Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
Current Sermon Series:
March 1st: “Hope Beyond the Grave”
Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Each Sunday we have a program for children
K through 5th grade, from 6:00-7:00 PM.
Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
Temptation is something we all face no matter how long we have been a Christian. We may be a seasoned saint, yet temptations still come and at times they are quite difficult to resist. How do we overcome enticements to sin? How do we say no to temptation? Paul’s final words to Timothy help us here. Paul’s last letter in the New Testament is 2 Timothy. In the second chapter of this short letter to young Timothy he gives us solid instruction and hope in overcoming temptation.
The chapter begins with the following admonition: “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (v. 1). If we are going to overcome temptation, we need to be strong—strong not in ourselves, but in Christ Jesus. The strength that we have comes from Christ and is ours only as we place ourselves in a position to receive his strength. We are commanded to be strong, and there is no excuse for not being strong. But we are commanded to find this strength in Christ Jesus as he gives us his grace to overcome. All the help we need is in Christ. We just need to avail ourselves of it. One way we do this is by prayer. Ask Christ for strength to resist temptation, and he will grant that strength to you.
Another help verse in this chapter is verse 19. The latter part of that verse reads, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” The phrase “everyone who confesses the name of the Lord” is a way of describing Christians. Christians are ones who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We called on his name when we were saved (see Acts 2.21), and we call on his name regularly as we pray and serve in his name. Paul says that those who are Christians must turn away from wickedness. This is what repentance actually is: it is turning away from sin. And this is something we must do. It is not optional. We cannot walk with Christ and cling to our sin at the same time. It helps in overcoming temptation to know that we cannot continue indulging in unrepentant sin and be a Christian. We are thus compelled to make a choice, and that choice hopefully is to turn from our sin and be faithful to Jesus Christ.
One other verse in this chapter that provides insight in overcoming temptation is verse 22. Paul says, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” To overcome temptation we must flee from it, not flirt with it. We must run from sin, or it will overcome us. Not only should we run from sin, but we should run toward righteousness. Holy living is both positive and negative. We turn from sin and turn to God and righteousness. Cultivating godly virtues helps us to resist temptation. One other thing is interesting about this verse. It points out the importance of a pure heart. Holiness and overcoming temptation flow out of a heart that is made pure by God’s grace. If my heart is dirty and sinful, it doesn’t matter how hard I try to resist. It won’t work. First let my heart be pure, and then my life can be pure as well. Thankfully, God is willing to give us a pure heart. He alone can (see Ps 51.10).
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.