Temptation is a Lie

PR-agency-liesLet me tell you a little secret, that is you can just remember from this point forward, it will make your life a lot happier, and actually somewhat easier.

What is this secret? What can change things so radically?

It’s this. Temptation is a lie. It is temptation, in all of its forms, is simply a lie. Think about temptation. What does it offer? What does it promise?

Fun. Or power. Or wealth. Or status. Or popularity. Or a million different things. Temptation always promises us something that we would want to have.

Every temptation does that.

And what does temptation always give us? Guilt. Shame. Self-loathing. Hatred. Destruction.

Death. In the end. It gives us death.

So, temptation promises us something good and gives us something bad. It’s a lie.

Remember that. Seriously. Drill it down into your skull right now. Temptation is a lie.

Listen to what Jesus said in John 8: 44-45:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

Jesus tells the Pharisees that they are doing the work of their father, the devil. They are lying because the devil is a liar. He is the father of lies.

That’s all he’s ever done is lie. Everything he says, everything he does, he’s a liar.

Temptation is a lie. The devil is a liar. When temptation comes, don’t listen to the promises of fun and life, remember what it is.

A lie. Temptation is a lie.

Always. Never forget that.

And when we see it for what it is, we can resist it (through God’s power) a little bit easier!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Blinded

fri 02You ever get frustrated with folks that aren’t Christian?  You ever just really get fed up with the world, with the way that people act, that their choices, their decisions, the way that their mind works?

There’s something that I say from time to tim – I don’t expect lost folks to act like Christians.  I do, however, expect Christians to act like Christians.  So, if you are spending your time, expecting people that don’t know Jesus Christ, to act like me or you, than you are just wasting your time.

They aren’t.  They simply aren’t.  Listen to what it says in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

We see here that the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the unbelievers to the truth of God.  So then, what is our move?  What are we to do?  What are our options?

Pray.  Build relationships.  Take Christ with you.  Shine the light.  Take it with you.

In your words. In your actions.  In all that you do.  Shine His.  The light will shine in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it.  Take the light of Jesus with you.

But first, and foremost.  Pray.  Pray for those that you know that don’t love Jesus.  Pray for those that you know that need to love Him better.  Pray.

Pray for His word to spread.  Pray for the church.  Pray for yourself.

Yes, they are blinded.  Don’t get frustrated.  Don’t get angry.  Love.  Trust.  Pray.

And let God take care of the rest.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Is God Love? Is God Holy? Yes

I was listening to a podcast the other day by Tim Keller, one of my favorite preachers to listen to. He was talking about the ways that the devil will get at us. He said the devil will use one of two lies against us.

One is accusation. He will accuse us of our sins, and get us to think that we are a failure. In this mode of attack, the devil hides God’s love from us. He wants us to focus only on God’s holiness and forget that He loves us. He hides God’s love from us.

The other is temptation. In this, the devil will tempt us into sin, and he will hide God’s holiness from us. He will make us think that forgiveness is nothing, not a big deal. He will make us forget the great price that our forgiveness cost – the death on the cross of God’s own son.

Love. And Holiness. Both are part of who God is. And both need to be remembered. And treated with balance and respect.

The devil will try to hide one or the other from us, based upon our weakness and our faults. From some of us he will try to hide God’s love. From other’s God’s holiness.

It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. God is not love or holy. He’s love and holy.

Look at the John 8:7-11 today:

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

He forgives. He offers grace and mercy. And then He says, go and sin no more.

And today, all of us are somewhere in this. Maybe today, the devil is making you feel like you are worthless and you can’t be forgiven. You can be. You are. You forgiven and you are loved.

Don’t forget.

Maybe today, you are thinking that your sins aren’t a big deal. Forgiveness is nothing. Nothing to it.

Never forget the price that Jesus paid to redeem you. Yes you are forgiven. But never forget the cost.

The devil will to hide one from you today. Which is it for you?

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

The Devil is a Bully

Listen to 1 Peter 5:8-10 this morning.  Peter in this passage tells us two very important facts for our lives and our walks of faith today.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

First, we see in verse 8, the devil, the forces of evil are out to trip us up. There is a such a force as spiritual warfare, there is temptation, there.

Today, you will face temptation. It will happen. There are forces out there, temptations within yourself, things that are going to do their best to keep you from growing, being faithful, being effect for the gospel.

Scripture tells us that the our adversary the devil is prowling like a lion, seeking whom he may devour.

That’s fact one.

Fact two is this – bring it on!

Verse 9 says resist him, stand firm in your faith, and he will flee from you. The devil is a bully. He acts big and bad. He acts like he is strong and is all powerful.

He is not. He is not all powerful. He is not the king of the world. God is.

And through through our faith and the power of the spirit, when we stand firm, he will flee. He will.

Today, stand firm in your faith. Stand firm against the doubts, the temptations, the trials, the fear. Stand firm.

The devil is a bully. He acts big and bad. He is not. Through the power of God, he will flee.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

You are not Powerless

Sometimes we focus in our devotional life about the reality of our sin.

We understand how sinful we are; our broken nature, and these things make us all the more thankful for God, for His salvation, and for His grace.

And those are all very good things. Those are all things that we need to know. We need to know that we are loved, no matter what we’ve done. We need to know that we need to never get too proud; it’s the pride that comes before the fall. We need to understand that only through grace can we stand.

It’s good for us to know these things.

But, it’s also good for us to read James.  Because James tells us to bow up. Do right.  Act right. Stop doing things that are wrong. Start doing things that are right.

Yes, we are sinful.  Yes, we have done things wrong. Yes, we will make mistakes.

But, you know what?  You aren’t powerless.

Listen to what James writes today in James 4:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.

Humble yourself before God.  Know that your strength comes from God, not from you. Without Him, you are powerless. Without Him, there’s nothing you can do. Without Him, we have no hope.

But, with Him, resist the devil, and he will flee.  With Him, we have the greatest power. With Him, we are not powerless and helpless. With Him, we are more than conquers.

Today, you are not powerless.  Today, you are not at the whims of the devil. Today, you have a choice to make.

Will you follow along with the plans of the devil? Or will you resist?

Today, you are not powerless. Today, through God, you have strength and power. Today, through God, resist the devil and he will flee.

Today, you are not powerless.  Today, you have a choice to make. What choice will you make?