Archive | February, 2020

Temptation vs Sin

18 Feb

Temptation vs Sin…

In my Christian life, I can feel that being tempted makes me impure, and that I have sinned in my thought life. However that is not true. Temptation is not sin, but a trial of my faith, and through the gospel, I can endure temptations without ever committing sin!

Sin entered the world due to an act of disobedience by the first people, Adam and Eve. All of Adam and Eve’s descendants have inherited sin in the flesh – not guilt, but a tendency or inclination to follow their own self-will rather than God’s will. The Bible uses many words to describe this inclination: sin in the flesh, the body of sin, the law of sin, lusts and desires etc. In Romans 7:18 Paul writes, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells.” Here he describes this tendency to sin that we have all inherited.

James writes very clearly on the subject of temptation and sin: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15.

From this we can see that temptation alone is not the same as committing sin; sin is the result of a conception – when my mind agrees with the desire (or lust) that dwells in my flesh, or human nature. That is, committing sin is something I choose to do, and sin cannot be carried out unless I agree with it.

In fact, James teaches us that temptations are a trial of our faith, and those who endure without committing sin will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12) Similarly, Peter writes that our trials (temptation) are cause for rejoicing, as our faith is tested, with the result being the salvation of our souls. The gospel is that though I am tempted, I don’t have to sin – in fact I can follow in Jesus’ footsteps and overcome in temptation. The wages of sin is death, but those who overcome will receive eternal life!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Satan’s Fear

18 Feb

Satan’s Fear…

In Mark 1:24, the demons say to Jesus, “Have you come to destroy us?” Sometimes we think that demons are scary things, but they don’t scare Jesus. Rather, He scares them! It’s a legion, and yet they’re totally afraid.

That’s the truth! The enemy is actually on the defense in the face of Jesus. If you’re in Jesus, then the enemy is on the defense with regard to you.

Of course, he’ll never tell you that. Few enemies will let on that they’re really afraid of you. He wants you to believe that you’re going to lose. But you must stand and take the authority of the Word to overcome.

Jesus didn’t believe the lies of the enemy. He didn’t spend much time arguing. He just cast out the legion with His Word. Have that same attitude. Because we’re not only conquerors, we’re more than conquerors.

So live more than confident, more than powerful, and more than victorious. The enemy is on the defense when it comes to Jesus. If you’re in Jesus’s will, and Jesus is in you, then you’re more than a conqueror. Be on the offense.

The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 1 John 3:8

Today, live on the offense – victorious, confident and powerful. For you really are more than a conqueror.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Guide To Growing

17 Feb

Guide To Growing…

Paul says an amazing thing in Philippians 3. He says, “That I might gain Jesus.” It’s amazing because if anybody had Jesus, it was Paul. He had Him for years. He’s one of the chief teachers in the New Testament.

How can you gain what you already have? If you have Jesus, how can you gain Him? And if you’re gaining Him, how can you have had Him? What does it mean?

It’s the attitude of one who has much more to gain. We also need to have the attitude that says, “I press on so that I might know. There’s more in Him than I even know. There’s more to have than I have. Because if anybody had it, it was Paul, and he says, I don’t even have half of it. Jesus is infinite. There’s no end to Him.

There is so much more good news, more joy, more blessing, more revelation, more victory, more peace, more intimacy, and more wonders. If Paul could say it, you say it too; “That I might gain Jesus,” because there’s a whole lot more Jesus for you to gain.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Today, take up the attitude of seeking more intimacy with and more revelation of God. Get more of Jesus – the supply isn’t limited.

Walk daily with God at your side!

More Than Me

14 Feb

More Than Me…

In Mark 1:42, a leper was healed by Messiah, but it doesn’t say the man was healed of leprosy. It says, “the leprosy left” him as if the leprosy was something separate and other than the man.

It’s natural to associate the man with the disease. The man was a leper. But Jesus separates the disease and the man.

We, as Jesus’s people, need to do the same. We often look at people as what they’re afflicted with: this man’s a sinner, this one’s a selfish man, this woman’s a bitter person, this one is this and that one is that.

But instead of seeing a bitter person, see a person who’s under the affliction of bitterness, but doesn’t have to be. Don’t just see a selfish person, see a person who’s under selfishness, but can be set free.

God didn’t make them that way. Start seeing the person not as they appear to be, but as God made them to be and as Jesus can redeem them to become. Treat them as such, and you will stop seeing lepers, and you will start seeing the leprosy leave.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Make it your goal to see people the way God intends them to be. See through their sins and imperfections to the person God made them to be.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Stretch Your Faith

13 Feb

Stretch Your Faith…

As I was presenting my devotional the other day I was asked what I meant by stretch your faith. This got me to thinking just maybe we, as sinners, don’t really understand just how God uses our faith and us for His purpose. Also just how hard we try to keep ourselves inside our personal comfort zone.

We exercise our bodies and stretch our muscles to keep us in shape. In a similar way, we must also remember to stretch SPIRITUALLY as we grow in the Lord over time. And when we stretch spiritually, it always has to do with our faith. God wants us to stretch in our faith. He wants to trust that He is always there to protect us.

Paul lays out an amazing list of Bible personalities in Hebrews 11 who demonstrated their faith in powerful ways. This passage has come to be known as the “Faith Hall of Fame,” and we can find many examples of how to live by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith is absolutely central to the Christian experience. We enter into a relationship with God through faith (Romans 10:9-10), and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is a big deal!

And faith is powerful! Jesus said that if we will have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, we can pray and see mountains cast into the ocean. I wonder how small my faith must look in that type of comparison!

As you read this, I’d like to suggest to you that it is likely that God wants to stretch your faith. And just like physical stretching, spiritual stretching is not easy. Stretching requires us to push beyond our normal level of comfort.

It is the same with our faith. God wants to stretch you beyond your normal comfort zone. And that is where you will begin to see growth and progress like never before.

It is likely that God wants to stretch your faith today.

Here are some of the ways God may want to stretch you:

God may want you to DO something.
God may want you to STOP DOING something.
God may want you to SHARE something to lighten your burden.
God may want you to GIVE something.
God may want you to SAY something.
God may want you to STOP SAYING something.
God may want you to take a few minutes to LISTEN or TALK to someone about something on their mind.
God may want you to START something.
God may want you to END something.
God may want you to LOVE someone.

The chances are great that God likely wants to stretch you today! Stretching your faith shows you trust Him to watch out for you. So go ahead and step out of that comfort zone, no one is going to treat you differently.

When it comes to your spiritual fitness, don’t forget to stretch, it is good for the soul.

Walk daily with God at your side!

References:

Roman’s 10: 9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

The Spirit Mind

13 Feb

The Spirit Mind…

The high priest of Israel wore holy garments. What he wore on his head had to match the holiness of his garments. Thus, he was commanded to wear a gold crown that said: “Kadosh L’ Adonai – Holy unto the Lord.”

1 Peter 2:9 says that you’re now a royal priesthood. Your thought life is what crowns your mind. Thus your thought life needs to be consistent with the rest of your life; in harmony with your ministry and with your faith in God.

When you pray or worship the Lord, are you thinking about something else? When you take action, it needs to be consistent with what you’re thinking – what you mean in your heart.

Think what you mean, say what you think, mean what you say, do what you mean–it’s all together. Your actions and thoughts need to be pure. God wants you to be consistent in every way.

He wants your prayer life and your thought life to be holy. Let Him have His way. Let your thought life become Kadosh L’Adonai, holy unto the Lord, and as pure as a crown of gold.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Today, let your mind dwell on the Word and love of God – so that your thoughts might become Kadosh L’Adonai – Holy unto the Lord.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Lions Roar

12 Feb

The Lions Roar…

At the end of a mission trip, we saw around 70 people pray to dedicate their lives to the Lord. It was a tremendous spiritual victory. We decided to celebrate with a thanksgiving victory dinner.

Just as I was about to pray before the dinner, one of the men who accompanied me fell backward. He crashed into the table and went into convulsions. It was a scary scene. We immediately prayed for him and got medical help. He responded and was alright.

He had never experienced anything like this before. Upon our return home, he went to a doctor to find out why it happened. The doctor couldn’t find the slightest trace of anything wrong with him, and it’s never happened since.

The Bible reveals we have an enemy. Be aware that when you see great victories in God, the enemy isn’t happy. But don’t fear it. Take authority and keep moving forward in victory. For, in the end, his power is false and void. And greater, much greater, is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Keep moving forward in the victories that God has given you. Don’t fear the enemy. Instead, take authority over him in the name of Jesus.

Walk daily with God at your side!