Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.

Sin destroys relationships and life; and temptation is the doorway to sin. Temptation is not sin, but only the desire to commit an act which immediately or eventually leads to a destructive end result. Yet even before the sinful behavior takes place, many times the destructive attitude is already in place waiting to be released through an act of physical means.

Temptation is the circumstance you find yourself in that may consume into sin depending on how you handle the matter. Temptation is the test of your character. God knows who you are, and the outcome of the test only reveals to yourself where you stand. You either have the character to totally trust God or you do not. The outcome is your measuring bar.

The secret to avoid sin is to constantly pray beforehand that you are not led into temptation. Again, temptation is not sin, but only the test of your character. If you find yourself continually in situations repeating destructive vices, you need to change something.

Jesus recommends us to “watch and pray”; that our spirit is willing but our human flesh is weak. The Lord’s prayer even outlines we need to ask our Heavenly Father not to lead us into temptation (Matt. 6:13).

Temptation befalls all humans. It started with Adam and Eve who fell and led humanity into a broken, rebellious state of relationship with God. Jesus himself was tempted in the wilderness and came out victorious over Satan, and even today with yours truly who messed up again this morning. This time around I had to ask myself, what must I change. The answer: review what Jesus did in the wilderness.

First, he was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit knowingly to be tested.

Second, he fasted for forty days – leaving him in a physical weaken state but spiritually strong. As Paul writes in Corinthians, “when I am weak, then I am strong.”

When Jesus was confronted with three different options to satisfy his desires, he replied to Satan with Scripture that reflected his faith and trust in His Father. He denied himself and trusted God will provide rather than take matters into his own hand to bring about the results he knew was his immediately rather than wait unto Him.

Though unlike Adam & Eve in the garden, Jesus had total trust in His father to bring about the results he desired without destroying the relationship with Him. After the temptation, he was ministered and physically revised to commence his public ministry.

Temptation will come to all. And all will somewhere fail. Failure though allows us to experience the grace of God and help us realize the need for a savior. We become more grateful for Jesus Christ who lived a human vicarious life for us all. He was our substitute and knows the war between the flesh and the spirit.

He knows the flesh is weak. But if weak flesh and weak spirit is the culprit, what is the solution? How about weak flesh and strong Spirit?

When our eyes are on God and we truly seek to serve Him and bring glory to Him, temptation will have minimum influence and pull. It is when we allow our carnal desires to take the lead instead of the power of the Spirit that we fail.

Real freedom comes when there is no temptation because there is no desire to satisfy selfish needs. As perfect love has no fear, perfect love also has total trust in God’s deliverance. We may suffer through the process, but endurance builds godly character. We know our eternal Coach and Trainer is with us through the entire process as the foundation for godly fruit is being built through the entire ordeal.

Escaping temptation doesn’t mean we will not suffer; but shows we will not rebel against our Maker. We will endure; and we will trust Him who loves us more than anyone. For we know when this trial is over, we will stand stronger in Him than before.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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What Makes Sin Ugly?

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” JN. 8:34 ESV.

sin 2

 

Sin destroys life. It prevents a person to fully experience their human potential. It causes dysfunctional relationships. It leads to a darken path that makes a mess along the way for others to cleanup. Sin produces war, crime, and murder.
It costs substantially more in the long run. It may look and even be pleasant for the short term, but it’s venom is poisonous. In many cases, it is a slippery slope without a soft bottom.

The quicker one can identify it and nip it at the bud, the quicker one will experience a fuller, enriched life.

Yes sin is more than just an attitude or behavior. It is open rebellion against the Creator who designed us for a personal relationship with Him.

So if you don’t know what sin is, take a concordance of the Bible and see what it truly says about it. You may be pleasantly surprise when you separate the opinions of others with the facts from the Book. When you do, you will appreciate God’s love, grace, and mercy more than ever before.

In addition you will discover a way of life that movies can never capture. A life of real Shalom.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

Sin Stinks

“You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
you were angry.
How then can we be saved?
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins.” Isaiah 64:5-7 NIV

sin 1

Being a student of God’s grace, I marvel at how the Holy Spirit transforms us through the everyday occurrences of life.

Though God works with His children in different ways, he also works with us in a similar fashion. Take Sin. A concept that is becoming outdated in today’s modern world of humanistic faith. Yet it prevails and is more real today than ever before.

When a newly converted child of God first learns about the Truth, his internal spiritual light bulb starts flashing. It is a refreshing joy to witness their first love. They can’t find enough time to study the Bible. They want to inform everyone they meet what is happening in their life. They can’t seem to express the love and joy that emulates within them. For us longtime disciples, it brings back memories of our first encounter with God.

Yet after the “first love phase” begins to slowly dissipate, a new season of life appears. I call this the “sin stink’s phase.” It is when the Holy Spirit begins to convict a person of attitudes or behavior that is unbecoming of a child of God. All of a sudden, a person begins to recognize in depth what is wrong in the world. They begin to associate the sin with the evil. They begin to see the problem not just around them but more so within them. They begin to acknowledge that they are part of the problem. That their pride, selfishness, and independent thinking adds fuel to the problems in their surrounding world.

Then the Holy Spirit begins to illuminate the gospel message into everyday routine. Grace becomes real. Love becomes meaningful. Truth becomes personified. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes on a greater role than just a personal savior. His victory over Satan, death, and sin begins to have a greater influence in their life.

Now instead of focusing on sin and its ramifications, one understands the importance of living within the Triune God circle. Instead of beating a dead horse (sin), one begins to ride in the victory parade of the King (grace). Instead of participating in the problem, one begins to share the good news of Jesus Christ as the permanent solution.

Yes sin stinks. But Christ dismantled sin’s dominance and we now participate with Him in his victory march.

The Triune God wants humanity to recognize that sin stinks. That life at its highest level is living within the divine order of Father, Son, and Spirit God. Otherwise, why do you think God allows sin to hang around as long as it has?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Sin or Adoption

“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 ESV

sin 2

“… In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,…” Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV

adoption 2

When one reads the Bible, what is the general premise of one’s viewpoint? We all read the Bible with preconceived ideas and concepts. They are generally what we have been told, read somewhere, or simply our 21st century cultural bias. For some who grew up in a Christian culture, our worldview may generally be classified either under the premise of Sin or Adoption.

For example, many people read the Bible following the premise that Jesus’ sole reason for coming to earth was to take away our sins. If they accept Christ into their life, personal sins are forgiven and heaven is the reward. The entire process seems to follow a contractual transaction between God and man. Therefore, when reading the Bible, sin is the fundamental basis of one’s belief and emphasis is built around what one must personally do to manage the process.

On the other hand, there are those who read the Bible following the premise that Jesus came to adopt humanity into the inner circle of the Triune God. That Christ’s vicarious life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven paved the way for us before we even asked to be forgiven or even believed in Jesus as our Savior, Messiah, and Lord. This premise places more emphasis on the familial relationship of the Triune God within the salvation process built on what Jesus did, is doing, and will do.

Both premises speak about Sin and Relationship. However each emphasizes the one over the other. Personally, I have come to lean more towards salvation as explained through Adoption theology. For me it is easier to believe in a God that is relational, loves unconditionally, and is faithfully passionate and able to fulfill His vision for humanity through the Incarnate work of Jesus Christ. Sin is only an ink blot that made the process more messier.

For those who want to know more about Adoption theology or also known as Trinitarian Theology, you may want to watch the video series (Your Included) presented by Grace Communion International. The link may be found at http://www.mbirc.org/.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Sin: Problem or Symptom?

As an independent consultant, I am called upon to help solve problems. Sometimes the problem is easy to identify and a solution quickly implemented. Other times, the problem is cloudy by all the smoke. Most of the time people focus on the symptoms of the problem rather than the actual cause.

For example, if you are having a cash flow problem, is that the actual problem or the symptom of something deeper; like not having a job. Many of us will focus on the symptom – no money, rather than on the actual problem – no job. Isn’t sin like that?
In our early walk with the Lord, we want to eliminate sin from our life. So we adhere to the Ten Commandments, read our Bibles to find out all the do’s and don’ts, and then find ourselves frustrated when the results are negligible. It has taken many of us multiple years to learn that sin is not the problem, but the symptom. The real problem is an absence of an intimate relationship with the Living God. Isn’t sin simply the absence of God’s influence in our life. By influence, we mean a strong desire to walk intimately with Him where His divine character expresses itself in us and through us because He lives in us. We gladly yield our self for Him to express Himself through us.
C.S. Lewis once wrote that we don’t learn to be Christ-followers; we catch it. Like a good virus it impregnates us and grows in us. The more we hang out and come to know God, not know about God, the more we enjoy Him and learn from Him. We surrender ourselves and follow the King of Kings via the Holy Spirit that lives in us. It is not just about removing sin from our life, but more so, it’s about have a strong, intimate relationship with our King. When we live a Christ-centric life, our love, joy, and peace comes from Him. As He blesses us, we simply express the same blessing toward others.
Again, sin is not the problem, but only the symptom. A close, intimate relationship with the Living God where we are daily infatuated and memorized by His love and involvement in our life leads us away from sin’s darkness and into His wonderful light. So next time we find our self on the wrong side of sin’s darkness, ask yourself these questions. “Did I really submit to God’s heart on the matter or just followed my natural desire to please myself?” How deep and strong is my current relationship with the Triune God? Am I walking with God or am I trying to make God walk with me? And lastly, what are you going to do about it?

Our Prayer

prayer 5

Holy Father – Holy Lord – Holy Spirit: Thank you for removing the eternal penalty of sin. And more so thank you for hiding us in Christ were your righteousness covers our humanity. More than anything else, help us to walk with you, to follow your story and narrative, to seek you diligently in every aspect of our life. Help us to love you with our whole heart, mind, body, and soul. Help us make you the center of our lives. Let everything we say, think, or do be done for your glory, your Kingdom, and your name. Remind us daily that you are alive in us; and also remind us to submit to your influence in our life. Help us see you each and every day wherever we go, in whatever we do, and with whomever we meet. We place our trust in you. Glorify your name through us and in us.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

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