission for him to perform. Sometimes when God has done something great for us and has had compassion on us He has a mission for us to perform as well.

Go home to your friends, and tell them–This man was to testify of what Jesus had done for him and of the compassion Jesus had on him. His mission was to be a preparatory mission. He did not just testify to his friends but he testified in Decapolis. We are not told how long or how far he testified but he began to testify in Decapolis. Testifying has a tendency to keep what God has done for us and through us fresh in our minds and has a positive impact on us. It keeps our love and awe for God fresh as well as maintaining our faith in Him.

And everyone did marvel–Everyone was astonished and did wonder. They had not come to faith but it had sparked an interest. It began them to thinking and made them open for further information about this Jesus. Often when we share a testimony it can have the same result. It may not bring them to faith and a belief in what we say or a faith in Jesus but it may set the stage for them to be receptive later.

It was preparatory–Later, as recorded in Mark 7:31 Jesus would pass through Decapolis and He would minister in the area.

The Way Unto The Father And Unto Heaven

John 14:6–Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
I am the way–Jesus did not say I am a way, He said I am the way. He is the one and only way that leads to the Father, to heaven and to where Jesus was about to go. If a person is going to get to heaven they must forsake all other ways and entrust themselves to Jesus. Without the way there is no going.

I am the truth–Jesus is the embodiment of the truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14). To come to Jesus is to come to the truth. Without the truth there is no knowing.

I am the life–”I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26). “And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.” (1 John 5:11-12). Without the life there is no living.

The truth and the life define the way–A person must come to hear and know the truth. This produces faith for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). When we place our faith in Jesus we receive Him and the life that is in Him. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12). And therefore Jesus is the way.

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 13:4-6

My child, marriage is deserving of honor and respect, and the bed is pure and clean, and is to remain undefiled: but those who are unfaithful to the marriage covenant will be severely punished by Me. Let your lifestyle be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have. As I have said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So you may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:4-6

Is He Really Our Lord?

Luke 6:46–Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Why call ye me, Lord, Lord–There are many people who call Jesus Lord, but they have not made Him Lord of their life. A Lord is a person who has and exercises great power and authority in a person’s life. We can make him Lord of our life by submitting to Him and His will.

And do not the things which I say?–He is only Lord if we allow Him to have and exercise power and authority in our life. We must submit to His will and His word.  We must be obedient and do what He asks us to do.

This is a blessing we can experience now–As we submit to His will and His word through obedience, we will remain under His power and authority and will be under His protection. We will also experience His direction and leadership in our lives. Jesus must become our Savior and Lord.

This is a matter of our ultimate destiny–”Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). Saying and reality are often two different things.

When Storms Come Our Way

Mark 4:37-40–And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
And there arose a great storm–In our lives there are many storms that arise. They are physical, mental, spiritual, economic, and social. They come in the form of sickness, accidents, death, financial problems, and problems in our relationships. These things beat upon us and toss us about like a ship in a storm. They stir us up emotionally producing fear, anxiety, worry, sorrow, and grief just to mention a few.

Master carest thou not that we perish–Sometimes because of the storms we face we may wonder if the Lord cares or if He has forgotten about us. It is not that He doesn’t care or that He has forgotten about us, it is just that He is comfortable in the storms and in His ability to deal with them.  He said, “Cast all our cares upon Me for I care for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

He will bring us through–Sometimes the Lord saves us from the storms and we can see what He saved us from, and sometimes He saves us through the storms and we see and experience His power. In any case victory belongs to the Lord and through Him victory belongs to us.

His words to us–They are the same as His words to His disciples in the scripture above. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? We must exercise our faith in Him when the storms come our way.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Laborers Together With God

1 Corinthians 3:9–We are laborers together with God.
We are laborers–Every Christian is expected to be a laborer. All, as members of the body of Christ, have a function to perform just like every member of our body has a function to perform. If one of the members of our body does not carry out its function then it affects our ability to perform the way we should, and in the body of Christ if one of the members does not carry out its function, then it affects the performance of the church. It is the responsibility of each Christian to discover what their spiritual gifts are and therefore what function they are to perform in the service of God.

We are laborers together–Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). We build on the work of others that have come before us. “Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8). Are you laboring and serving God according to the gifts He has given you? What will be your rewards?

We are laborers together with God–We as Christians not only labor along beside and with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we also labor together with God. We may plant and another may water but only God can give the increase. Working together requires communication with each other and an understanding of what needs to be done and how it is to be done.

Peace For A Heart That Is Troubled And Afraid

John 14:27–Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you–It is amazing how many times God tells us, “Don’t be afraid”. In many places He tells us that we should not worry, be anxious, or become faint hearted. Jesus has made his peace available to us. This peace can rule in our hearts and minds no matter what we are facing or going through. God’s instructions say, if we need peace we should pray. “We ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1).  Jesus says that we should not become disheartened, weary, and fainthearted.  Prayer is the answer.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid–God says, “Don’t let it”. This means we can have control. We can resist our heart being troubled or afraid. Pray, give it to God and the peace of God will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Give Your Burden To The Lord

Psalms 55:22–Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord–God tells us to throw our burdens upon Him and leave them there. Burdens are those things that weight us down and diminish our strength. They are things that weigh heavy on our minds and hinder our thinking. The Lord says that we should not carry them around but should transfer them to Him.

He shall sustain you–He will comfort us, support us, and strengthen us. He will supply our need whatever that might be. He will carry the weight for us and He will deal with whatever it is. In everything by praying humbly with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Tell God about what is causing you to worry and be anxious. Tell him what you want and thank Him for what He is going to do. Ask Him to give you His peace which passes all understanding.

Father, give your peace in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Be Ready–For He Is Coming

Luke 12:40–Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Be ready–My wife and I enjoy our vacations and go as often as we can. My wife is always ready. She has her bags packed weeks before our departure. Jesus says that we should live our lives in readiness. As we read the context of this scripture we find out who those are that are ready for His coming. Jesus tells us who those are that are ready.
1. They are faithful and wise stewards who are doing what the Lord has given them to do. They are faithful, loyal, and dependable and exercise good judgment.
2. They are those who know the Lord’s will for their life and are actively engaged in doing His will.

For the Son of man comes–Jesus is coming. No man knows the day or the hour but He is coming. We must all stand at the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our lives.
1. Those that are faithful and wise stewards who are doing His will when He comes will be blessed and made a ruler over all that he has.
2. Those that are not ready will suffer lose of rewards and will be saved yet so as by fire.

At an hour when you think not–This is why we must be ready. This is why we must be faithful and wise stewards, knowing and doing the Lord’s will every day of our lives. There is great joy in knowing and doing the Lord’s will. There is great joy in being faithful and wise stewards. Each must find this joy for themselves.

Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing (Matthew 24:46).