Jason

Christian Ex-Gay Ministry

Was tun bei Versuchungen

From Begging to Praise!

James 1:2

King James Version (KJV)

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations"


"No one ought to consider himself a true servant of God who is not tried by many temptations and trials."

- St. Francis of Assisi


Let God

Have a look in the mirror folks and look deep, look hard. Do you wonder perhaps why you still struggle with the same old, same old? Could it be that in your stubborn pride you are wanting to change in your own way, in your own time without God? Are you perhaps walking about with pride, like a peacock proudly displaying your feathers, figuring you can do it on your own?
 
Maybe it is time to fold your feathers, and let God. Be blessed, be encouraged, and let God.
 
Andre

Every Man Struggles with Something

Indeed, every man struggles with something. Every man who  brags is usually a liar. He brags to make himself look better than he really is. I have always said that about guys who bragged about having laid a girl. If the truth be known he likely did not.
 
You are right. Even young guys have their insecurities. Look at high school kids, the struggles that we are aware they are having. They are under so much peer pressure and then their is the pressure from home and family etc. Our society is bent on making us more than we really are. That I fear often enough is the root for many of our problems in our society today.
 
Younger folks try to grow a beard and moustache so that they can look older. They smoke to look older etc.
 
Yes, we are all insecure because we are trying to make ourselves look like the Marlboro Man looking cool up there on the bill board all tanned and looking tough with a smoke hanging out of his mouth. That is not the model that God wants us to emulate.
 
We have much better models to try to resemble in the Bible with the likes of David, and Job, and Abraham. But they to all had their insecurities and failures. But at least they had their eye on God trying to be more like Him. And so should we to. It is not being a sissy to imitate God as some would have us believe. It is a sissy to try to be the weak humans we try to copy from the world.
 
We will some day conquer mountains and more. But for now while we are in the side of eternity, we must work with Him and try to conquer our sins and try to be the real man, Jesus.
 
Andre

Sin and the Temptation to Sin

Another thought that crossed my mind regarding sin and the temptation to sin. Proverbs 23:7 a says: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (King James Version)
 
Most guys and gals for that matter, seek to do whatever your heart desires, you will go after it and get it. It is a proven fact, that if you so desire so much in your heart to achieve something, you will achieve it. Likewise, if you so desire in your heart to go after unlawful flesh, you will be just that, you will chase after that unlawful flesh, because it has become imbedded in your heart, your flesh.
 
So the bottom line is, if you sincerely desire to change, to quit seeking after unlawful flesh, take a change in your thoughts, what you desire. If you decide in your mind that you do not like spinach, guess what? You won't like spinach. Likewise, if you decide in you mind that you no longer desire unlawful flesh, guess what?  You will no longer like and no longer seek after it.
 
Colossians 3:1-8a,9-10,17: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these....., seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him... And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (King James Version)
 
Can you in your right mind be abiding in sin and honestly say that you are doing it in the name of the Lord?

Andre

What can you do when you fall?

What can you you do when you fall, you ask? When as a child when you were learning to ride a bike, you likely fell a few times, right! But did you give up? No you got back on and kept at it till you no longer fell. Likewise while you are on this journey with Jesus, there will be falls along the way. Will you give up and stay down? No, I did not think so. Get back up and keep trying to stay pure relying on God, the Son and the Holy Spirit to be your guide, to be your support to help you from falling. And when we do fall, remember 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

I understand feeling shame when we fall, but do not let the tempter keep you on the ground by making you feel down and convicting you of sin, by beating yourself up when you fall. Get back up and remember and confess and He will forgive.

Have a good and godly week, for what lasting value is a good week, if it is not also a godly week.

André

Hold Out

Hi Guys;
 
Driving along today I got to thinking of you guys and this thought came to mind.
 
I pray that today that you will hold out in your faith believing that firstly by faith you have been saved and also by faith if you hold out by faith believing that the Lord can keep you strong today to resist all temptations, and that by faith you can also believe that He can do His part and not only hold out in faith to you to support you and give you strength for today and tomorrow and the next day etc., that by faith you will come to full fruitation to become the man He wants you to be, and that by faith He will also encourage you and fill you full of His Holy spirit giving you a life full of Himself today and forever.
 
God Bless

André

Spend Quality Time with God (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)



Life is one continual up and down experience. Would it not be great if it was always up?  But God allows the valley and dark path experiences to teach us His ways. Even if we were righteous always, we will still always have much to learn about Him. Look at the life of Job. He was a just man, yet God allowed Satan to sift him though terrible valleys with he loss of his family and home etc. Yet, Job did not play the blame game on God, but used the experiences to  be a reminder and a teaching experience that whatever God allows in our life is a gift, whether it seems like it or not. Each day is a day to learn, to draw closer to Him.
 
Be careful to not let a single day to slip away without having spent quality time with God. Just as our bodies need daily physical exercise to keep in shape, our spiritual life is the same. If we allow one day, two days, three days to slip by without quality time with Him, our spiritual life becomes slack, it becomes saggy. It is said that it takes 21 days to develop a habit and only a few to break a habit. When you miss days of a habit, it slowly becomes more days, and soon you are totally out of step with that habit. Therefore be careful not o allow even one day slip away from spending quality time with Him. I know, I have been there and unfortunately have allowed it to happen to me. Then it takes hard work and steadfast devotion to get back into step with God again.
 
Good for you. Look in the mirror and seek and see Christ and not the sinful man we are. When one seeks into depression, it is because one takes his eyes off of God and focuses rather on oneself and looks at the dark rather than the light. Seek first the kingdom of God and all shall be added onto you.
 
Good for you in spending time doing His work. When you are in His work, there is no time for spending time in sin.
 
Yes, forgiving yourself is good. Otherwise you'll fall back into old bad habits and be forever beating up on yourself. Christ paid the penalty for our sins and has forgiven you. There is no need to beat up on yourself when you are in His eyes already forgiven and made as white as snow. He does not see you as a sinner, but as His son washed in the blood of the lamb, pure and holy. So why should you view yourself in dirty rags?

Andre

The Father of Lies

Jesus called Satan a murderer, and a liar, the father of lies (John 8:44). You are right. He goes all out seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). But we do not need to get caught up in his deception nor lies. For we have God on our side whom is stronger than Satan could even imagine to be and He will fight for us and give us strength to win and flee temptation. James tells us in James 4:7 that if we "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (King James Version)
 
The following verse tells us if we draw near to God, He will draw to us. What better friend and adversary can we have but God.
 
Go therefore resisting Satan and cling to God and victory will be in your hands through Jesus Christ who gives us the victory.
 
God Bless
 
André

“If God were not my friend, Satan would not be so much my enemy” (Thomas Brooks)

Versuchungen...

Aus christlicher Sicht ist Homosexualität nichts anderes als eine Versuchung - unabhängig von deren Ursachen im wissenschaftlichen Sinn.

Menschen wie Joe Dallas oder Tim Wilkins geben deshalb unumwunden zu, dass sie unter bestimmten Umständen immer noch von Männern sexuell gereizt werden oder eventuell sogar fallen könnten. Heißt das nun, all das Gerede über "Heilung" wäre Unsinn?

Keineswegs! Versuchung wird es immer geben. Selbst Jesus wurde versucht. Als Christinnen und Christen sind wir uns dessen durchaus bewusst. Uns ist aber auch klar, dass die Macht der Sünde durch Jesus am Kreuz gebrochen wurde.  Wir sind frei! Die Bibel warnt uns aber auch davor, unseren "Schutzschild" herunter zu lassen. Wir müssen immer auf der Hut sein - und das betrifft alle Christen. Ein fester Glaube, tägliches Bibellesen und Gebet sowie ein strukturiertes Leben in der Nachfolge Jesu Christi und in Gemeinschaft mit anderen Christen gibt uns die Kraft und den festen Boden, den wir brauchen, um nicht zu fallen - oder - sollte es doch geschehen - wieder die Kraft und den Glauben zu finden, aufzustehen.

Jesus hat uns nie gesagt, es würde leicht werden. Er hat nur gesagt, es wäre all die Mühe wert.

Er hat uns aufgefordert, uns selbst zu verleugnen, unser Kreuz auf uns zu nehmen und ihm nach zu folgen. Damit macht man sich heutzutage nicht unbedingt beliebt. Schnell gilt man als altmodisch, rückständig oder radikal. Als Christinnen und Christen aber wissen wir: es ist all die Mühe wert.




Der Frosch im heissen Wasser

Mit dem Suendigen ist es wie mit einem Frosch in heissem Wasser: wirft man ihn einfach so in heisses Wasser hinein, springt er wieder heraus. Wenn man ihn aber in angenehm warmes Wasser setzt und langsam die Temparatur erhoeht, wird er gekocht, ohne dass er es ueberhaupt merkt. Genauso ist es mit der Versuchung zur Suende: wenn wir uns immer wieder jeden Unsinn im Fernsehen ansehen, wenn wir nicht auf das achten, was wir sagen und wie wir es sagen, wenn wir auch bei der Auswahl unserer Freunde und Freizeitbeschaeftigungen nicht unser Ziel und unseren Glauben im Auge haben, stumpfen wir immer mehr ab, wenn es darum geht, Suende zu erkennen und zu vermeiden. Wir brauchen nur einmal die heutige Gesellschaft ansehen: vieles von dem, was uns heute ueberall in den Medien und im Alltag begegnet, waere vor nicht allzu langer Zeit undenkbar gewesen! Offenbar sind wir schon so an das „heisse Wasser" gewohnt, dass wir eher die Bibel neu schreiben („gemaess der heutigen Wissenschaft uminterpretieren") und eine 2.000-jaehrige Kirchengeschichte ueber den Haufen werfen, um das Rad neu zu erfinden – wir heute sind ja so viel schlauer als all die Menschen, die vor uns gelebt haben sowie intelligenter als der Schoepfer des Universums! Hierbei gibt es nur ein Problem: Jesus kommt wieder – zu einer Zeit, wo es keiner annimmt. Und die Begleitumstaende Seiner Ankunft werden uns nicht gefallen...

 

Keep Your Eyes on the Goal!

Paul wrote that he kept his eyes towards the goal. That goal was the crown of life he would receive when he went to heaven. Jesus came and kept his eye towards the goal of going to the cross for you and me. He was tempted often to stray from that goal. But He would not let the enemy gain the upper hand. And He won the victory for us. Yes, through Him, we have the victory, the strength.
 
Keep your eyes on that goal as in a race. In a race you look at ther finish line. Nothing else is in view and thus you are not distracted from that finish line. Do the same with your struggles. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your victor, so that you will not be distracted, nor be not tempted.
 
Have another great week.

Andre

"Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. He became man for us so we might become partakers of his divinity (2 Pet. 1:4). He became poor, so through His poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). He took upon Himself the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7) so we might be delivered from slavery (Rom. 8:21). He stooped down to us in our misery so we might be raised up to His glory. He was tempted like us so we might learn to overcome temptation like him. He was despised so we might be given honor. He died to save us from death. He ascended to heaven so we who lie prone in sin may be lifted up to Him." St. Gregory Nazianzus

“We have a choice in our response to failure. We can condemn or we can learn. All of us fail, but this doesn't mean that we are failures. We need to understand that failing can be a step toward maturity, not a permanent blot on our self-esteem...We don't have to allow failure to prevent us from being used by God.”

― Robert S. McGee

“There is spiritual delight to be found in God that far supersedes the physical diet of this world, and fasting is the means by which we say to God, “More than our stomachs want food, our souls want you.” Once we “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), the things of the world no longer appeal to us in the same way.”

― David Platt

Crucified

Hello Guys

I've been meaning to share this with you for some time now but I figured that I've already said so much, I didn't want to overload you.

This is something that totally transformed my life and has made my walk with the Lord so much better. Ever since I was taught this truth, I have gained new insight and victory into areas I found problematic in my life.

As you may have noticed, I'm not perticulary keen on focusing exclusively on sexuality. Such an approach I believe gives the impression that we're one dimensional (which we are not!) and it also alienates us from the rest of believers. I shall therefore present this teaching not just in an effort to help you understand your struggles with sexuality better, but that you may also understand other areas of your self better.

Colossians 3:2-3 says: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (King James Version)

I don't know about you, but I never really understood this passage of Scripture and all the others that also speak of believers dying very well. I understood the atonement of Yeshua on the Cross for our sins and ressurection well, but I never understood when the apostle Paul refered to himself as being dead, especially when he says he's been crucified with Christ. Being very analytical person by nature, I attempted many times to solve this mystery on my own, but without much success. So I waited on God to shed some light on the subject.

Was I blown out of my socks when I was explained the meaning of this concept. Dr. Ed Murphy, in his book, Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, explains this glorious truth so beautifully. For the first time I realized what Scripture meant when it says believers died.

So who died? The old man. "But if the old man is dead," you ask, "How come I still have sinful desires of all sorts?" Here comes the best part. When you expereinced new birth, the old you (in my case the old Adam) was supernaturally crucified with Christ on the cross. If you think I'm exaggerating, read Romans 6:5-7:

"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." (King James Version)

This is the beauty of the gospel. Old Tom, old John, old Henry, etc., have all been crucified. They no longer exist. They're all dead. The sexually broken man that you once were, was killed and done away with the minute you accepted Him as your Saviour, when you first believed. Even if you backslidded, the old self was not resurected.
(I shall explain this later as we go along.) That's not all, Scripture tells that when this old man was destroyed, `you received a new man or new nature `was given to you. Scripture says that you are now "born of God". (1 John 5:18-19. King James Version).

"But I still have so much sinful desires!" you say. "My flesh is very much still alive. My battles with pornography, sexuality is still very much alive and real. Does it now then mean that I have not been crucified with Christ and therefore not born again?" Absolutely not. If you trust in Jesus as your Saviour, you are born again. "But how come the sinful desires of my flesh are yet still alive?"

If you read Romans 6:5-7 again, you'll see the Bible talks about your old self that was crucified and not your physical flesh. (Rom. 7:14-23) The two are totally different from one another.Your flesh on the other hand is still very much alive. The old self is that Adamic cursed wicked part of you that could do nothing else but sin. The way I see it, this old self was personified just as the new man is personified, just as the flesh is personified (Gal.5:19-21). It therefore wasn't a force or some impersonal energy but a person with will, desires and mind. It's difficult to understand but nevertheless fascinating.

Neil T Anderson explains our new state of affairs so wisely. He writes that the flesh is the tendency that is in every person and pushes us to act independent of God and to focus only on ourselves. This is how an unsaved person acts - worshipping the creature more than the Creator. However, those who are born again are different. Their old self died and their new self lives now. As we might have spent years far away fro God, secular experiences shaped our brain with things that are not of God. So even though our old self is dead, our flesh still works against God - or independent from God. (Neil T. Anderson, "The Bondage Breaker". Harvest House Publ. ISBN-10: 0736918140. ISBN-13: 978-0736918145):


"The flesh is the tendency within each person to operate independant of God and to center his interest on himself. An unsaved person functions totally in the flesh (Romans 8:7-8), worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25) When you are born again, your old self died and your new self came to life...{but} during the years you spent separated from God, your worldly experiences thorougly programmed your brain with thought patterns, memory traces, responces and habits which are alien to God. So even
though your OLD SKIPPER* is gone, your flesh remains in opposition to God as a preprogrammed propensity from sin, which is living independant of God" Bondage Braker (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 199) pg 79-80 *-capital letters MINE

When one reads this you begin to understand why unsaved people can do nothing but sin. They have a corrupted "person" that is riding on the back of the flesh- that is also unredeemable. However, we who have received a new nature, through new birth, who desire the things of the Spirit, no longer have an excuse to continue in sin. That is why 1 John 3:9 says:

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (King James Version)

We were once utter slaves to sin, but now we've been giving a new man that can do and choose the things of God. Our old selves couldn't.
Do you see the implications? We no longer have to battle with the old man. He's dead. We still however have to battle with our flesh, that is totally corrupt. Furthermore, our brains must also be given new software becuase it still runs on old evil software. This is where sanctification comes in. Please listen to me. I don't care what any body says, sanctification is not an easy process! I get so fed up when I hear well known 'Christian' speakers tell people that they can change their lives instantly. They give you a formulas and principles (that usually involves money) and guarantee that you will be healed, you will be blessed, you will receive a break through.

Thirty years ago David Martin Lloyed-Jones in his book "The Christian Warfare: An Exposition of Ephesians 6:10 to 13" (Baker Pub Group. ISBN-10: 0801055741. ISBN-13: 978-0801055744), wrote about cults offering an instant blessing. This short cut allows them to win adherents. There is no growth concerning grace or growth in the knowlegde of the Lord. Also no mentioning of salvation with fear and trembling. You go to perfection in an instant. No problems, no struggle, no difficulties:

"Another great characteristic of the cults is that they offer you a cure, the blessing all at once. It is the short cut method always; that is why it wins adherents...the cults do not talk about 'growth in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord'; they do not talk about work out your salvation with fear and trembling'; and there is no mortification of the body and of the flesh. It is immediate arrival at perfection; and all you have to do is to keep you there. All problems have gone, there is no struggle left, there is no difficulty to solve; it has all been done and done at once. Short cuts!"


I mention this because I know false expectations lead to discouragement and discouragement ultimately, if not dealt with correctly, will lead to backslidding. It is my prayer that none of you will ever backslide into your old lives. That is why I want you to know that your road to freedom will be difficult and will involve actve fighting, struggling and resisting on your part. Better know what you're up against than to be caught off guard. I urge you not listen to the fools who promise you quick rememdies through useless formulas and vain Christain pop psychology. Forgive me if I sound harsh but when I see so many people being led astray by mere salesmanship, my blood begins to boil.

Even though our walk may not an easy walk, it is a blessed walk nevertheless. From my own experience, I can truly say that it's been worth the while. It's been extremely difficult at times but also glorious! Christ has really given us life and life in abundance. He has also given us the tools to fight for our inheritance. Where we once didn't have a chance against sexual struggles in our former states (before salvation), we now can supernaturally voluntary choose the things of the Spirit through our new man/nature.

If Satan has been condemming you about your recent failures by telling you that you arn't really a Christian because of your weak state, listen to this. If you thought you're still the same old perverted little dude you were before you got saved, listen to this. If you still despise yourself for the things you allowed yourself to do, listen to this wonderful timeless advice by Dr. D.M. Lloyed-Jones. He talks about the truth that as Christians we are already saved, We have already died with Jesus. We are already "in Christ". We have been crucified with Him. This cruxifixion is not something we have to do. It happened already! We have been crucified - one and for ever! And as we died with Christ, we have also been risen with Him. That's why satan attacks us so that we loose our confidence in our complete security in Jesus.


This is the finest tonic for any weak Christian....Remind yourself of the truth about yourself as a Christian, that you are already saved, that you ahve already died with Christ, that you are 'in Christ', that you will never be more saved spiritually than you are now. If you are a Christian at all, you are 'in Christ', you have been crucified with Him. Thus to be crucified is is not something you have to do, 'having believed'. Romans tell us what has happened to us, not what should happen to us. 'You have been'- it is in the aorist tense. 'Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Christ' once and for ever. Remind yourself of that . Remind yourself that, as you died with Christ, you have also risen with Him, that you are seated with Him in the heavenly places, and that the devil is therefore attacking you in order to shake your confidence in your complete security in Christ." Dr. D.M Lloyed-Jones


Paul says, "And such were some of you." (1 Cor. 6:9-11. King James Version. Emphasis added).

Begin to realize that you have been given a new nature that genuinely wants to do the things of the Spirit. Your old self is dead. Even though you may still do things that may be wrong, you can and never will be the sinner you used to be. Relapses are merely a sign of a need of sanctification (removing old programs that your old skipper installed) and not salvation. If you are also truly born again, you will eventually repent of a certain sin. Why? Because you've been given the ability to repent through the Spirit that now lives in you that empowers you.
We really have no excuses not to live holy lives.

My God open the understanding of our hearts and continue to lead to freedom from all bondages.

Grace to you all

André
Wo kommt die Versuchung her?

1 Mose 3,1-5
1 Mose 22,1-12
Hiob 1,6-12
Daniel 12,10
Jakobus 1,13-15

Wie kann ich mich davor schützen?

1 Mose 4,7
5 Mose 12,30
Lukas 4,1-13
Matthäus 4,1-11
Matthäus 5,27-30
Matthäus 6,13
Lukas 11,4
Galater 5,16

Hilft Gott in Versuchung?

1 Korinther 10,13
Hebräer 2,18
2 Petrus 2,9
1 Johannes 5,18
Offenbarung 3,10




Freedom from SSA

Guys,

there are many professionals who are able to scientifically explain to you how to find freedom from same-sex attractions.

I am a simple man so I will try to tell you in simple terms.

Imagine a father who wants to teach his son how to ride a bike. He will not give him a lesson on the functioning of each single part, where it came from and what it is made of. Nor will he lecture on how the human body works and how the mind coordinates things. He loves his sonny and wants him to be able to ride that bike on his own.

Of course, he could let him continue to ride with additional wheels, but this is not what the father wants. Daddy knows that his son will likely fall a couple of times. There will be tears and some pain as well. But as a loving father he buys his son a bike and takes him out to teach him how to ride.

Now the son does not expect a big lesson or a manual to start with. Yes, he might be somewhat scared as he does not know what to expect and how to handle this bike without additional wheels that keep it stable. But he knows that he can fully trust his father. He loves his daddy more than anything - and daddy loves him. So he takes a courageous first step and lets daddy show him how to do it.

Daddy will fist be there all the time to hold his son while he rides. However, step by step he will let him run a little bit on his own.

Sonny will ride this first bits all shaky and insecure, but then again he trusts his daddy, so he manages to do it - sort of.

Sometimes he will fall and have his knee scratched. Tears will roll down his cheek, but daddy will hold him im his arms and encourage him to take another effort.

Day by day little sonny will drive a little longer all by himself, until he finally manages to ride that bike completely alone. Daddy will be so proud of his son and his son will come running into his arms, thanking his beloved daddy for keeping his promise to be there all the time when things were getting rough on him. Daddy told him that he will ride that bike and all his little son had to do is to trust him just enough that he goes for it.

Sometimes all that keeps us from succeeding is the lack of belief that it can be done.

Rob

Was tun bei Versuchungen?

Bibelverse:

 1 Korinther 10:13
Siehe auch:  Epheser 6:10-20, Jakobus 1:2-8, Jakobus 1:12-15, Jakobus 5:7-11, Römer 5:3-4
 



Bete und preise den Herrn! Die Kraft des Gebetes wird von vielen immer noch unterschätzt! Sage Gott, dass du alleine hilflos bist und übergib Ihm die Kontrolle! Und GLAUBE daran, dass er dich heilen kann! Die meisten Menschen scheitern und fallen, weil sie nicht wirklich an die Heilung glauben - daran, dass Jesus durch seinen Tod den Sieg bereits errungen und die Macht der Sünde gebrochen hat!

Wenn die Versuchung an die Türe klopft, öffne nicht selbst, sondern lasse Gott öffnen - ER hat die Kontrolle! (Ordnet euch also Gott unter, leistet dem Teufel Widerstand; dann wird er vor euch fliehen. Jakobus 4:7.

 



Im Epheserbrief (6:10-20) lesen wir ?ber die geistliche Waffenr?stung. Was hilft uns im Kampf gegen die Versuchung?

- Wahrheit
- Gerechtigkeit
- Bereitschaft, für das Evangelium des Friedens einzutreten
- Glaube
- Heil
- Wort Gottes
- Beten im Geist und mit Beharrlichkeit

Ferner:

- der Heilige Geist
- die Gemeinde

Achtung: Satan schlägt meist dann zu, wenn wir am schwächsten sind (siehe Jesu' Versuchung in der W?ste nach 40 Tage Fastens)!


 



Glaube muss getestet werden:

  • damit wir wachsen
  • damit Gottes Herz zufrieden ist (dadurch, dass unser Glaube auf die Probe gestellt wird, können wir zeigen, wie echt und aufrichtig er wirklich ist. Ein derart getesteter Glaube preist Seinen Namen).
  • damit Satan zum Schweigen gebracht wird
  • damit wir anderen Menschen helfen können

Siehe auch:

Galater 5:13-18




"When temptation comes up, tell the devil, "Good-bye, I am a son of God!"
Doug M. - co-founder of Homosexuals Anonymous




Praktische Tips

Hier zwei Tips von Teilnehmern unserer Selbsthilfegruppen:

1) Schreibe alles auf, wofür du dankbar sein solltest! Lies diese Liste regelmäßig durch!
2) Lege ein Tagebuch (oder einen Block im Internet) an. So kannst du nachverfolgen, was dazu geführt hat, dass du gefallen bist (sollte es denn soweit kommen) und außerdem kannst du so deinen Therapieerfolg kontrollieren. Außerdem ist es einfach interessant, zu lesen, was man früher gedacht und gefühlt hat!





"Sein Kopf war mit Dornen gekrönt - und wir denken, wir würden eine Krone aus Rosen bekommen?" (Thomas Watson, A Divine Cordial)

"Es ist wichtig, sich daran zu erinnern, dass Homosexualität Leiden mit sich bringt. Es wird Zeiten der Einsamkeit geben, wo du die Sirenen der Sünde hören wirst: "Ich bin deine einzige Chance auf Liebe. Gib nach oder du wirst für immer alleine bleiben.", wo du das Versprechen hören wirst: "Ich kann deinen Schmerz lindern und die Verletzung verbannen." Dann ist es wichtig, sich daran zu erinnern, welchen Schmerz Homosexualität uns in der Vergangenheit zugefügt hat, um die Lügen, die sie uns jetzt erzählen will, zu erkennen.

Sie nahm dir den Respekt vor dir selbst und gab dir ein Schuldgefühl, sie nahm deine Ehre und gab dir Schande, sie nahm deine Aufrichtigkeit und gab dir ein Doppelleben, deine Sanftheit und machte einen wütenden Menschen aus dir. Sie hat dich dahin gebracht, Gott, deine Frau und Kinder, deine Freunde und alle, die dir vertrauten, zu betrügen. Sie versprach dir Linderung und gab dir nur Schmerz; sie versprach Liebe und gab nur Lust und Einsamkeit.

Erinnere dich aber auch, dass Gott Gutes aus all dem Unheil hervorbringen kann. Sonst frisst dich die Sorge auf und gibt der Versuchung neue Nahrung. Der emotionale Schmerz, den du verspürt hast, war eine Warnung Gottes, dass du auf dem falschen Weg warst.








"Resisting does not mean fighting back!"
Douglas McIntyre, co-founder of Homosexuals Anonymous



Satans Macht wurde am Kreuz gebrochen!

"Oberflächliche Ansichten des Wirken von Christus produzieren oberflächliche Leben." (D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, The Cross).

Manche werden fragen: "Wenn die Macht Satans und seiner Verbündeten am Kreuz gebrochen wurde, warum habe ich dann solche Schwierigkeiten, Freiheit von der Homosexualität zu finden? Warum ist mein innerer Kampf so schmerzhaft? Warum falle ich ab und zu?" Unsere Situation ist vergleichbar mit der der Alliierten im 2. Weltkrieg. Nach der Landung in der Normandie war Hitler's Macht gebrochen. Nach dem D Day war es bis zum endgültigen Sieg nur noch eine Frage der Zeit. Es gab noch einige blutige Schlachten zu bestehen, aber die Nazis waren erledigt!








Wenn die Versuchung aber stark ist, finden wir die Wahl (ob wir glauben, was wir fühlen oder was Gott sagt) vielleicht schwierig, weil unsere Gefühle mächtig erscheinen und unser Glaube so jämmerlich! Dann ruft uns Gott zu: "Kämpfe den guten Kampf des Glaubens" (1. Timotheus 6:12) - unsere Herzen jeder Stimme außer Seiner zu verschließen und vorwärts mit Seinem Wort zu gehen (Lukas 5:5). Das zu tun, heißt oft, einen schmerzhaften Kampf auszutragen, aber dieser Kampf führt zu gegenwärtigen Wohlbefinden und sicheren Triumph! "Glaube bringt die Fülle der Zukunft in die Armut der Gegenwart." (Erich Sauer, The Triumph of the Crucified)






AT THE CROSS
 
What do you see when you look at the cross? here's 
What you should see. his head pierced with the thorns
Of every issue that would ever afflict your mind. His
Hands were nailed through for every vile thing your
Hands were ever used to do. His feet were nailed to
The tree for every illicit, immoral place that you ever
Walked. When He cried,'MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY
HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?"(Mark 15:34), He was
Feeling the hell that separation from God would have
Bought us eternally. But, when he finally cried, "IT IS
FINISHED." He was writing "PAID IN FULL" across every
Unpaid dept that your sins had accumulated.
 
The bottom line is this---if you had been the only person
Who had ever lived, it would have taken every drop of His
Blood to redeem you. So the question is:
 
"WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?"










Versuchung und Vergebung

Versuchung wird es immer geben. Es muss sie sogar geben. Auch christlicher Sicht trennt Versuchung die Spreu vom Weizen. Was wir dagegen tun können? Es gibt Waffen, die jede Versuchung meistern helfen: Das Wort Gottes und das inständige Gebet. Die "Rüstung", um in den Kampf zu ziehen - und zu gewinnen!

Als Christen dürfen wir auch auf Vergebung hoffen. Sogar wir, die wir viel und häufig gesündigt haben, dürfen Vergebung erfahren. Und wie Jesus uns bereits gesagt hat: wem viel vergeben wurde, der liebt Jesus auch umso mehr.

Wir sollten diese Vergebeung also auch annehmen und uns selbst vergeben. Und im Gegenzug denen, die uns verletzt haben.

Dass wir mit unseren christlichen Prinzipien nicht immer auf Verständnis und Gegenliebe stoßen werden, hat uns Jesus ebenfalls klar gemacht - kurz bevor er ans Kreuz geschlagen wurde.

Wenn die Menschen schon damals so gehandelt haben, als das Holz noch grün war, wie werden sie erst handeln, wenn das Holz trocken ist...

 





"Warum ist Versuchung so attraktiv, erbarmungslos und mächtig? (...) Sicher könnte Gott es einfacher für uns machen (...) Ich sage nicht, dass Gott uns dazu bringt, zu sündigen; noch versucht Er uns wie Satan das tut (...) Aber Gott stellt uns auf die Probe; Er erlaubt es auch, dass Satan uns versucht. Warum? Versuchung - mit all ihren furchterregenden Möglichkeiten für ein Versagen - ist Gottes Methode, um unsere Loyalität zu testen. Wir können nicht behaupten, wir würden jemanden lieben, bis wir einige harte Entscheidungen zu seinen Gunsten getroffen haben. Entsprechend können wir auch nicht sagen, wir würden Gott lieben, bis wir NEIN zu den andauernden Versuchungen gesagt haben (...) Gott erlaubt uns den Luxus der schwierigen Wahl, damit wir unsere Liebe zu Ihm beweisen können. Das sind unsere M?glichkeiten, Gott anstelle der Welt zu wühlen." (Erwin M. Lutzer, How To Say No To a Stubborn Habit)




"Wenn du einen Hund siehst, der zwei Männern hinterher läuft," sagt Ralph Erskine in einer seiner Predigten, "weist du nicht, zu wem er gehört, solange die beiden zusammen gehen; aber lasse sie zu einer Kreuzung kommen und getrennte Wege gehen, dann wirst du wissen, wer der Herr des Hundes ist. So gehen auch Religion und die Welt manchmal Hand in Hand. Ein Mann kann die Welt haben - und gleichzeitig einen religiösen Beruf. Dann können wir nicht sagen, wer der Herr des Mannes ist - Gott oder die Welt; aber warte, bis der Mann zu einer Kreuzung kommt und die Welt nach ihm ruft. Gott ruft ihn hierhin ? die Welt dorthin. Wenn Gott sein Herr ist, folgt er der Religion und lässt die Welt gehen; aber wenn die Welt sein Herr ist, dann folgt er der Welt und deren Lust und lässt Gott, Gewissen und Religion gehen." (John Whitecross, The Shorter Catechism Illustrated).






Wenn wir uns hilflos fühlen...
können wir Gott preisen, dass Er den Hilflosen hilft!
Wenn wir uns gottlos fühlen...
...können wir Gott preisen, dass er die Sünder liebt!
Wenn wir Angst haben...
...können wir Gott preisen, dass er Gutes aus all dem Unheil hervorbringt!
Wenn wir in Versuchung sind...
...können wir Gott preisen, dass er die Macht der Homosexualität gebrochen hat!
...Wenn wir uns verwirrt fühlen, was unsere sexuelle Identität betrifft,
...können wir Gott preisen, dass er uns heterosexuell erschaffen und erlöst hat!








Manchmal wundern wir uns, warum wir homosexuelle Träume und Sehnsüchte haben. Nun, vielleicht ist es einfach die Tatsache, dass wir normale Männer und Frauen mit normalen sexuellen Sehnsüchten sind. Und wenn sich die Lust dann mal meldet, dann meist in Form von homosexuellen Träumen. Schließlich haben die meisten von uns bisher nur diese eine Form der Sexualität kennen gelernt - wie sollten wir auch an etwas anderes denken? Wir müssen deshalb konsequent lernen, unser Gehirn "umzuprogrammieren" und all die Gedanken, die in die falsche Richtung führen, ausblenden...



"We are not only responsible for our sin, but also powerless to keep from sinning."
Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend ("How People Grow")



 
Something I have learned that seems to help me is to look at actions differently.  Try to look at your actions with an eternal perspective.  Everything we do have Eternal consquences.  The consquences can be good or they can be bad; it depends on our decsions.  So when you are having difficulties with a temptation or not what to do in a situation, you can look at it with Eternal Perspective.  It might help you make the right choice.
Also remember this about temptation.  Although it doesn't make the temptation any eaiser remember as we get closer to Jesus and out of the Evil One's grasp, we will try even harder to tempt us back to his side.  You can look at it as a badge of honor if the Devil is spending a lot of time trying to get you back.

M.

ESV Audio Widget

Psalm 40:1-6

Why do so many people with same-sex attractions stumble on the way to freedom? Here some reasons:

- So far, they used the easy fix to deal with their hurts and their legitimate unfulfilled needs. Now they are supposed to do something, which is way harder, even though it leads to a better goal, heals their hurts and really satisfies their needs. The quick fix is just too tempting at times...
- No stress- and frustration-tolerance.
- Lack of ability to set yourself a goal and pursue it - no matter what.
- Everyone around them keeps on telling them to do whatever they feel like doing. It's all about "love", right?
- Lack of a love that is bigger than the lust.

Overcoming Temptation


Is there any one here who has never been tempted?

We are all tempted throughout our lives in one way or another.
Temptation comes in many forms.

Temptation is the world’s oldest problem.

It’s been around since the time of Adam & Eve in the garden.

We all have our weaknesses, in which we are often tempted to step over the boundary.

For some of you temptation may be in overeating, lust or a myriad of many other things.

We all have certain areas in our lives in which we need help to control.
The good news is that God wants to help you gain control of those areas of your life that you struggle with.

Temptation unfortunately, hinders & stops spiritual growth.


Example of Temptation

Here is an example of temptation and the result of what happens when we succumb to it.

Most of us have maybe done it ourselves as children, or know of someone who has.

You know the story.

Mom has just finished baking a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.

You walk into the kitchen drawn in by the luscious aroma of freshly baked cookies.

You mention to mom how wonderful it smells, hoping that she will offer you one to eat immediately.

But to your dismay, she tells you not to eat any. They are for lunch.
Mom steps out the door to check on the laundry.

Meanwhile you hang around the kitchen soaking in the aroma of your favorite cookie, still warm.

You pace around the kitchen constantly keeping the tray of cookies in your sight.

“Mmmmmm if I could only have just one”, you say to yourself.
“If I have only one, mom won’t notice.” You say to your self.

Gradually your feet begin to shuffle towards the cookies.

And before you know it, you have one in your mouth.

And as luck would have, who should walk into the kitchen just as you about to swallow.

Mom, being as moms usually are, asks the silly question, “What’s that cookie doing in your mouth?”

You look up at her and immediately try to find a quick logical answer that will get you off the hook.

And you reply;” Mom, I climbed up to the counter, and wouldn’t you know it. A cookie got stuck in my mouth.”



What’s the Good News?

The good news about temptation is that God had offered a way to overcome temptation.

1 Cor. 10:13 tells us “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (King James Version)

What this verse is saying is, that no matter what the temptation that you are faced with, you are not alone.

All of mankind faces the same problems.

All are tempted. Temptation is normal.

We are all tempted in the same ways.


But! That is not all.

There is still a comforting message in this verse. God promises us that He will help us out. He will not allow us to struggle with the temptation on our own. Nor will He allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle.

People will often say that they just couldn’t help it when they fell into temptation.
Not so. God says you can overcome any situation, regardless of the temptation.
God has given us everything we need to overcome temptation. If you yield to temptation, it is because you chose to do so.

We will look at how God helps us to overcome temptation a little later.
But first, let us look at some important facts about temptation.


Facts About Temptation

1.    God tests us to develop our faith, our endurance and our character.
2.    Satan tempts us to sin in order to destroy our lives & our relationship with God.
3.    Temptation occurs when we feel compelled to satisfy or fulfill our God given desires in an ungodly & unlawful way.

Verse 12 of James chapter 1 says: ”Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (King James Version)

Blessed in this verse is translated from the Greek word “mak-ar’-ee-os”, which literally means “ Happy”.
We therefore could translate this to say; “Happy is the man who endures temptation,”

Why so?

Because there is a reward for enduring temptation.

Happiness comes when you have your life under control.
Your life is under control when you no longer have sinful bad habits, which control your life.

When you are able to say no to temptation, you are a much happier person.

Our verse continues to say that there is “A Crown of Life” for those who endure, overcome temptation.


The reward for enduring and overcoming temptations is “Life”.
Life eternally and life now, a happy abundant life.
When you learn to say “NO” to temptation you begin to live life, as God wants us to.

The Question Now is; “How do I handle temptation?
How do I say no when I want to say yes?

James tells us how to conquer and overcome temptation.

The process begins, by first having an understanding of the problem of Temptation.


1. We need to understand the problem of temptation

The best way to defeat an enemy is to know them well & to know their strategies.
So in order to learn how to overcome temptation, we need to know all we can about it.


What is Temptation?

My Unger’s Bible Dictionary describes temptation as: “ …the enticement of a person to commit a sin by offering some seeming advantage.”

Another definition given is; “The solicitation or an invitation to do evil. It is an opportunity presented to you to do something wrong.”


For example it is good for you to pass a test in school. But, it is wrong if you cheated in order to pass the test.

The test may be the trial, but the decision to cheat is a “SIN”.

James himself in scripture gives the best definition we have about temptation.

He writes; ”But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”. (James 1:14. King James Version)
And continuing, verse 15; ”Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15. King James Version)


There are three sources of temptation.

They are Satan, the world, and the flesh.
We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time.
Temptation in actual fact comes from within.
It craves the gratification that is offered from without; then when it has conceived, it brings forth sin.







The contest of the regenerate man

There is a continual battle going on within every born again Christian.
The flesh is in constant opposition to the spirit of a regenerated man.
And at the same time the Holy Spirit is continually moving, enticing the new man to oppose the desires of the flesh.
The trials of the flesh however, come from without.
They are in the things the flesh sees and desires.


2. Let’s be realistic about our temptations!

The fact of the matter is as a Christian you will be tempted to sin.
We are all tempted to sin.
It is not a matter of if, is a matter of when.
Temptations are inevitable.
Every day, one way or the other, we are all tempted to sin.
You are never too old.
You do not over come it by becoming more spiritual.
The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, or how close to God you are, we all are tempted to sin.
In fact, the closer you get to God, the more you will be tempted.

There is a common misconception among Christian that says, that once you are born again, you have got it all together.
Welcome to reality folks.
Can any of you say that you have got it all together?
I doubt it.
Do you remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says; ”There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (NKJV)
You see, there it is, we’re all in the same boat.
We all have the same temptations, the same problems.

It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation in itself is not a sin.

Heb. 4:15 tells us; “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (NKJV)

Jesus was perfect. He too was tempted. But he never gave in to temptation.
It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to it.

Often times, many of us think things that pop into our minds without meaning to.

Where do these thoughts come from?

They come from the Devil himself.
It is not your fault.

But if you continue to dwell on these thoughts and act on them, then you have sinned.


3. How Does God Deliver Us from Temptation?

So how does God help us to be delivered from temptation?
Let me give you five ways in which God helps to deliver us from temptation.

1. Don’t let the devil bully you around

Eph. 6:10-11 says “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (King James Version)

Satan’s # 1 strategy is to intimidate you.

He does this first of all putting nasty thoughts into your mind and then tries to make you feel guilty about them

You know how it is.

You could be sitting in the church, just as you are now, and bang, just like that, suddenly some awful blasphemous thought pops into your head.
You don’t know where it came from. You didn’t spend time trying to draw up some nasty things to think of.

But the devil, ooooooh, he is a nasty little fellow.
He steps up on your shoulder and starts making you feel guilty about the very thoughts that he has put into your head.

You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.
Likewise, you cannot stop the devil from putting bad thoughts into your head, but you can reject them.
Guess what friends; you do not need to be feeling guilty about bad thoughts that pop into your mind.

It’s not your fault.

The only thing you can do about these bad thoughts is to reject them.
Don’t allow the devil to intimidate you; don’t let him bully you around.
Scripture tells us: “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16. NKJV)

Temptation unfortunately is normal, so don’t be intimidated by them, simply reject it, and remember where the source of it is from.

Put on the full armor of God and stand up to him.


2. Pray for Help

Ps. 50:15 tells us:”And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (NKJV)

Prayer is only a breath away. And help from the Lord is just that close.

He promised to help us if we will be pray, call upon Him

Is not temptation as good a time as ever to call upon Him for help?

Let’s face it folks there are very many situations when we are tempted to do something wrong.

For example, how about that time you were tempted to lie on your income tax, or perhaps to retort sarcastically to your boss.


Or how about you parents?

Have you never been tempted to sin against your children when you had it up to here with them for one day?

Sure, there are many situations when we have been tempted to sin in one ay or another.

God asks us to call for help in times like these.

And why not?

Since as Heb. 4:15-16 says, ”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (King James Version)

Because He Himself was tempted, yet did not sin, Jesus is able to help us when we to are tempted.

Therefore let us go boldly to the throne of grace and ask help in prayer from the one who has Himself, been tempted and yet overcame.


3. Refocus Your Thoughts!

If temptation begins with our inner thoughts, then changing what you are thinking is the key to overcoming temptation.

We have a great verse taken from Phil. 4:8 which helps us with our thinking.

Paul writes, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (King James Version)

Look also at Prov. 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (King James Version)

In other words folks when in times of temptation, turns your thoughts away from the bad and onto the good things which are holy, pure’ & good.

Focus on God’s goodness.


If you are on a diet and you start telling yourself,’ I am hungry, I am hungry.”

What is it you are focusing on?

You are focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

It has your attention, so obviously you are not going to be able to stop the craving for food because you have your full attention wholly on food.

The more you think about something, the more it has a stronger hold on you.

Therefore the key here is to refocus your thoughts on something entirely different.

You have to shift gears, change the channel.

Likewise sometimes when you are tempted it may be necessary to literally turn and run, just like Joseph had to do when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him.

You may also have to change the channel on the T.V. or shut it off if the programming is filthy.

I have walked out a movie house at the beginning of a movie because the first few lines were extremely vulgar.

Walk away from people who are telling crude and filthy jokes.

If you don’t want to get stung by bees, sometimes you have to get up and run.

If you are tempted to blow up in anger, you may need to walk away from the situation until you cool off.

No matter what it is that has got a hold your attention, if it si wrong refocus your attention or flee from it if you have to.


4. Share Your Struggles With A Close Trusted Friend

Many of us struggle with the same sin day in & day out.

Sometimes a Christian will carry the same struggle for many years.

You know what, IT HURTS!

IT’S PAINFUL!

I KNOW !  IV’E BEEN THERE, DONE THAT & EVEN BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT!

Friends, you don’t have to carry that heavy load by yourself.

James tells us in Chpt 5:16,”Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (King James Version)

If I were a betting man, I would wager that even right now, in this room, some of you are even now carrying a load that you have been struggling with for a very long time.

We’ve all at times carried emotional, mental & spiritual hurts, sometimes for too long.

God, through His servant James tells us to confess these things one with another.

Why, so that we may be healed.

Be open, honest and transparent with someone you can trust.

We are all in the same boat. We all have personal struggles.

The problem here is that Satan would have you to think that your problem is unique only to yourself.
He wants you to think that you are all alone by yourself in this struggle.

Guess what?

The chances are real good that someone else in this very room may be struggling with the same problems as you are.


Admit your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.

The question now is, Do you want to be healed or not?

Do you want to get over the pain?

What’s the key? Don’t repress it, confess it.
Don’t conceal it, reveal it.
By revealing your struggles with a close friend, you begin the process of healing.

Why should you confess your sins one to another?
Because once you do, the power that it once had over you begins to fade away.
When you begin to talk about a problem it no longer has control over you.
If there is a situation, a problem, a struggle in your life that you can’t talk about, it has control over you.
It is out of control.

If you can’t even talk about it, it is out of control.
It has power over you.

If you are having problem with your marriage & you cannot talk about it, it is out of control.

If you are having problems in school & you can’t talk about it, it is out of control.

If you have problems with your kids or a gutter mouth and you don’t want to talk about,

Guess what!

That’s right. It is out of control.


The very moment that you begin to talk about your problems, you begin to take back ground.

You begin to gain control over that situation.
When you do so you will have a feeling of liberation, of freedom.

You wanna know why?

Because when you do, you will find others saying that they to have been struggling with the same feelings.


Contrary to what the devil would have you believe, you are not alone.
Not only do you have friends here on earth to share your struggles with, but you also have an advocate in heaven.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1 King James Version)

& Remember this also;

1 John 1: 9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (King James Version)


Finally My friends,

5. Resist the Devil, the Tempter

James 4:7 says,”Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (King James Version)

Did you notice that there are two parts to this verse that we must do?

Submit to God.
This means that we must be subject to Him.
We must be ready to listen to Him.
We must be ready to obey Him.
We must repent.
We must not be proud & stiff-necked.

Then we must resist the devil.
We do this by closing our ears & hearts to his suggestions & temptations.
We do it also by using the Scriptures as the Sword of the Spirit to repel him.
If we resist him he will flee from us.

Eph. 6: 17 tells us to, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (King James Version)

In this whole analogy which actually begins in verse 11 we are commanded to “Put on the whole armour of God.” (King James Version)

Remember friends we are fighting a battle in our minds that is not between flesh & blood but "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12 (King James Version)

We must be ready at all times to do battle. This whole analogy is a reminder to be spiritually dressed, to be spiritually prepared to do battle every moment of your life.

The problem is that too many of us are like spiritual streakers.

We get up in the morning and head off to work or to wherever, and we do not put on the armor of God to protect and prepare ourselves for the battle that lies ahead for us each & every day.

We have a tendency to start our day and often go the whole day without the Word of God.

We neglect the spiritual armor found in the Bible & in prayer.

When we do, the devil laughs at us because we are no threat to him. And we leave ourselves wide open to his fiery darts v:16

Getting back to Eph. 6:17, why are told to take the “helmet of salvation” (King James Version)


What does a helmet do for you?

It protects your head.
The battle for temptation is fought where?
In the mind.
Therefore the helmet of salvation protects the mind against the fiery darts of the devil.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have left your mind wide open to all the temptations and fiery darts of Satan.

You have absolutely no resistance whatsoever.
It’s like an open freeway to your mind.
You have no protection at all.

However when you are saved & become a believer, God gives your head protection, the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.

But you have to wear it.

I can go out and jump on a snowmobile or a motorbike.
But if I do no put on a helmet, I have got nothing to protect my pumpkin from a crash.


Likewise if I begin my day without some scripture reading and prayer, I have left my mind unprotected.

Next James tells us to also take our sword of the Spirit with us.
Which is what? The Word of God.
In other words fill your mind with the Word of God.

Another weapon, or antidote against temptation is God’s Word.

John 8:31 & 32 reminds us, ”If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (King James Version)

Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert when he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil?

In all three cases Jesus said,”it is written” & He quoted scripture to fend of Satan.

The Word of God likewise is also ours to use as a sword against the devil.

The best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about growing and becoming all that God would have you to be is to memorize scripture.


The Bible is worthless to you if all it does is to sit on the shelf & collect dust.
You need to read it, to use it, to study it, to memorize it.

But if you have scripture hidden deep in your heart, you can use it in times of temptation.

Ps. 119:11 reads, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (New International Version, ©2011)

Scripture memorization is not just for pastors, teachers, Awana club kids, but for everyone.

If you are serious about doing something about temptation, I challenge you to begin today to memorize scripture.


Conclusion

It was Martin Luther who said that you cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.
You cannot live without temptation, but you can choose to do something about it.

Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin when you dwell on it long enough that it eventually begins to take root into your heart and mind.

You have the choice to resist it and put on the helmet of salvation, think upon things of God.

You can only think upon the things of God if you immerse yourself daily in scripture and in prayer.

You can only resist the devil if you know the truth and the truth resides deep in your heart soul & mind.

And the truth shall set you free.

Remember that you also need the fellowship of other believers to help you fight he battle.

Share your struggles with others that they may help in the healing process.

What is the reward, the payoff?

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (New International Version, ©2011)

André


Keep Your Eyes Focussed on Things Above!

It is hard to keep our eyes focussed on things above, Col 3:2-3.  We are programmed to look and see and desire on the good things, but sin has us seeking and desiring the wrong things.
 
When I was training to become a bus driver, the instructor told us that it takes 21 days to develop new habits and 21 days to stop bad habits. The same goes with the eyes. If we train our mind to stop looking at things that we should not, and train instead to look at things above, then before long you will find that you are seeing with the eyes of God, and not with the eyes of sinful man.
 
Develop you heart to seek the ways of God rather than following after the ways of man.  Prov. 14:12 tells us "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (King James Version)

Far better to, "...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33. King James Version)
 
Go forth this week my friend, seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, setting your mind on things above and not on the things below.
 
Have a great and Godly week.
 
Andre

Temptations

Unfortunately temptations will always be with us on the plane until the Lord takes us home. We must always be on our guard. The evil one is always waiting in the wings to step in and catch us off guard. As a soldier would never dare to walk out into the battle without his protective gear, we too need to be always well armoured. Prayer and His Word are our greatest armour. Never leave home without it.
 
Have a great and awesome God filled week
 
Andre

Focus on the Things of the Lord

As idle hands look for something to do, likewise the mind when inactive longs for something to keep it occupied. As you are aware, no doubt, there are two forces at work in our lives: Satan and God. If you are not focusing on the Lord, Satan will fill the void, and visa versa. So, of course the best thing to do to be able to resist the trappings of Satan is to keep focused and doing something worthwhile for the Lord or at least to keep the hands busy doing something productive. And perhaps, I should go one step further. If you are able to keep your hands busy doing something productive, it is a good practice to have the radio or tapes, or something on in the background playing Christian music or listening to good Christian radio hosts like John McArthur, Charles Stanley, etc. If the mind is hearing and focusing on things of the Lord, it is not focusing on things of the devil. A scriptural verse which condenses all the above is found in Col. 3:2: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (King James Version)
 
God Bless
 
Andre

Replace Sin with Something New!

If one amputates a leg, it can longer be used, though one often thinks it is still there. If you amputate things that can tempt you to sin, you can no longer be tempted to sin in those areas. Though it may cross your mind from time to time, you will no longer have he resources to sin. A thing that is no longer used soon becomes a thing of the past, becoming a past and soon forgotten. It is said, (I learned this when I was trained to drive school bus years ago) that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. So, therefore, if one tosses away a way of sin, what you no longer do, becomes something of he past and must be replaced with a new thing. If you use that time you used to use in sin, for God's glory, think how much you can accomplish for Him! Soon you will find it a joy and a good habit to be working for Him than for the devil, which is what you do when you are involved in sin.

Andre

Temptation

The word temptation, as it appears in the original language in 1 Corinthians 10:13, can refer to the temptation to sin, or it can refer to testing and trials. Christians are not free from temptations and testing, but we are not alone in them either. You do not experience anything that hasn't been experienced by others, which is one reason fellowship with other Christians can be so helpful.

God is with you when you are tempted. He allows temptation to strengthen your faith and help you grow, but the temptation is never beyond His control. Not only does God offer unwavering encouragement and assurance, but He also provides a way out of the temptation.

You can be encouraged because Christ Himself experienced temptation and gives you the perfect example of how to deal with it. Jesus understands temptation (Hebrews 4:15). He is not merely a compassionate bystander, but He actually knows our difficulties firsthand. It is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted, yet He never sinned. Sin occurs when you submit to the temptation rather than to the will of God. When you depend on the resources of God, you can resist any temptation.

Andre

ESV Audio Widget

1 Corinthians 10:13

What if I have a powerful same-sex drive? Why shouldn't I go for it? I can't stay alone for the rest of my days! Why can't I be happy too? - All questions that do have a real and sometimes painful background. So how about it? Let's start with the powerful sex-drive. The temptation is strong, if that drive has built up for many years - maybe because you had nobody to talk to and/or saw no other alternative than to finally yield. However, if there is one thing I had learned during the many years in the gay scene involving many sexual encounters with men and sexual practices you might not even heard of, then it is this: If you think you can quench that thirst from your sex drive by "going for it", then you better forget that right now. It's not going to happen. On the contrary: Once you break a taboo, the next one will be so much easier to get out of the way. Once you try to still your sexual drive by having sex with members of the same sex, you tasted blood and will want more. And more. And more. Being "creative" will become the new norm - and your life will turn around "being gay". If you think that is fun, let me tell you this: Yea, at the beginning it is like a wall crumbling down. "Finally I can be myself!" (much later you might realize that this was only a very distorted picture of yours). That big high, however, will soon make way for embitterness. You don't want to go there. There are reasons why you have those same sex attractions. Many different factors contributed to the development of your ssa - and need to be dealt with. Also there are legitimate physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs behind your attractions. Those needs need to be adressed and satisfied a healthier way. Keeping all of that in mind, it is irresponsible to just forget about all that and tell people to "go for it". That is cheap. Seeking the quick fix will quench your thirst for a short time, numb the pain and help you forget about things - much like a drug addict does by getting loaded. However, sex does not heal and on the long rund things will get much worse. You exchange true satisfaction for the easy way out.

But what about having to stay alone for the rest of your days? If you mean "lonely" by "alone", then let me remind you that you can - and likely will - be very lonely in the gay scene. Being "alone" is something different. It is a gift that Jesus often used when He went out in the desert to pray. We need to be alone at times to spend some good quality time with ourselves and with God. To be able to be alone is a true treasure. Ever since I left the gay scene, I found times to be "alone", but most of the time the Lord grants me time to spend with the many true friends He brought into my life ever since and with the people He leads to me to help them get back on their feet again. I have never been less "lonely" than since I had left the gay life. I have found a true meaning and purpose in life and also my life has changed in all areas.

So what about "being happy"? I think it is a big misconception in today's culture and society that once with throw something in the "love"- or "being happy"-pool, everything is fine. No, it isn't. Being "happy" is not a criteria that something is good or morally acceptable. An alcoholic who just had a bottle of wodka might say he is "happy" now. A family father might have just left his wife and kids to live with his new girlfriend, "love" her and be "happy" with her for the rest of his days - it would still be unacceptable adultery in a Christian's eyes. Following Christ will give you true joy and tell you about the difference between "being happy" and finding that joy only God can give. And please don't mistake love for a fuzzy feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a covenant where one person gives himself or herself (reflecting Christ's life-giving covenant with His bride, the Church) and where the two take the willful decision to stay together for their whole lives to become one flesh again. Again? Yes, our sexual drive hints back to the beginnings, where Eve was taken from Adam's flesh. This drive seeks that union back again - becoming one flesh. So much one you have to give this "one" a name nine months after.

To cut it short: I know it isn't easy to leave the gay life. It can be very scary as you have no idea what you signed up for and where this will take you. So for the beginning I give you this piece of advice: Scratch together the little faith and trust you can find in you and put it on God. And then let yourself fall and begin the journey - step by step. God has never broken any of His promises. He will be with you every second of the way and lead you out of this. Promised.

ESV Audio Widget

Psalm 22:4-5

ESV Audio Widget

James 4:7

ESV Audio Widget

Romans 6:6

ESV Audio Widget

James 1:1-6

Thoughts to Ponder...

I asked
God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience.

God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.
 
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

 I asked God to spare me pain. 
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.
 
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! ,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.
 
I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.
 

ESV Audio Widget

Hebrews 2:18

What is it to Trust God?

How often have you heard someone say about God; "I just have to learn to trust Him more."

I was reminded of the time I was at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. I may have shared this before, but it is worth sharing again. At the top of the tower is a section of very thick glass about 4 foot square that you can stand on and look straight down to the bottom of the
tower. Now, if it was unsafe to stand on they would certainly have it roped off with something solid so that it would be impossible for anyone to stand on top of it. Everyone who goes up there knows it is safe to stand on. But few actually will. Why? Because although they know it is safe, they really do not really trust it.
 
Unfortunately many Christians are like that to. We say that we believe what God tells us, but we do not in actual fact really trust Him.
 
Here is another antidote of trust. Everyone knows of Niagara Falls in Ontario Canada. It is a very famous spot. Tourists come from all over the world to see it. There was a tight rope walker who was well known for walking and carrying all kinds of objects across the cable that traverses the falls. He would carry objects in a wheel barrel, on his shoulders etc.

When he asked others if they think he could carry someone safely across the cable in the wheel barrel, everyone would say "certainly." But none would let him do it to them.
 
Please read these postings on trusting God.

 
Trusting God

Job 13:15
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 (King James Version)

How much do we trust God? Do we trust Him in every situation, or only in some? Can we trust Him with our lives? Would we trust Him even if He took our life or the life of someone we love?


Trust can be defined as: a firm belief in another's honesty, ability or integrity.

Trust means that you believe that someone will do exactly what he says he will do, no matter what.

Trust means that doubt about another person never even enters your mind.


Many think that they have a deep trust because they obey God.

But that is not trust; that is obedience. It is easier to obey God than to trust Him. We can blindly obey someone because we think its the right thing to do?  But we trust someone because we believe in Him.


The example of Peter.


He thought that He trusted Christ; but he denied his Lord 3 times in one night. And he wept bitterly because of it. His trust wasn't based upon a true belief; it was based upon emotion.

Again Peter showed his lack of faith, lack of trust in Jesus when he walked upon the water. Matthew 14:22-33 Peter as we know was quick to speak, but more often than not did not back his mouth with action. He was quick to want to go for a walk on the water with Jesus when he saw Jesus out there. But once Peter saw the winds picking up and likely tossing the water, he lost trust in Jesus and began to sink.


Job's trust in God was not based upon emotion.

It was based upon a complete belief in God as the One who knew what was best for him in all situations.  It was based upon a complete belief that whatever God put into his life, God was still to be trusted.

Job uttered these classic words after he had gone through the worst testing that anyone has possibly gone through.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 (King James Version)

He said this while everyone else told him to curse God and die!


Trusting God Boils Down To Whether We Believe What He Says Is True Or
Not.

How do we know that we can trust God?

Because what He has said in the past has come to pass. We have seen prophecy fulfilled exactly as God has said it would.  We know that His Word is trustworthy, we can count on Him.

Psalm 9:10 (King James Version): “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

Psalm 33:4 (King James Version): "For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth."

We see that others have trusted God before us.


Men have gladly laid down their lives, they have faced torture and pain; they have lost their homes and families.

Men like Daniel and the disciples have faced torture and pain.

Hebrews 11:36-38: "And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (King James Version)

They have lost their homes and families for Him. The early church was persecuted and hunted down because of their faith. In other countries this continues today. They have shown the truth of this by putting their faith into practice, by actions, not just with emotions and talk. We know very little of real persecution for our faith in North America.
What is the one thing that God has said that we find is the hardest to believe? That we will continue to live on after death and be raised from the dead. To really believe this is the supreme test of whether we trust Him or not. We all have to face death, but do we all truly believe that we will live again?  God has said yes, but do we trust Him enough to believe it without doubt?
 
That is where faith comes in.  Do we really trust Him enough to put our lives into His hands? Eternity is not the question. The question is, will we spend eternity with God in heaven, or will we be separated from God and tormented for all eternity in the Lake of Fire?  That is determined by our trust in God and His Word today? Do we trust Him for our salvation?  If you have never placed your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary, we invite you to do so today!
 
Trusting God does not always mean that we will understand what He is doing, or why He is doing it. This is the real hard part! This is where faith and trust have to operate at their highest level!  When all of the sudden everything in our life starts going bad, we begin to wonder where God is at in all of this. We wonder if He has forgotten about us, or if He still cares about us.  When all of our best laid plans go bad, we wonder why God would allow this to happen to us!  We may even get mad at Him.
 
 Sometimes it seems that Christians suffer more than unbelievers. But God doesn't always operate the way that we think. Our parents didn't always do things our way when we were children. But we can't let that keep us from trusting God!  He knows what's best! He knows the future, we don't!  Isaiah 46:10 says; "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (King James Version)

Trusting God Is Not Based On Whether He Gives Us Everything That We Ask for!

Selfishness doesn't produce trust. How many people have you known that have said something like this?

"I asked God for something, and He didn't give it to me, therefore I cant trust Him."  This is a very selfish motive. And this will never develop trust in God, only fear.
 
 The Apostle Paul gave us an example of a legitimate request of God.. He asked God to heal him.
2 Cor. 12:7 God said no three times verse 8. Did Paul stop trusting in God because He wouldn't heal him? No. He accepted the fact that God had another plan for him. He also realized that he would be strengthened in weakness to the glory of God. Verses 9-10  Paul accepted the fact that God knew what was best for him.
 
How do we develop a deep trust in God?  How do we get to the place where Job was where he could say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him" Job 13:15 (King James Version). He had a relationship with God.  A real relationship. Not just one day a week, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He drew close to God.

Would you put your trust in a stranger?  No, of course not!  God doesn't want to be a stranger to any of us. He desires for us to have a personal relationship with Him. The more we know God, the more we will find Him faithful, and the more we will trust Him. This was Job's secret: He knew God. He had a deep personal relationship with God. Do you know Him? Do you trust Him for your salvation, for your daily needs, for everything?
 
It is hard to trust God at times. I am as guilty as most everyone else at one time or another in not trusting Him. We tend to not trust Him when things go bad. But when things are going great we praise and trust Him whole hearted. Yes, you are right. We must learn to trust Him. And that is achieved by developing a deep personnel relationship with Him.

How do you do that? How do you develop a true deep relationship with anybody? By spending lots of one on one quality time with them. You do that by learning their likes and dislikes, by having fun times with them, by listening to them, by being there at all times when they call upon you, in good times or bad. This we all do when we spend quality time with Him in prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, in just being quiet and listening to His Still Quiet Voice, reading His word and studying it.

Let us all, start anew, to trust Him, and spend lots of quality one on one time with Him. Nothing is more important in this life than God. Nothing, no person, no sport, no job, nothing is more important than God.
 
Are you scared to be alone to the point of falling into temptation? Why not turn off the computer, put down the paper, turn off the t.v. and pick up the Bible Instead? Take now that first step again, for the first time with God onto the glass floor and walk out on it with HIm. Trust Him to walk out on it and to be there with you in all things, in all situations good and bad. Trust Him!


The early church was persecuted and hunted down because of their faith.


In other countries this continues today. They really have to have trust in God. We know very little of real persecution for our faith.


The one thing that God has said that is the hardest to believe?


That we will continue to live on after death. To really believe this is the supreme test of whether we trust Him or not. We all have to face death, but do we all truly believe that we will live again?

God has said yes, but do we trust Him enough to believe it without doubt?

That is where faith comes in. Do we trust Him enough to put our lives in His hands?

Eternity is not the question? The question is will we spend eternity with God in heaven? Or will we be separated from God and tormented for all eternity in the lake of fire? That is determined by our trust in God and His Word today? Do we trust Him for our salvation?

If you have never placed your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary, we invite you to do so today!


Trusting God Does Not Always Mean That We Will Understand What He Is
Doing, Or Why He Is Doing It.

This is the real hard part!

This is where faith and trust have to operate at their highest level! When all of the sudden everything in our life starts going bad, we begin to wonder where God is at! We wonder if He has forgotten about us, or if He still cares about us. When all of our best laid plans go bad, we wonder why God would allow this to happen to us! We may even get mad at God.


Sometimes Christians it seems that we suffer more than unbelievers.


But God doesn't always operate the way that we think. Our parents didn't always do things our way when we were children. But we can't let that keep us from trusting God! He knows best! He knows the future, we don't!

(Isa 46:10) "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (King James Version)


Trusting God Is Not Based On Whether He Gives Us Everything That We Ask
For.

Selfishness doesn't produce trust.

How many people have you known that have said something like this: "I asked God for something, and he didn't give it to one, therefore I cant trust Him."

This is a very selfish motive. And this will never develop trust in God, only fear.


The example of Paul


The Apostle Paul, who had a very legitimate request of God. He asked God to heal him. God said no. Did Paul stop trusting in God because He wouldn't heal him? No. He accepted the fact that God had another plan for him. He accepted the fact that God knew what was best for Paul.


How do we develop a deep trust in God?


How do we get to the place where Job was where he could say, "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him?"

He had a relationship with God. A real relationship. Not just one day a week, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He drew close to God. We won't trust a stranger? God doesn't want to be a stranger to any of us. He desires for us to have a personal relationship with Him. The more we know God, the more we will find Him faithful, and the more we will trust Him. This was Job's secret: He knew God.

Do we know Him? Do we trust Him? For our salvation? For our daily needs? For everything?
 
It is hard to trust God at times. I am as guilty as most everyone else at one time or another in not trusting Him. We tend to not trust Him when things go bad, But when things are going great we praise and trust Him whole heartedly. Yes, you are right. We must learn to trust Him. And that is achieved by developing a deep relationship with Him.

How do you do that? How do you develop a true deep relationship with anybody? By spending lots of one on one quality time with them. You do that by learning their likes and dislikes, by having fun times with them, by listening to them, by being there at all times when they call upon you. This we all do when we spend quality time with Him in prayer, meditation, just being quiet and listening to His still quiet voice, reading His word and studying it.

Let us all, start anew, to trust Him, and spend lots of quality one on one time with Him. Nothing is more important in this life than God. Nothing, no person, no sport, no job, nothing is more important than God.

Are you scared to be alone to the point of falling into temptation? Why not turn off the computer and pick up the Bible Instead?

Take now that first step again for the first time with God onto the glass floor and walk on it with HIM.


André

Same-Sex Attractions (SSA)

Guys,

How about this: try not to see ssa only as something bad.

Yes, we are different and each one of us has his own past - but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It shaped us into the men we are now. Ssa means a lot more than just sexual behavior. We are different - that's for sure - but we also have different qualities and gifts. The Lord has given us something special that we can also use to honor and praise Him.

There is temptation in every man's life - but there is also the potential for something good.

We might have had a distorted view from ourselves (our identity) and from God in the past, but we are here to work on that and use what's left for the glory of the Lord.

Take care,

Robert


You Can't Always Get What you Want

Hi Guys;
 
I was just listening to the Rolling Stones Song: “You Can't Always Get What you Want."
 
As I was reflecting on these words it was brought to my mind what the Lord requires and asks of us as we live and ask of Him.
 
Our prayers often ask of things we would want, but they do not reflect what we need according to His plan for our lives.
 
How are you praying? Are you praying for wants or for needs? Do you wonder why sometimes your prayers seems to go unanswered?
 
Perhaps it is because you are praying for your wants instead of your needs. Our needs are what He desires that we need, not what we want. Our basic needs of course are food and shelter. For that He does provide. Which of you does not have shelter or food in your belly. Are you without shelter over your head or at least a meal a day? Look at our fellow brothers and sisters in impoverished countries. Compare yourself to themk. Are your needs met?
 
Pray I urge you for your daqily need and not your ewants. Then perhaps your lives will be fulfilled.
 
Our father which art in Heaven. Hallowed bee thy name..........................

André

Our Guard

We must not let our guard down. To do so is like a soldier to go out into battle with his weapon. He would be totally unable to defend himself. Likewise, we need to be on our guard at all times, just as you are when driving, keeping your eyes fixed on the road ahead and around you constantly looking for danger. The devil and his minions are forever seeking ways to get past our guards and to encourage us to sin against God. Keep up your guard, put up whatever blocks and brick walls you need to keep the devil and his followers out.

André

Be Not

Let this verse be your daily motto as you wake up in the morning till your last waking moment of the night as you fall asleep. If you heed by this verse, it may well help you not to back slide and fall into sin.

 
Andre

 
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Romans 12:2 (King James Version)

Temptation

Lessons from a Rolls Royce
By Tim Wilkins (Permission granted to reprint; cite www.CrossMinistry.org)

Lesson #1
An affluent, aristocratic lady desired to employ a chauffer to drive her Rolls Royce.  She advertised for the position in numerous venues and her ad generated many applicants.  After reviewing resumes, she narrowed her search to four candidates.

The 73 year old matriarch had the four men summoned to her palatial home and directed their attention to her driveway and the brick wall that stood beside it.

She asked the men, "If you were my chauffer, how close do you think you could come to that brick wall without scratching my Rolls Royce?”

The first man boasted “I can drive within a foot of that wall and not damage your Rolls.”
The second man said “I can drive within six inches of that wall and not damage your Rolls.”
The third candidate, not to be outdone, replied “I can drive within three inches of the wall and not damage your Rolls.”

The fourth man, conspicuously quiet and seemingly wise beyond his years, looked at the potential employer and answered “Ma’am, I do not know how close I could come to that wall without damaging your Rolls, but if I was your chauffer, I would steer as far away from that brick wall as possible so as not to damage your car.”

Guess who got the job?

When it comes to temptation, we often think from the wrong perspective- “how close can I get without getting burned?”  Adam and Eve should have steered away from that forbidden tree and so should we.

Lesson #2
Alan Redpath told the story of a prominent South African businessman who purchased a Rolls Royce.  He bought the vehicle and liked it so much he later asked the dealer how much horsepower it had. (As a rule the car manufacturer never disclosed this information- even to the car dealership)

But because the buyer was a well-known businessman, the dealer sent a message to the Rolls Royce plant in Derby, England - setting out the exact specifications of the engine and asking them to reply with the exact horsepower.

The reply came back  "The horsepower of the Rolls Royce is…. Adequate.”
Similarly, the Christian need never worry how powerful his God is – nor should the person who ponders becoming a believer.  The answer is simple.  “God is ….Adequate.”

 

What if God Was Sitting Right Beside Me?


Another way to think about it might be to think: "Would I do this if God was sitting right beside me?"

The fact of the matter is, if you are a child of God, He is there beside you and He knows everything you do, and every thought that crosses your mind.
 
 
Andre

Take Up Your Cross!

The phrase "Taking up your cross" or "This is my cross," is a phrase used loosely amongst many  in today's Christian church. It is a phrase however, that is used out of context of the true meaning of the phrase of the phrased as used by Jesus. Today people apply this phrase to say something like, " Oh, I am a paraplegic. This is my cross that I will have to carry for the rest of my life." This phrase is given to mean many other types of illnesses, deformities, pains etc. "This is the cross that I have to bear."
 
When Jesus said to His disciples to take up your cross, none of them according to scripture were burdened by any ongoing maladies.
 
A Biblical definition of what it is to take up your cross is given in 2 Cor. 4:8-11. I like the New Living Translation to this passage because it paints a clear picture of the suffering a true disciple goes through because of their allegiance to Jesus Christ.
 
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
 11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. (New Living Translation)
 
Rom. 12:1 adds another perspective to define what it is to "Take up your cross." It reads:
 
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. NKJV
 
Or again using the New Living Translation:
 
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b]
 
Let's add to the mix Phil. 2:5-8. , again using the New Living Translation.
 
 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
 6 Though he was God,[a]
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
      he took the humble position of a slave[c]
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,[d]
    8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
 
And also Phil. 3:7-11
 
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  NKJV
 
So, what does all this add up to. This all adds up to being Christ like. As Christ suffered, was persecuted, beaten, whipped, despised, put to death on the cross, we should like wise live our lives reflecting Him. That is, we should try to live as best as we can to be like Him. In so doing, others will see Him in us. Some will desire to seek and find Christ also when they see Christ living in us. Others, sadly will also persecute us and will never find Him.
 
However, as he was abused by those who hated Him, we to should be prepared to receive the same kind of treatment as He received, even to the point  of death. In so doing many are raised into the family of God, and God is glorified.
 
Paul tells us that he to was persecuted, struck down, beaten, whipped etc. for the sake of following after Christ. The life of a Christian is not all apple pie and roses. It is not a life free of sickness, sorrow, afflictions, persecutions, difficulties and distresses.
 
The Christian life is a daily dying through troubles. Just as Jesus suffered, we to also suffer. But this does not  mean that we are vanquished. The way of dying, of taking up the cross daily, is a way of victory in Him.
 
The the world cannot see Jesus physically, they do see Christ through us as we suffer daily for Him, He is manifested and glorified in our bodies. The world thus sees Him through us as we stand fast, not running away, but persevering for Him through all kinds of tribulations.
 
Paul describes our bodies in 2 Cor. 4:7 as earthen vessels, like pottery."
 
"7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." NKJV
 
This passage is likened to Gideon in Judges chapter 7. In this chapter, God tells Gideon to thin out the number of Israelites in various ways, so that when God sent Gideon and only 300 men to defeat the Midianites, God would be glorified through Gideon and these men.
 
 1Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

 2And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

 3Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

 4And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

 5So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

 6And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

 7And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

 8So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

 9And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.

 10But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:

 11And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

 12And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

 13And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

 14And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

 15And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

 16And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

 17And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

 18When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

 19So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.

 20And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

 21And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

 22And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

 23And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

 24And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.
(King James Version)
 
The reason why God did this is given in judges 7:2
 
“The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 NKJV
 
God wanted the Israelites to know that he would defeat their enemies by His own power and strength. This would be clarified when they go against the MIdianites who out numbered them greatly. They would know that there would be no way to defeat their enemy on their own. They would know for sure that God had defeated their enemy by Himself, using their earthen vesseled bodies. He would shine through them and defeat the Midiantes.
 
So Gideon it is recorded gave his remaining 300 warriors trumpets, empty pitchers, (representing the people) and lamps which would be contained with the pitchers. Thus when the pitchers were broken, the lights within shined so brightly that the enemy became terrified because they perceived that the host of Israel was far, far greater in number than themselves. The spiritual lesson here is that, just as the pitchers were broken and the light shone out, likewise when we receive the gospel, God can likewise shine through our imperfect human earthen bodily vessels with the gospel message to the world.
 
History books confirm the 0ngoing persecution of Christians from the first century to the present. Many a dictator has vowed to wipe out entirely any all traces of Christianity including the Bible itself. Yet to their discouragement, Christianity only grows and spreads. It is written, I do not know nthe source, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."
 
As foolish and insane as this sounds, this is how God works. He uses our persections and tragedies as Christians to further His Kingdom, adding daily fellow brothers and sisters into His family.
 
Acts 2:41 (New King James Version)
41 Then those who gladly[a] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
 
As we take up our crosses daily, being persecuted, ridiculed, beaten and dying for Him,
the life of Jesus is manifested in our broken earthen vessels.
 
In Rom. 12:1-2 Paul pleads, beseeches, entreats, exhorts us to present, to give our bodies whole heartedly to the service of the Lord. He implores us to commit ourselves to Him is such a manner that to the unregenerate eye we are a holy people, undefiled, sacrificing ourselves daily to do the will of God. This is our duty, a portion of what it is to take up our cross daily for Him.
 
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:1-2 NKJV)
 
In essense then what Paul is saying is that since Christ gave Himself for us, dying in our place for our sins, the least we can do is to live for Him. There should be no sacrifices too big to give to Him. As the hymnist Isaac Watts wrote: " Love so amazing, so divine, demands my heart, my life my all."
 
We are to yield our lives to Him, offering our service to Him, pure undefiled, holy.
16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
 
We also should be daily offering to Him our praises in song and worship. Heb. 13:15
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (NKJ)
And also our possessions. Heb. 13:16
16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. NKJV
 
Paul continues to implore us to turn away from the world's system of thought and deed. He writes:
 
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
NKJV
 
Don't allow this world's ways to squeese and mold you into the same pattern as itself. A Christian should abandon all vices and ways that makes us slaves to it's evil ways.
 
This world's system is a system that has abandoned God, turned it's back on Him. It wants to live without Him to do it's own thing, thinking that if I ignore Him, then all things are permissable. What I think is right, is right for me, the world says. What you think is right for you, is right for you, it says.
 
How ridiculous is that ! It is tantamount to saying that murder is nokay for me, but maybe not okay for you. I recall seeing a film years ago about an athiest speaking these kinds before a crowd. A Christian stood up to challenge that way of thunking in a very dramatic way, that nearly scared this atheist right out of his pants. The Christian picked up a chasir and approached the atheist. he said in essense; " Well, in that case, if I say it is okay for me to break this chair over your head, because if as you say, whatever I think is right to do is okay, then it is  not wrong for me to break this chair over your head."
 
Satan is the god and prince of this world. It is he whom is influencing this world.
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. NKJV
 
All unbelievers are under his authority whether they believe it or not. Just as he seduced Adam and Eve in the garden through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life,
 
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:16 NKJV
 
Satan is still using these same tactics to sway the world to do his bidding. Examine if you will the world's politcs, art, music, religions, amusements, thought patterns and life styles. Do they conform to the ways of God, or are they a way unto itself, ignoring the ways of God?
 
Did Christ die for you so that you can wilfully do your own thing, living as you please, living as the world lives? Should you continue in lusts of pride, flesh and whatever else your eyes see and desire?
 
The love of the world is enmity to God. Rom. 8:7 NKJ
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
 
AS James puts it in James 4:4  NKJ
..... Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
 
John again reminds us; 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
 
Therefore as Paul pleads with us, turn away from the ways of the world and be transformed, run towards the ways of God. How? By the renewing of your mind. Rom. 12:2 NKJV We do this by thinking the way God thinks as we read the Bible. In so doing, by soaking our minds like a sponge on the Word of God, He will redirect our ways, He will guide us to do His perfect will, holy pleasing to Him. In this way, as we sacrifice our lives, surrendering our whole heart, mind, body and soul to Him, we take up our crosses daily. We yield our bodies to Him, we are separated from the world and given over to Him and our minds are transformed into His way of thinking and behaving. We give up daily ourselves to Him, carrying the cross of Jesus as a visual portrait of Christ living in us. And if the world hates us, it also hates Him, because they see Christ living in us when we are transformed daily, living our lives for Him.
 
Did Christ die for you so that you can wilfully do your own thing, living as you please, living as the world lives? Should you continue in lusts of pride, flesh and whatever else your eyes see and desire?

The love of the world is enmity to God. Rom. 8:7 As James aptly put it: “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. “ James 4:4 NKJV John again reminds us: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.“ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

Therefore as Paul pleads with us, turn away from the ways of the world, and be transformed, run towards the ways of God. How? By the renewing of your mind. (Rom. 12:2 NKJV)  We do this by thinking the way God thinks as we read our bibles. In so doing, by soaking our minds like a sponge on the Word of God, He will redirect our ways. He will guide us to do His perfect will, holy pleasing to Him. In this way we sacrifice our lives, surrendering our whole heart, mind, body and soul to Him, we take up our crosses daily. We yield our bodies to Him, we are separated from the world and given over to Him and our minds are transformed into His way of thinking and behaving. We give up daily ourselves to Him carry the cross of Jesus as a visual portrait of Christ living in us. And if the world hates us, it also hates Him, because they see Christ living in us when we are transformed daily, living our lives for Him.

Peter, one of the Lord’s closest friends, was known to have what we would call today; Foot in mouth disease, meaning that in his zeal and desire to do and say the right things, his mouth and actions went ahead of his thinking. He was rash, moving and, saying and doing, before considering first what he was about to say or do.

We see Peter’s “foot and mouth “ in action when after Jesus had just done many miracles, (Mark 8:32; Matt 16:22), Jesus asks His disciples whom do people say that I am? Peter immediately pipes up and says that “You are theMessiah.” (Mark 8:29 New Living T'ranslation; Matt 16:16; Luke 9:20) All fine and well.

But, Peter sticks his foot in his mouth quite deeply when He rebukes Jesus, after Jesus tells His disciples that, He must suffer and die, prophesying His own death on the cross. After all, Jesus was the Messiah. He was the one everyone thought was going to destroy the Roman oppression and set up His kingdom on earth. After all, if He was the miracle worker, surely, it would be a simple matter to overthrow the Romans and take over.

To Peter’s surprise, Jesus then looks first at His disciples then rebukes him saying: “Get behind me Satan!  For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33 NKJV) Jesus, you must realize, was not calling Peter Satan. Rather He was telling Peter that you are talking like Satan.

 From the beginning of time, Satan has been trying to thwart the ways of God. As you may recall, Satan tried to make Jesus go against the will of God in the wilderness, just like he did to Adam and Eve in the beginning. Likewise, Peter also, unwittingly was suggesting to Jesus that He bypass the ways of God, that he bypass the cross. This is why Jesus said: ”…you are not mindful of the things (ways) of God, but the things of men”.  Man is likewise is against the things and ways of God.

Jesus is saying in essence: "If I do not go to the cross, my disciples, my people, my church cannot be saved.”

Jesus had set His mind from eternity past to go forward to the cross so that many lives may be saved and inherit the kingdom of God with Him. Nothing at all was going to stop Him from fulfilling that quest.

Next Jesus tells His disciples: ”whoever desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34 NKJV). This is now the true context of the saying, “to take up my cross.” It is not because of any maladies that Jesus says this. He is showing His disciples that He must suffer and die to save man. If you want to come after and follow Him, you must resist and deny any desires to do your own thing. You must refuse to do anything that will side-track you from following Him to the cross. To follow Him, may mean possibly to put aside any personal ambitions, comforts, riches, possessions and to perhaps even lose your life as well for Christ. He calls us to a life of self-denial if we are to follow Him, to be His disciples. It is a call to surrender all to Him.

We as Christians are often tempted to save our lives, to compromise, so that we may enjoy our comforts, our luxuries. We want to store away and save up for the future, forgetting that in so doing we are forfeiting opportunities to pour our lives out for Him. We miss opportunities to save our neighbours from the punishment of sins, forever separated from God. We miss out the opportunity to live out our lives for His sake that He may be glorified. In order to save our lives, we have lost our lives.

Jesus goes on to say: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his own soul? “ Mark 8:36-37 NKJV God is able to destroy our souls it says in Matt. 10:28 Yet He will not.

Never-the-less, Jesus gives us a stern warning. You may spend your life gathering greedily for yourself riches and things of the world. Yet Jesus is telling us that God is able to take and destroy both your body and soul in an instant. Mark 8:36,37; Matt. 10:28 What good is all your gathering if you can lose it all in the blink of an eye? You cannot take anything at all to the grave, nor to hell beyond, should that be your eternal destination. Would it not be of more value  to take up your cross, doing His will, following behind in His footsteps daily, helping and using your God given gifts to bring more souls into His kingdom? Would it not be of more value using your wealth and resources, which belong to Him anyway, to feed, to clothe etc. the poor, the destitute, the forgotten, the crippled, the widower etc.? Should we not use our lives to the benefit of God and others rather than greedily collecting and hoarding wealth for ourselves?

As if to punctuate the idea of saving your life by losing it, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain where He was transfigured revealing partially His glory as He speaks with Elijah and Moses. Mark 9:1-7; Luke 9:27-35 This portrait of whom He really is, along with the appearance of Elijah and Moses, paints for the disciples the truth of His message, that if you take up your cross and follow Him, that if you lose your life for Him, you shall save it. Jesus pictures for them these truths. By following after Him, they would be rewarded with glory just as Elijah and Moses. The appearance of these two giants of the Old Testament, cemented for them the truth that eternal life with Him in glory was real, a certainty, a goal to set their minds on and to pursue to death. And, we to should likewise also run for the prize. 1 Cor. 9;24-27 Note, Paul here in verse 27 also paints a picture of submitting our bodies to follow after Him, taking up the cross daily using it to reach the goal of glory in eternity with Jesus Christ.

Another way to look at what it is to be a disciple of Christ, of one who takes up his cross and denies himself is to be a slave for Him. John McArthur, writes a book called, “ Slave, The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ.” In this book, he well embellishes the idea of what it is to be a slave for Christ. To be a slave is to surrender all your rights to your master. It is to do whatever the master commands of you. In this book John quotes a Scottish author named Alexander McLaren, a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon.

Quote: “ The true position then, for a man is to be God’s slave.. Absolute submission, unconditional obedience, on the slaves part, and the part of the Master complete ownership, the right of life and death, the right of disposing of all goods and chattels,…the right of issuing commands without reason, the right to expect that those commandments shall be swiftly, unhestitantly, punctiliously, and completely performed-these things inhere in our relation to God. Blessed [is] the man who has learned that they do and has accepted them as his highest glory and the security of his most blessed life! For brethren, such submission, absolute and unconditional, the blending and absorption of my own will in His will, is the secret of all that makes manhood glorious and great and happy”…end quote

This is the true mark of what it is to be a Christian, a true disciple of Jesus, one who takes up his cross daily in full submission to Jesus, surrendering your entire self to Him, allowing Him complete authority over every aspect of your life.

Jesus gives us several hard sayings which on the face of it would seem contradictory to His other teachings. But when we dig down and look at the context of what He is teaching, they become transparent, and the meanings become clear. One such saying is found in Matthew 19: 23,24. He says: ”Assuredly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” NKJV

These two verses are in relation to the conversation Jesus had with a rich young ruler. Matt. 19:16-22 This guy had asked Jesus what he needed to do to have eternal life. This man’s theology seems to indicate that he was genuine in wanting to learn how to attain eternal life.  However, he was a Pharisee, and as a Pharisee, he sought God by works, and  by works alone. Jesus tried to draw him to a point where the rich young ruler would see that he was a sinner in need of a Saviour. This poor fellow would not acknowledge that at all. Jesus led him to make a choice between whom he would serve, God or money. Unfortunately he chose money. We know this is true, because we are told that he walked away grieved. He was grieved because he believed that in order to attain eternal life; he would have to give up all his wealth. This is not the case. One can still be rich, and yet still serve God. Jesus drew him to make a choice, whom will you serve? (Joshua 24:15) Are you willing to forsake all to follow Him? Sadly, this rich young ruler was unwilling to forsake all and to commit himself in total obedience to God.

That is why, Jesus said: ”Assuredly, I say unto you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.“ (Matthew 19:23 NKJV) Most rich people cannot bring themselves to separate their allegiance from money to God. They would rather put their faith and trust in their wealth rather than in God. Jesus is saying in essence, “Will you do what you want to do? Will you let me run your life, or are you going to try and run your own life.” Unless you allow Jesus to be your Lord and master, there is no place for you in the kingdom of God.

It is not necessary to give up all your possessions to be a follower of Jesus, but it may become at some point necessary to forsake all, even to the point of death. Nothing at all should have pre-eminence over your life than the Lord. Sadly anyone who is not willing to turn away from possessions, selfishness, false religions and sins, will be able to turn to the Lord and to take up their cross and follow Him.

Another saying which Jesus used to show people that they must prioritize their lives if they want to follow Him, is found in Luke 14:26-27. It says; ”If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be My disciple.”

Should we actually hate our families to follow Jesus to be one of His disciples? Would that not violate the commandment to: “Honour your father and your mother”? Exodus 20:12 NKJV, or the edict to “…love your wives.”? Eph. 5:25 NKJV Are we to hate our own lives? Luke 14:26

No, this is not what Jesus is saying at all. He is telling us that without question, our allegiance and priorities are to be firstly to Him. All else is secondary. Self also stands behind Him. Matt. 16:24

Paul also reminds us to discipline and subject our bodies, so that as we run the race, seeking after the prize of eternal life with Him, we will then gain the prize, the crown which is imperishable. 1 Cor. 9:24-27

Jesus uses such harsh language to eliminate any half-hearted followers. He wants a full commitment from us. We are to make Him number one above anything else in our lives. That means that family, friends, material things, money or anything else are to be second in line after Him. To follow Him, to take up our cross, is to deny self, deny family, friends, material possessions and all else if we want to follow Him.

When we decide to build a home, we have plans made up which helps to be able to count the cost of the building the house. Likewise, if we want to take up our cross to follow Him, we are also to stop and count the cost. Jesus said in Luke 14: 28-30: “For which of you intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-lest after he has laid out the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it mock him saying, This man begins to build and was not able to finish.” NKJV

This sadly is an analogy of the Christian landscape in many countries around the world. There are so many professing Christians who have begun to follow Jesus. They have become nominal Christians who have a form of Christianity, never having fully committed themselves, to follow Him. They have never stopped to count the cost of what it truly is to become a Christian. These are some who have bought a “Christian fire life insurance,” to protect themselves, they think, from the wrath of God when judgment day comes. But they have never really made a full commitment to follow Him. They have not denied self, or pleasures and treasures of the world. The one who stops to count the cost is a true disciple who takes up his cross daily, following Jesus and obeying His Word.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us a similar idea of what it is to count the cost of following Him. Read Matt. 7:24-27. This is the parable of two men building a house. One, Jesus said is a wise man because he built his house upon a rock. For, when the storm winds blew hard, the house stood firm without falling. This He said is the wise man that not only hears His Words, but obeys them as well.

Then there is the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the storm winds blew hard, the house fell. This is a foolish man who hears the Words of God, but does not obey them. In this parable the man who listens and obeys the Words of God, is the one who enters into the kingdom of God. The foolish however does not. This we can surmise is true because it is in the context of the previous verses 21-22.

Perhaps one who does not take up his cross daily and follow after Him daily may not be destined for eternal punishment. I won’t be dogmatic about that. But can we be sure? The inference given in many other verses may suggest that the foolish man will not enter into eternal glory with Jesus. Will you take the chance?

Count the cost if you will of following or not following Him daily. Go ahead and throw the dice and see if you are a winner one way or the other, depending on how the dice land, and on which side of the fence you stand to follow or not. One way or another, the cost of not taking up your cross daily and following Him in complete surrender to His authority over your life, is not worth the cost. You may not lose your salvation, but you will lose rewards in heaven, if you do not take up your cross daily and follow Him.

Verses 21-23 of Matthew chapter 7 are strong enough for me to look seriously at not taking any chances. Jesus said plainly; “Not everyone who says to Me “ Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in  your name? And then I will declare to them, “ I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” NKJV

The lesson here is quite plain and simple, those who do not obey and follow in true genuine righteousness, shall not enter eternity with Him in heaven. That’s a sobering wakeup call to not only cost the cost, but to whole-heartedly take up your cross in sincere submission, surrendering all to Him.

The hypocrites whose only motive is an outward appearance to follow Him, will one day be surprised when He says to them; “Depart from me.”

What will be your decision? Will you build your tower and not count the cost? Will you be the foolish one and build upon the sand? Will you wait until the storm comes and see if your house will stand? Will you be a “Hearer of the Word only” and not a doer also? (James 1:22-25)

The gospel of Jesus calls for a decision, to   follow or not, to take up your cross or not, to obey Him or not, to surrender in full submission to His authority or not.

In conclusion then, unless you are willing to surrender all including your life to Him, you cannot be His disciple. Unless you take up your cross and follow Him daily, you are worthy of him. Matt. 10:38; Luke 14:27 You must forsake all, deny self to the point of dying for Him.

To take up your cross is not bearing diseases. It is not bearing troubles in the family at home or with your car.

To take up your cross is a 100% submission, in obedience to His every Word given in scripture as He places them in your heart and mind through the Holy Spirit. It is to follow Him giving all of yourself, your possessions, your thoughts, your attitudes, your sins, your whole entire being to Him. This is not a one time event, but a daily occurrence, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 15;31 "I affirm by boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." NKJV

To take up your cross and to follow him is a life time commitment . You are to give all to Him unconditionally, with no hesitation, holding absolutely nothing back from Him. It is a turning your back on the things and ways of the world, abandoning anything that blocks Him from being your number one priority in life. Do not look back once your hand is on the plow. Luke 9:62 Sign up now for the first day of the rest of your life and surrender all to Him.

The hymn written by Winfield S. Weeden 1847-1908 pictures well the attitude we should have when we Surrender All, as we take up or crosses daily to follow Him.

                                         I Surrender All

1.    All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.

2.     All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow;

Worldy pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus, take me now.

3.      All to Jesus I surrender, Make me Saviour, wholly Thine;

Let me feel the Holy Spirit-truly know that Thou art mine.

4.     All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to Thee;

Fill me with Thy love and power, Let Thy blessings fall on me.

Chorus : I surrender all, I surrender all,

                All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,

                I surrender all.

P.S. I was once asked while attending Bible College by the professor” What is the ultimate purpose in life? “ At the time I did not come up with an answer. But now I know. Man’s ultimate purpose in life is to take up his cross and follow Jesus and worship Him as Lord and Master, with all his heart, mind and soul.
 


Andre


New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Don't Give up the Fight!

I would like to encourage you all the more to continue and not give up the fight. We can never understand why God allows us to go through tough long fights, and why He just does not clean us up and change us in a snap.
 
We may never know those answers on this side of eternity. But this we do know about Him. He is all knowing, omniscient and His love for us is beyond any standard that we could measure His love for us. He wants us to stand beside Him and He wants us to continually rely on Him for all our needs, emotionally, spiritually and physically. He has told us that He will supply all our needs. We need not question Him but all we need to do is to trust Him at His Word.He never lies and His Word is truthful.
Ps. 33:4; Ps. 119:160; John 17:17; 1 Thes. 2:13

It is hard to trust anyone else and even Him at times, because our inner old man always is fighting the newer man that He is changing us into.
 
Remember to that we have a foe whom wants us to fight against God and to follow him instead of God. Though you and I are both spiritual and physical beings we see only the physical and it is hard at times for us to grasp the idea of the thought that there is a spiritual host out there that is fighting to keep us under the dominion of Satan and his followers. As Ephesians 6:12 says : "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (King James Version)
 
If this is all we had and no one to help us against the fight, we would indeed be hopeless and might as well, as the world says: "party on for tomorrow we die."
 
But, "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1 (King James Version)
 
He (Jesus Christ,) is our lawyer whom stands before the Father and pleads our case before the heavenly throne. Though Satan , The accuser of the brethren fights against us, we know that he shall be defeated, and that all his accusations and finger pointing will come to naught. For Christ has never lost a court case for believers, and never will.
    
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Rev. 12:10 (King James Version)
 
And remember this  also,  Rom 8:1-39 (King James Version):
 
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 
 
Though we may walk this earth with a sinful nature, there is yet within as new creatures being transformed daily that also is at war against Satan and his hoards. And because of our love for God, He will not let anything, anybody come between us and Him. Though we may at this time feel like we are losing the fight, we will win the battle in the end, for Christ Himself shall come with a two edged sword and conquer forever the enemies of our souls and God.
 
So my final word to you tonight is to be as Paul:
 
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." 1 Cor. 9:24 (King James Version)
 
And remember to "....we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Heb. 12:1-2 (New International Version, ©2011)
 
Go therefore forward this day onwards and run and fight:
 
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Tim. 6:11-12 (New International Version, ©2011)
 
Then you will be able to say as Paul said: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Tim. 4:7 (King James Version)
 
God bless brother "...lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28 (King James Version)
 
And remember: "...that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 (King James Version)

André

Be Tough

I have heard it said many times, that the only way to fail is to give up. God has brought you here because He does not want you to be a quitter, He does not want you be be a failure. He has created you and knows everything about you. He loves you with such an immeasurable love that he has promised that he will never forsake you. ( Heb. 13:5) All He wants of us is to love Him and obey Him and He will take care of the rest. So I urge you to hang in there through tough and thin, to lean fully on Him and trust Him to complete the work that He has begun in you. ( Phil. 1:6) He has called you here to help you do that very thing. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Be tough by letting Him.

Andre

He is always there for you!

Sadly, it is an unfortunate thing that we cannot always rely on other people. I am as guilty as any for not always being reliable at times, though I try to be. But, as scripture says, we have and advocate with Jesus . 1 John 2:1 says: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (King James Version)
 
And remember also He also says: ".... I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  Heb. 13:5 (King James Version)
 
This is one promise that you can count on eternally. He is always there for you and He will always be there to give you strength in the times of temptations. 2 Cor. 10:13 is that promise. Hang onto it and onto Him when tempted. I have said many times, when we turn to Him in times of temptation, whether in prayer, meditation, scripture reading etc. It is impossible to sin because you are no longer focusing on the temptation, but on Him.
 
God Bless
 
André

Rely on Him

1 John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (King James Version)

If you said that you do not sin, of course you would be a liar. God knows we all struggle with one type of sin or another. We are born with a sin nature. Does a baby need to be taught to cry for attention. No, it is inbred at birth. We are born with a sin nature but now that we are new born creatures into the family of God, we have a new man battling the old for supremacy in our lives. It is a tough fight, but fight we must. And remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says: "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." (New International Version, ©2011)
 
If you rely on Him He will see you through any temptation and give you the strength to resist and over come. Sure you say, But I just can't. Yes you can. If He is God, and His Word is TRUE, then If He says so, you can resist any temptation, not on your strength but on His.
 
Sooooooooooooooooo
 
Go and have a great and Godly week and rely and trust on Him for strength in all areas of your life
 
andre

Courage!

Isaiah 42:16

King James Version (KJV)

"And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."

Believe

God made Himself quite visible and as real as you and me when He was on the earth in the form of a real human body Jesus Christ. He manifested all the attributes of God and His own did not recognize nor want to believe that He was God. He could have done nothing more to make them believe. They asked for miracles and miracles indeed He did do.  He spoke words that could not have come from none other than God. One Pharisee said as much when Jesus told him you must be born again. It is not for us to question the why's of what He does or does not say, but to simply believe. If we have a problem with that, then we are disobedient. The wind goes to and fro, we do not see it but we believe. He did far more to make Himself known, not only when He was with us in human form, but in His creation. It is only a fool who sees the creation who questions that God is not when we simply have creation to look at. Read the book of Job who like you questioned God. God said where were you Job when I......... We are not given the answers to all things for in our simple minds we as He said could not understand all He could tell us. He said as much when another spoke with Him and He said something to the effect that how can you understand things from heaven when you cannot understand the things of the earth. Perhaps you should be searching yourself and come to a conclusion whether you really believe there is a God. For if you cannot believe there really is a God, how can you trust Him to help you in recovery. I would pray and hope that you truly do believe and stop looking for questions that matter not to our human understanding but instead search for Him in your heart and allow Him to do what He wants to do for you and that is to make you whole and complete and bring you to a completing into His eternity some day soon.
 
Andre

Article Overcoming Temptation (A Response to an Email)


I really do admire the way you laid this out. It is very well orchestrated to say what you want to say and get your ideas around certain points that you are having problems to understand. I was careful as I usually do to read the whole thing through slowly and carefully. I must admit to being in wonderment at first until you said in effect; "wait, hear me out."I applause you for that. I now understand more clearly where you are coming from and where it is you are struggling with, with my former reply.

Now, to clarify if I may: It is not sin when one has a desire for a sin. Though again I say it is wrong for us to contemplate a sin, because then, that becomes an avenue for the temptation to grow within us. It is like putting yeast within flour. The yeast will not become active if left in its container, or even outside its container away from the dough. But the yeast does become active when placed within the dough. A temptation is a design to cause us to step over the border and to transgress a wrong that our heart desires.It becomes a sin though when we act upon that temptation and commit the act which God says is sin. Jesus as we know was also tempted of the devil. A temptation is not a sin. Jesus never sinned we know.

To lust however after one once you have looked upon someone, Jesus makes it plain that it is a sin.The initial look was not a sin. We cannot help what we see walking by.However, when one transgresses from mere looking to desiring to have sex with another, then that is sin. From your description about the guy you worked with and your reaction, it would appear to me that you were indeed lusting after him, which Jesus says is a sin.

In Romans, yes it is true. Paul has written what appears to be in a sense as you say a spiral, a process leading into degenerate sins. Taking the whole chapter however into context, we see that especially beginning in verse 18 where this section of the chapter begins, we see that he writes that God is wrathful to people whom have turned from Him and have in turn begun to worship His creation, rather than the creator. Many would claim to be agnostic, unbelievers. But the truth is that natural man, if he abandons one truth, he will replace it with another. In this case he is exchanging the worship of God for His creation.

Paul goes through a logical progression, a lawyer type argument to prove that God has just reason to be angry with men who reject Him. They claim to say He does not exist to back their argument for His existence, but Paul shows us that God has revealed Himself through His creation etc. Verse 20.
And like you mentioned they soon begin to worship man made idols.

Now I do not believe that idol worship is necessarily the beginning of the downward spiral into sexual lusts in of itself. But, that it would be a good beginning to all sins. For once you abandon the worship of God and deny His existence, then the natural man illogically reasons that if there is no God, then there is no law, no moral laws by which he must be accountable to. So he then goes out and goes after whatever his sinful heart desires. It may be after any number of sins, of which sexual immorality is just one. Not everyone who denies God is into sexual immorality or even unlawful sex outside of marriage.

And yes, as you say, if we turn our backs on Him, He will turn away from them who continue to turn their backs on Him and He allows Satan and his followers to work on the hearts and minds of those who do not wish to follow after God. The Holy Spirit is not with them who do no follow after the ways of God to convict them of their sins. I think perhaps there is a point of no return for some where God says, okay, that's it, let them go their own ways and let them do what they want to do as you said. Their own sins will be their own punishment, for when we sin there is always a consequence to that sin. We may not always see the consequence immediately, but it is there and or coming. It is hopeful, that at one point, they will realize the error of their ways and repent, but for the most part man runs after the ways of the world and not after the ways of God.


I do not think that Paul is repeating a pattern as you say, but is continuing on as I said from those who deny god with idolatry and as I say in turn are given to go after whatever their immoral desires are. He is simply as I see it listing the many sins which man goes after and is when one turns his back on God. Because one is an idolater does not necessarily mean he will be a liar, a hater etc as listed in verse 29, but this is a list of they way many go. Not all again are sexually immoral, or boasters, haters or whatever, even if they are idolaters or have turned their backs on God. But it is true that those whom practice habitually at these sins will face God's wrath and eventually be sent to abode forever in hell.

Regardless of how you or I or any may interpret this passage of scripture, the truth still remains that any who practice these sins, will have their day of judgement. Sexual immorality is a sin as is lying, be proud, boasting etc. They are all sin. If you repent you will not be judged by Him

You may not as you say have been worshipping a man made idol, but anything at all that replaces God is an idol. If T.V. takes so much of our time that we find no time for God, then that is our idol. If it is the computer, or motor bikes, or games etc. Anything that takes so much of our time, that we have no time for God is our idol.

Your draw to be attracted to men immorally has nothing at all necessarily with idol worship, but everything to do for whatever reason with something in the past in which was used to draw you into that particular sin. It may have been the lack of your father always being there for you, or him always being so hard on you. Many men when they have a bad father become sexually broken because they seek after a male figure to replace and give them the love that their true father never gave them. I am not saying this is necessarily true of you, I do not know. For other it could be a mother who treated their sons in effeminate ways. For other it could be for very many other reasons of which you can find from reading the likes of Joe Dallas's books and others. And yet for others it may not be at all because of any insecure past, or anything psychological at all, but that they tasted or saw images of a naked man and wanted to try, or heard about it and wanted to try to see what it was like.


One does not receive the curse of a sin, it is that one gives in to the desires of a sin by whatever temptation that they give in to. God it says tempts no man. James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (King James Version)

Your having been sexually assaulted as you say may have been the avenue by which the process towards the inclination to your attractions began. That is very common for those who have been assaulted at a young age. It could be that plus the accumulation of other things which lead you astray down the wrong path.
 
But whatever the reason where ever you are , be assured that change is possible. It is now time to let the past lay dormant and look not behind any longer, but to look to what God is doing in your life and begin to co-operate with Him by living the life He wants you to live. By obeying Him and His ways. By exchanging your sinful ways for His ways. But ceasing at lusting after man, and lust after Him to be like Him and not natural fallen man. If porn is one of the ways you sin, exchange that for reading scripture on the Internet or in your Bible. Turn off all possible ways in which you can be possibly motivated to sin. If you have a bottle of booze on the table and you are an alcoholic, then get rid of the bottle. If you trap is walking by an adult book store then stop walking by there. Take another route. Do you see what I am saying. Take dramatic, drastic steps to remove any possibility of any temptation coming before your eyes and your mind.What you are doing that is wrong, replace it with something that is righteous. Make no excuses for the lust of the flesh. As we are told in 1 Cor. 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (King James Version)


Temptations are not abnormal. They are normal and to be expected. They are common to man. God promises though to not allow us to be tried or tempted beyond what we are able to handle. He makes a way to escape a temptation. We do not need to fall into the preys of temptation, We more than not fall and sin, because our flesh desires the sin and we give in rather than using the resources God has given us to avoid falling. If, a river is washed out and a temporary bridge is made to by-pass the washout, then anyone who attempts to go through the washout is likely to fall in and perhaps drown. They drowned because they did not use the resource made for them to escape danger. Likewise God has offered us the resource to avoided falling and drowning in our sins. We just have to use them.

I pray that this helps to clarify things for you.

God Bless

 
Andre

Causes of the problem - A Reply to an Email


I believe this is a good thing to ask for revelations from God as such below [asking God to reveal to oneself some of the causes that contributed to a special problem]. Yes, we will see things we do not want to hear. But in order to be healed, we also need to hear and accept the truth. 1 John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is the reason for the law. For without the law, we would not know what sin was. And without knowledge of sin, how could God condemn us for not knowing we are sinners. Therefore we need to acknowledge  our sins and confess them. Then and only then can He begin to heal us. It would be like going to your doctor with a cold and also a bad burn hidden under your sleeve. If you walk in telling of you cold, he can help you. But if you do not tell about the burn, he cannot help you.
 
This is the process He has put into place. Call on Him, trust Him to heal you from all unrighteous. Hold nothing back. Yes it is tough. But without calling on Him, healing will never occur. Sometimes like myself it takes a long time to get over my pneumonia. But I do as the doctors tell me trusting that I will be healed. Trust in Him.
 
Andre

Overcoming Temptation - Another Response to an Email



Dear Friend;
 
As per your question. Yes God gives natural desires which are all good. Like in the article I  give the examples of eating, sleeping etc. And sex is also a natural desire which He has given us. But as I am sure you know He has drawn a boundary line around sex. Sex beyond marriage is forbidden. Sex with animals is forbidden. And of course sex with the same sex is also forbidden. It is not the way He designed us to behave. And besides that He in His Omnipotence also knows that having same sex is not healthy.
Sex in itself with a married spouse is of itself natural and good. It is a gift that God has given. He has made it to be pleasurable for a married couple.
 
So to answer your question, yes there is a lawful way to have the desire of your flesh met. But it is not with another man. The lawful way as I am sure you know is well spelled out throughout scripture. God created man and woman. He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve to live a married life where sex is to be enjoyed together.
 
God created the natural order of things in the beginning, and He said it is good. Gen. 1:31 But when Satan entered the picture and Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the tree He had told them not to, sin was ushered into the world. Since then, just as he did with Adam and Eve, he has been hard at work to change the natural order of what God has said is good and deceived the world to believe that what God says is not good, is good.And what God says is bad, Satan has deceived the world to believe what is bad is good.What was once good is bad, and what once was bad is now good. How he has twisted God's truth to deceive the world. And now we see the results big time of a fallen world. A world where every sinful imagination is practiced and coached to other to practice as normal and good. Romans 1 & 2 spells it well out.
 
So it is not God that has boxed you in, it is the sin within you that desires to go after unlawful flesh. And now because your desires are so strong you feel like there is no way around it. Your sinful flesh no longer seeks after the lawful ways, but the unlawful because you have allowed yourself to practice  same-sex attractions for so long.
 
But, again, please read my article in full again several times over slowly and carefully. That is not the end of it. You do not need to be entangled and captured in the chains of sin. God wants to help to set you free to become the man He created you to be. You need to stop practice what is unlawful, and begin to practice what is lawful. It not easy at first, I do not argue with that. But you need not stay in bondage to sin. Jesus came to set the captives free. And He is waiting for you to first of all admit to yourself and to Him that you have a problem and that you need help. Top accept and believe that of your own strength and power you are unable to break free. When you can accept that and come calling upon Him, then He will begin the work of helping you to be set free, to change your old ways and renew your ways, your mind to behave and become obedient and become more and more like Him every day.
 
But, again, just as the alcoholic will never become a non-alcoholic by hanging around the bottle, you also must take the step by start making right choices and start obeying Him and running away from your sinful desires just as Joseph did when P otiphar's wife tried to seduce him. Run and run to God.
 
God Bless and have a good and Godfull week walking not after the desires of the flesh, but seeking rather the will of God.
 
Andre

Always be Ready! (A Reply to an Email)


You mention that the Lord taught you that He is coming again and that you must be ready. Absolutely. That should be a strong motivation to be always ready. Always be looking up and reading for His coming. Scripture tells us that no one knows the hour when He will return. It could be right now. It could be five minutes from now. It could be next weekend, next week, next summer. We do not know. But we need to be ready. How can you be ready if you are involved in any kind of sin? Scripture also tells us that when we are in sin, He is not with us. That is He will not stay beside us. When Jesus took on the sins of the world on the cross, the sky turned black. He said: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me." Mark 15:34 (King James Version)

At that moment in time when Jesus carried the sins of the world upon His shoulders, God had indeed departed from Him, because God cannot be in the presence of sin. How much more will He be present with us if we are involved in sin. Think upon that the next time you are tempted to fall into sin.

Andre

The Skin of a Snake

Recently while working in my garden I came across what I thought at first was the skin of a snake. Thinking upon how snakes shed their skin reminded me of how we as sinners are to "put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" Eph. 4:22 (King James Version) and are to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind . And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph. 4:23,24 (King James Version)

You see, a snake in essence sheds off its old life, its old skin, and puts on a new life, a new skin. What was our old life like, our old man, our old skin. The following verses again from Ephesians tell us what we were like.

Ephesians 4:25-31 King James Version (KJV)

25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27Neither give place to the devil.

28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Ephesians 2:3 King James Version (KJV)


3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

1 Peter 4:3 King James Version (KJV)


3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:


Galatians 5:21 King James Version (KJV)


21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


These are but a few examples of how we used to be, and how some of us still behave.

To the contrary as I have already said we are to shed off the old ways of life and put on the new skin, the new life How?


Ephesians 4:23-24 King James Version (KJV)


23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


We can do this because:


Romans 6:4 King James Version (KJV)


4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Just as the snake in one sense died, it now lives, thus we to, now are dead to sins past and now are alive because:


Romans 6:5-14 King James Version (KJV)


5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.


Do you see that? You who were once alive unto sins, to obey its lust are no longer under the power of sin once you become a child of God.

Jesus, who now lives in you, has the power to conquer sin in you. You on your own cannot overcome sin in yourself.

So now, Romans 6:11 King James Version (KJV)


11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You no longer need to let sin rule over you, because you now have Jesus in you, living in you who has the power to live the life in you that He wants you to live.

The lusts of the flesh, no longer need be in control of your body. Let Christ who is in you LIVE so that you are no longer under the control of sin. Do not try to do on your own, you cannot. Hand over your life to be controlled by Him.


Romans 6:16-23 King James Version (KJV)


16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


So now if you obey no longer the fruit and lust of the sins the promises of God are:


Galatians 5:22-25 King James Version (KJV)


22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.


So This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.


Galatians 5:17-18 King James Version (KJV)


17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.


Now recall at the beginning, I said: I thought at first was the skin of a snake. I realized after having a closer look that this snake had not shed its skin, but was a dead snake. And that will be the end result of you who continue to lust after the things of the flesh and do not seek after God to do His will.

Therefore do not seek to fulfil the lusts of the flesh, but rather seek to fulfill the lust of the Spirit of God.


Romans 6:12-13 King James Version (KJV)


12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.


Because Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)


23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, make a stand right this very moment, choose this day as Joshua did when he said:


Joshua 24:15 King James Version (KJV)


15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


Serve ye therefore, whether you will serve the lusts of the flesh or the Lord!


Andre

Denying God

I am reminded about Peter, how often we neglect and deny God. Not only before we were saved, but even after. Many times we turn our backs upon Him and often times run like Jona did. Yet, He is always still there waiting for us with opened arms to take us back in to fellowship with Him, just like the story of the Prodigal Son. But, by the same token, if we continue to turn from Him, he will punish us in some manner. And scripture is quite plain when it says, if we deny Him, He will deny us. That's a sobering thought to have Him forever deny us.
 
Something to think about HUH!!!!!

Andre

Fantasies and Temptations

Fantasies and temptations may be a life long thing or not. However when they arise, remember help, is only a prayer away when you call upon Him when things comes along. You can ask Him to take away these thoughts and or just talk to him. When you replace thoughts and fantasies with prayer and talking with Him, guess what? Only God is there.

Andre

Cookies

If we used our heads better we would less have so much troubles to walk away from sin. We treat sin like a cookie in the cookie jar. We put our  hand into the cookie jar knowing full well we should not. But the hand gets stuck in there and we refuse to let go of the cookie so that we can pull our hand out. Better to release the cookie and be free. Better to release the follies of life and be free in Him.

Andre


Keep Looking up to Him!

Keep looking up and to Him for with Him all things are possible. He has not forgotten you nor turned His eyes off of you and He is working on you making you to be the man He wants you to be and has something special for you to do for Him.
 
God Bless and have a good week
 
Andre

Live for Him!

The more and more you live for Him, and the more and more you give to Him all your troubles, worries, hangups, temptations etc, the less the weight of shame you will feel. As you live more and more for Him, the cemented feet will gradually soften as His shed tears of love will soften the cement and release you from bondage.
 
Take care and have a great and Godly week.

Andre

Kids Korner: TEMPTATION -HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT AND DECEIVE US?


Today we are going to talk about a big word. TEMPTATION

What is temptation? It is something that makes you want to do something that maybe you would not normally do. Temptation from God’s point of view is something that may draw you to do something that is wrong, sinful.

Another word that we can use to demonstrate what temptation is like is deception. To deceive someone is to cause someone to believe something that is not true and to lead them to maybe do something that they would not normally do.
For example here is a live animal trap. If you put sunflower seeds over here on the other side of the trap mechanism, when a squirrel comes inside the cage and steps on the tripping mechanism, the door will close trapping the squirrel inside. The squirrel of course thought it was safe to go in, but he was deceived.

Another example of being tempted, being deceived is when you going fishing. Who can explain to me why fishing is like temptation or being deceived. The lure at the end of your line looks like a small fish to another larger fish, which of course looks like food to him. The fish cannot see the fishing line attached to the lure; otherwise he may not be so easily fooled. The lure looks like something good to eat to the fish, and of course he does not realize the danger that he is in. He does not realize that if he takes a bite of the lure, that he is about to be deceived.

Did you know that there is someone out there who is trying to tempt and deceive you in many ways every day? Satan, also known as the devil, scripture tells us in 1 Pet. 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (KJV)

This verse is telling us to be careful, be on your guard, because the devil is very wise and he knows your weaknesses, and he knows how to use your weaknesses to his advantage, so that he can deceive you and tempt you to sin.

Did you know that Satan has many names describing what he is like in the Bible? Some of those names are liar, thief, murder, and deceiver, just to name a few.

Why does Satan tempt and deceive us? He hates us because He hates God. Way back in the Old Testament in Isaiah chapter 14:12-14 we are told that Satan said in heart:

“13 For you have said in your hear
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’” (NKJV)

This may be hard for you to understand, but what Satan is basically saying and wanting is to kick God off of His throne, he wants to be head hancho, he wants to be numero uno, he wants to be worshipped as God.

But we all know that there is only one true God and there will always only be one true God who is the maker and creator of all things, who is in control of all things. Would you agree?

And so, since Satan knows that his time on the world is drawing closer to an end, he is doing everything in his power to deceive and cause as many as he can to turn away from God. The more people that Satan can get to disobey God, the more he can get to follow him into hell. And that is why Satan is walking about as a roaring lion seeking as many as he can destroy and take to hell with him.

Now, there are a few ways that Satan works to tempt and deceive people. He has been using these very same tricks since the time of Adam and Eve way back in Genesis chapter three. Most of you know the story of Adam and Eve. What happened there?

Basically what happened was that after God made Adam and Eve, He put them what is called the Garden of Eden. There was a very beautiful place with lots of fruit and vegetables to eat. God as you remember told them they could eat anything they wanted in the garden except the fruit from one particular tree. Gen, 2:15-17

We are often as kids told that it was an apple tree. It may have been, we do not know that for sure. We are not told exactly what kind of a tree it was.

It was a test by God to see if they would remain faithful to God and obey Him. God of course knew what they would do, but He gave them the chance to obey Him by their own choice, not like robots, or computers who do not make their own choice, but only do what they are programmed to do.

When they ate the fruit that God had told them not to eat, they had sinned. They had disobeyed God. Consequently, because they had sinned, they were doomed to die both spiritually and physically. God had created man to live forever, and so we have a spirit that can never die.

When you die physically, your spirit will live forever. And you will either go to live forever in heaven or in hell. There are no other choices, and neither do you make a choice except whether you will obey God or not, and whether you will believe the gospel message or not.

Up to that point, Adam and Eve had no idea what it was to die physically. Sadly that is part of the punishment for sinning.



Let us read Genesis. 3:1-7 and let’s see exactly how Satan tempted and deceived Adam and Eve.

“1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (NKJV)

First of all, who is the “Serpent”. It is Satan taken on the disguise of a snake. This may sound weird to us, because who has ever heard of a snake talking. But with God all things are possible, and God can and will often do what to us is very weird, so why would God not also allow Satan to disguise himself as a talking snake.

Notice the very first thing Satan does in verse # 1. Satan says; “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (NKJV)

If we look back in Genesis 2:15, 17 we see exactly what God did say.

God said; ”15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”.” (NKJV)

So they thought to themselves, well, perhaps God maybe did not exactly say that we should not eat of any of the trees in the garden Satan had placed in their minds some doubt of what God had actually said.

Eve in response added another idea to God’s original command. She said that we should also maybe not even touch of the forbidden tee. God did not say that they could not touch it. There is of course a difference between touching and eating.

Satan is the master of confusing what is truth, and what is a lie. He loves to cast a shadow of doubt in our minds of what God says and what He is really like. What Satan was also doing was to plant in their minds that perhaps God was withholding good things from them. He was not allowing them to enjoy good things which he had created. Satan was making them think that maybe God was not as good and as kind as they maybe believed He was.

Then Satan tells an outright lie when he says that you will surely not die if you eat the fruit this particular tree.

We all now know, that if you disobey God, it does indeed lead to death, both spiritually and physically if you continue to sin and do not believe the gospel message.

Spiritual death is be separated from God when you sin. Because God is perfect in every way, He cannot be near to sin. So when you sin, He has to walk away from you until you confess your sins and ask to be forgiven of your sins.

Satan next tells another lie when he says that if they eat this fruit it will make you wise, very, very smart. It would also make them know the difference between what is good and evil, which was not a lie, because they were about to learn exactly what is the difference between good and evil. Evil is basically anything done that is against the rules of God.

Up to this point, Adam and Eve had never sinned, and there was no one else in the world, so they did not know what sin was until they had sinned.

What has happened, they have been deceived. They were led into a trap. They were led to believe lies.

They were led into a trap believing that what they thought was true, was not true at all.

Satan firstly made them want something that looked really good, that was not really good for them. T.V. commercials and magazines do this all the time. They make things that are not good for us look like something really good, so we naturally want it.

Satan tries to make you do things that are not very good for you. He wants you to do things which God says you should not do. For example, Satan might tempt you to cheat in an exam, to lie, to steal etc.

Satan also tries to make you to be full of pride. For example he may tempt you to think you are better at things than other people, and so therefore you look down at others as if they are nothing compared to you. People who are really good at math for example maybe will think that they are really smart, and anyone who is not really good at math they will think is stupid. This is called pride. And God says pride is a sin.

These are the basic ways in which Satan has tempted and deceived people to sin since the time of Adam till today. He even tried to tempt and deceive Jesus in the desert. Ever since then mankind has been plagued with sickness, sorrow, suffering, fear, guilt, and death. All this is the result of falling into sin.


Rom 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, …” (KJV)

In other words, because we do what is wrong according to the rules of God, our punishment is death, both spiritually and physically.

So, is it possible to defeat Satan?

Let us briefly read Ephesians 6:10-18 which reads:
   
“10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (KJV)

The ways to defeat Satan and save yourself from falling into temptation is to first of all believe the gospel message. That is, that we are all sinners and we all deserve the punishment of sin which is death both physically and spiritually. (To be separated from God eternally in hell)

The second part of the gospel message is that we need to really believe the truth that Jesus actually was born of a virgin, lived and died on a cross, to pay the punishment for your own sins, to save you from eternal punishment of living in hell forever instead of with Him forever.

Another way to defeat Satan and to be free from sin is to be reading the Bible every day, believe what you read, study it, memorize much of it, study it, learn what God is trying to tell you when you read, it, and to spend lots of time thinking about what you have learned.

Thirdly, when you are tempted to sin, you can pray to God, tell Him what is going on, and He will help to take that temptation away from you. After all, when you are praying to God, you are no longer thinking about the temptation, because you are talking to God. You are no longer thinking about the temptation, and thus you will not be tempted to sin.

How does sin happen? Sin first happens when you see or think about something that you either should not have or do. That is called temptation. Temptation itself is not a sin, after all Jesus was perfect, He never sinned, and He was tempted by Satan in the desert. But, sin happens when you go and do what you were tempted to do, to go and do what you know is wrong.

The Bible also tells us to “resist the devil.” James 4:7 (KJV)
And; “Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27 (KJV)
In other words if you are tempted to sin, say no and run away from it.

For example, if one of your school mates asks you to go to the store with him and he asks you to distract t the guy at the cash register while he steals something, say no way first of all and run away. Do this even if he yells and threatens to beat you up if you do not help him.

On our own, we do not have the strength to resist and defeat Satan. He is very, very smart, and is far stronger than we will ever be on earth. But with God on our side, if we are obeying Him, reading and studying His words to us in the Bible, memorizing His words and spending lots of quality time with Him in prayer, then we are able to flee temptation and resist the devils deceptions and temptations.

Doing all of this reminds me of when our work in the forest cutting down trees for firewood. When I do that I put on a hard hat which protects my head from falling branches, the screen in front of my face protects my face from flying wood chips, and the ear muffs protects my ears from the loud noise from the chain saw. All of this together is like putting on the helmet of salvation. I am learning from God what He wants me to learn and to do every day of my life. It protects me from hearing, watching and listening to things which are harmful to me, which are not wise words of wisdom from God.

When I put on these chaps, and boots, they are protecting my legs and my feet from the danger of my chain saw ripping into my legs and feet. If I am walking, and doing what God wants me to do, then I am not walking and doing what Satan wants me to do. If my legs and feet are protected and doing what is right with God, then I am not going and doing what Satan wants me to do which is very, very wrong.

If you are playing most any sport, or about to go to war, it is very smart to study, and learn what the enemy is like, how they think, and how they will react to different situations. Likewise, Satan is our enemy. Therefore it is wise for us to study and learn how he acts and reacts to situations. That is why it is very, very smart for us, to read the Bible every day, study it, memorize it and pray to God at all times for all things.

Are you?

André



Quote

“I believe in the sun when it isn’t shining, I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when He's silent.”

Found scratched on a wall in a concentration camp.

Links International

Resources

Dr. Michael Brown: A Hebrew Word That Could Save Your Life (DVD)

Overcoming Temptation: Accepting and Embracing the Cross - Fr. Lou Caporiccio from the Fathers of Mercy, C.P.M., March 15, 2009 (audio file of a homily)

Overcoming Temptation: Obedience, Humility, and Faith - Fr. Lou Caporiccio from the Fathers of Mercy, C.P.M., March 8, 2009 (audio file of a homily)

Satan's War Against Us: Temptation - an audio file of a homily by Fr. Lou Caporiccio, C.P.M., March 1, 2009 (Fathers of Mercy)

Give Him Your All!

We on our own do not have the strength to give our all to God once for all, so daily we need to give our all to Him, to give up what we sin in daily, surrender all to Him daily. Just as we need daily nurturing with food we need also to surrender all to Him daily.
 

Don't Give up the Fight!

It is so easy to get down on ourselves when we have been involved in any sin for a long period of time. Once we realize and accept God's free gift of salvation, many still beat themselves up thinking oh God cannot love me. He has turned His back on me. I still fall now and again, so surely He will not forgive me of my sins. I am doomed to die. I have nothing but death to look forward to.

However, all these quotations are seeds of lies planted in our minds by the evil one who hates us and wants our destruction. He jumps for joy when a child of God gives up the fight and plays the woe is me game. God says no way. He will not forsake you. The solution is firstly to turn to Him in prayer believing that He can and will change you from the inside out.

André

Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Model of true love and Patron saint of those who suffer from sexual temptations: http://www.trueknights.org/Newsletter/EletterV3I9-Saint.html


The Choice is Yours (A Response to an Email from a Member of an Online Group)

I wish there was a fairly safe answer that was as easy as rubbing two sticks together. All the advice in the world is great, all the theology and scripture is good. But the bottom line is though, yes, the battle belongs to the Lord, you also have to make wise choices. If your mom tells you to look both way when you cross the road when you are a child, she tells you so because it is a wise and safe practice, and because she loves you, and does not want to see you get hurt. When your grandpa tells you not to touch the sides of a hot wood stove, he tells you because he does not want you to get hurt. When a pastor tells you what the scripture says in regard to any particular sin, he tells you because these are the words of God. If God tells you not to do a certain thing, He tells you firstly because that thing may be a sin, but He also tells you because He is your creator. As your creator He is much like the maker of a motor cycle builder who knows what is the best way to care and maintain your motor cycle. If you do not heed the advices and instructions of the manual given when you buy the bike, you can be sure that the bike will fall into disrepair and will not last very long. 

So the bottom line is to take the wise advices, instructions from wherever they come and obey. The key word in this sentence is obey. So when we obey, we are spared the embarrassments, the hurts and pains that will certainly occur when you do not obey. If you try to cross the road without watching both ways, the chances are you may get seriously hurt and or killed. When gram-pa says do not touch, and you obey, you are spared the pain and the scars of not listening to wise advice. If your pastor and God says no, and you obey you do not face the pain, the embarrassment, the shame, the heartaches, and the potential of death and eternity in hell, far away from the presence of God.

As Joshua said when he was given leadership over the Israeli people as he lead them into the promised land, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15 King James Version). In other words, he chose to trust and obey and follow after God. 

So the final word is what will you do? Will you trust and obey and be saved from all the above pains etc. or will you ignore, do your own thing and suffer.

The final choice is yours.

You do not need to succumb to the temptations of Satan or any other. There is no sin in the hearing of temptations. After all, Jesus was also tempted in all ways, but he did not succumb and instead obeyed the Father. But when we are tempted we can not listen and run.

The choice is yours.

André

What did I do to deserve this?

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did God have to do this to me?" Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

"Yuck" says her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?"

"Gross, Mom!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?"

"Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies, "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!


(Author unknown)

ESV Audio Widget

Acts 3-4