VIDEO Beware of the Least Likely Temptation

Beware of the Least Likely Temptation

Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. —1 Kings 2:28

Joab withstood the greatest test of his life, remaining absolutely loyal to David by not turning to follow after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom. Yet toward the end of his life he turned to follow after the weak and cowardly Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one person has turned back is exactly where anyone may be tempted to turn back (see 1 Corinthians 10:11-13). You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.

We are apt to say, “It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world.” Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials— now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be abnormally examining your inner self, looking forward with dread, but stay alert; keep your memory sharp before God. Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness, because that is where the least likely temptations will be effective in sapping strength. The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones.

“…kept by the power of God…”— that is the only safety. (1 Peter 1:5).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Crises reveal character. When we are put to the test the hidden resources of our character are revealed exactly.  Disciples Indeed, 393 R


Temptations – Is Jesus Christ the only Idol in your Life? God – Yahweh

Hurry Not

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry.” When two friends repeated that adage by the wise Dallas Willard to me, I knew I needed to consider it. Where was I spinning my wheels, wasting time and energy? More important, where was I rushing ahead and not looking to God for guidance and help? In the weeks and months that followed, I remembered those words and reoriented myself back to the Lord and His wisdom. I reminded myself to trust in Him, rather than leaning on my own ways.

After all, rushing around frantically seems to be the opposite of the “perfect peace” the prophet Isaiah speaks of. The Lord gives this gift to “those whose minds are steadfast,” because they trust in Him (v. 3). And He is worthy of being trusted today, tomorrow, and forever, for “the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (v. 4). Trusting God with our minds fixed on Him is the antidote to a hurried life.

Lord God, You give the peace that passes all understanding.

How about us? Do we sense that we’re hurried or even hasty? Maybe, in contrast, we often experience a sense of peace. Or perhaps we’re somewhere in between the two extremes.

Wherever we may be, I pray today that we’ll be able to put aside any hurry as we trust the Lord, who will never fail us and who gives us His peace.

Lord God, You give the peace that passes all understanding, which is a gift I don’t want to take for granted. Thank You.

God’s peace helps us not to hurry.

By Amy Boucher Pye 

INSIGHT

The word peace in Isaiah 26:3 is one of the prophet Isaiah’s favorite words; it’s used over twenty times in Isaiah. The word appears for the first time in Isaiah 9:6 where we find several titles for the promised Messiah, including “Prince of Peace.” Peace is a translation of the great Hebrew word shalom. While peace is certainly an acceptable rendering, more broadly shalom speaks of “welfare,” “prosperity,” “wholeness”—the comprehensive well-being of a person, people, or place. What isn’t immediately apparent in modern versions of verse 3 is that the word translated “perfect” is also the Hebrew word shalom. Thus a literal rendering of “perfect peace” is “shalom, shalom” or “peace, peace.” What’s in view is multiplied peace, true peace, exponential peace. Verse 3 helps us to see that peace awaits those who trust in the Lord as their eternal source of strength—their Rock (v. 4). Such peace allows one to exhale, to rest, to slow down.

Arthur Jackson

Our Heavenly Place: New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:1-8

While Jesus was on earth, John heard Him promise to prepare a place for His followers (John 14:3). Years later, the apostle was given a vision of that place, and he watched the New Jerusalem come down out of heaven. The sight was beyond human description, but he did his best to put this heavenly vision into earthly language. (See Revelation 21:9-27, Revelation 22:1-5.)

John saw the brilliance of God’s glory radiating from the city’s structure, whose foundation gleamed with the dazzling colors of precious stones. The gates were made of pearls and the street of transparent gold. This nearly 1500-mile-long cube-shaped city was designed by the Lord as a place for Himself and mankind to live in perfect intimacy for all eternity. In Revelation 22:3-4, he notes that “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face.”

Though we may have difficulty imagining the physical structure of the New Jerusalem, we understand and rejoice over the fact that certain things will be absent from this heavenly city—namely, there will be no pain, tears, mourning, or death. Sin and every one of its consequences will be removed. All frustration, boredom, and problems will cease. No one will have handicaps, and our bodies will never grow tired or sick.

When the difficulties you face become burdensome, focus on your glorious heavenly future. The only time you will ever experience trouble and pain is in this earthly life. When you walk on the streets of New Jerusalem with the Savior, all the old ravages of sin will be gone, and your joy will be full.

Word and the Spirit

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)

How is it that some people can read a biblical passage and find it either tedious, confusing, or even foolish, whereas others will receive great understanding and blessing from the very same passage? The answer is that the first group are animated only by the spirit of the world, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), whereas the others are indwelled by the Spirit of God, having received the Holy Spirit when they trusted Christ for forgiveness and salvation.

It was, after all, the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures to begin with. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, “God-breathed,” where the “breath of God” is none other than the “Spirit of God.” Concerning his own divinely inspired writings, Paul said: “We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Likewise, it is the same Spirit indwelling each believer who illumines, and confirms, and applies His own Scriptures to the individual Christian who reads or hears them. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). On the other hand, Jesus promised His disciples that “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

This He does through the Scriptures He inspired, with blessings abundant as we study them prayerfully and with believing and obedient hearts. HMM

Only believe

John 5:1-14

John 5:1

Honouring his Father’s law, and at the same time availing himself of the concourse of people to spread the gospel.

John 5:2, 3

Jesus was sure to go where he was most needed, seeking those who could not come to him.

John 5:4-6

A question probably needed to excite his hope, which had grown languid through long waiting and frequent disappointments. The question may well be put to those who have for years been seeking salvation in the use of the outward means of grace without success.

John 5:7

As if to prove his anxiety to be healed, the man mentioned his friendless condition in a very pitiful and humble manner. Sinners should imitate this man, and lay their helpless cases before the Good Physician.

John 5:8

Leave off watching and waiting, believe my word, and rise. This is the way in which the gospel ends all our natural endeavours and tarryings by an immediate and saving command. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and wait no longer at the pool,” is the one precept of the gospel.

John 5:9

Faith in the almighty word of Jesus brings immediate healing to our souls. Why, then, do so many linger year after year, waiting for they know not what? Angels will not now come from heaven, nor could they save us if they did; but there is life eternal in the message of mercy, and if we will obey it, salvation is ours at once.

John 5:11

He could not quote better authority for what he had done than the word of one who was proved to be divine by the cure which he had wrought. Observe that where Jesus works a gracious cure he also bestows an obedient mind, so that his commands become law to us henceforth.

John 5:12, 13

Salvation may come to those who have but scanty knowledge. If we believe in the person and word of Jesus we shall be taught more of both by-and-by.

John 5:14

Those who are healed need to be instructed, lest they err again. It becomes all who have received any measure of grace to watch against the returns of sin, which may bring them into yet deeper trouble. Happy for us is it that our Lord does not leave us after he has restored us, but visits us with his divine teachings by the Holy Spirit.

 

Lame at the pool I long have been,

Waiting to find relief;

Lord, I have none to put me in

And wash away my grief.

 

Speak thou, and give my soul to hear;

Thy word can make me whole.

Lord, I believe, and leap for joy,

For thou hast saved my soul.

 

So Just Come As You Are

Being justified by his grace… heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)

Let me say this to any of you who are still trying to add up your human merits—look away in faith to the Lord of abundant mercy!

Fixing yourself over and trying to straighten yourself out will never be sufficient—you must come to Jesus as you are!

Our Lord told about two men who went up into the temple to pray. One said, “God, here I am—all fixed up. Every hair is in place!”

The other said, “Oh God, I just crawled in off Skid Row. Have mercy on me!”

God forgave the Skid Row bum, but sent the other man away, hardened and unrepentant and unforgiven.

We come to Him just as we are but in humble repentance. When the human spirit comes to God knowing that anything it receives will be out of God’s mercy, then repentance has done its proper work!

God promises to forgive and forget and to take that man into His heart and teach him that all of God’s kindnesses are due to His mercy. What more can a sinner ask?

 

An Expert Searcher

“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” Exod. 34:11

This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold. How wonderfully doth the Lord find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the Lord by searching and seeking discovers them, and draws nigh to them in grace. He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also.

The Lord repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the Lord, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish. He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into deeps of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him. It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep”!

 

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