Tag: way of escape

Power over temptation!

Scripture reading for January 12th:  Genesis 37-40

Key Scriptures:  Genesis 39:6-10  “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, Come to bed with me!”  But he refused.  “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.  No one is greater in this house than I am.  My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.  How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Because Joseph walked with God and respected His word, he was keenly aware of boundaries.  As a slave, he respected his master.  As an Israelite, he respected God’s commands.  He knew that adultery was a sin and a “wicked” thing in God’s sight.  This kept him from temptation.  God’s presence in his life empowered Joseph to flee a powerful trap set by Satan!

Thankful for power to resist:  God promises to deliver  us from evil and the Evil One.  We must resist temptation and flee from evil.  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  (1st Corinthians 10:13)

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Fire in the house!

Scripture reading for September 12th: Amos 1-2

Fire is a devastating force when not properly controlled and utilized.  It has the capacity for great good and also for brutal destruction.  I was helping an uncle shell corn at his farm about 6 miles south of our farm in Iowa.  I was a young farmer and had started farming with a small hog herd and had about 25 sows (mother hogs) with their babies in a building.  It was winter time and we were using heat lamps and furnaces to keep the hog building warm.  One of the lamps must have fallen onto the straw, and a blaze erupted that swept through the building.  I remember hearing the call to come home from my distraught aunt.  “There’s a fire in the hog house!”  I arrived home to find a charred building and some charred animals!

Amos was a fig (not pig!)  farmer and shepherd who was called to be a prophet. (Amos 7:14-15)  The book of Amos contains several warnings of “fire in the house!”  These warning were to nations and peoples surrounding Israel. (Amos 1:4, 7, 10, 14; Amos 2:2)  Amos also warned Judah and Israel that they also had fire coming to their houses as well! (Amos 2:4-16)

Sin brings God’s wrath and fiery judgment.  God hates sin because it is totally foreign to His nature of love.  Sin brings destruction, anguish, and great eternal loss to those made to enjoy His blessing and glory!  But our God is very merciful!  He always warns His people of their sins and even provides a way of escape for them.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)   He wants no one to perish but all to come to repentance and deliverance.  (Amos 3:7)  This is why He sent the prophet, preachers and saints to testify of His mercy and grace!

Our nation is saturated with the gospel!  We have more churches and radio and television preaching than anywhere else in the world.  The gospel warns people that there is ‘fire in their house’ and provides a Savior who took the fiery wrath of God against our sin.  The gospel offers us a new form of fire in our house, the precious Holy Spirit!   This ‘fire’ is redemptive and empowering!  It gives us power to live free from sin and to take the gospel to the lost.   Take time today to thank the Lord for His mercy and His wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit!

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Learning By Example!

Scripture reading for November 24th:  1st Corinthians 7-10

I chose my life theme from going through Army officer’s leadership school.  A key leadership principle that stuck with me was “Set the Example!”  I was taught that one of the most powerful influences that a leader can have on others is their example.  I find this to be biblical as well.  Jesus Christ modeled for us and his disciples the way to live.  He lived a life centered on doing God’s will and serving others.   The Bible records many examples that are not so good as well.  Someone has said, “if you are not good for anything else, you can always be a bad example!”  In today’s reading the Apostle Paul reminds the church at Corinth of examples that should help them and us to live a blessed life.

In 1st Corinthians 10, Paul uses the bad examples as warning for us today.  There were three main things that Paul exhorted the Corinthians to remember about the Israelites of the Old Testament.  They had some great spiritual experiences with the Lord leading them by the cloud and fire and taking them through the Red Sea in a type of baptism.  They got to eat “manna” from heaven and drink water from the “Rock” for forty years while they wandered in the desert.  They had God’s appointed leader, Moses, praying for them.  However, God was not pleased with them!  (1st Corinthians 10:1-5)

In spite of being supernaturally delivered by God from idolatrous Egypt, many of them brought their idols with them!  They were taught by God to be true to their wives and to Him, but many were sexually immoral as they worshiped these idols and lived in fleshly indulgence.  Most grumbled against God and His provision and died from the bite of poisonous snakes and by the destroying angel of death that they had opened the door to.  Their hearts were not right with God in spite of all the supernatural power that they witnessed.  They thought they were alright with God because of God’s blessings.  They became examples for us!

We should learn from their example. (1st Corinthians 10:8-10)  They did not keep God first.  Idolatry and sexual immorality always go hand in hand.  America is a land of idols!  Sports stars, entertainment figures, soap operas, movie stars, popular music stars and the like all serve as idols.  We are sexually immoral and glorify sexual freedom that mocks God and His word because we are idolatrous!  The church is even full of idolatrous behavior and sexual immorality!

Grumbling against God because of unbelief was also a characteristic of the Israelites.  That grumbling kept them out of the land of promise and got a whole generation killed off in the desert.  The destroying angel, Satan, killed them because of their greed, idolatry, and sexually perversion.  These examples should warn us today and drive us to Christ Jesus.  He is our escape from sin, death and temptation.  He is always faithful and delivers those who depend on Him!

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