Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1: Stomping out temptation


Therefore he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.  (Hebrews 2:17,18  NET)

Jesus’ experience of life on earth was in every respect like ours, except that He was continually in contact with the Father and never sinned in any way — action, thought, or word. Though He was a man and lived in a body just like ours, a body that felt weak, hungry, and tired, He exhibited perfect self-control in every situation. Because of this, His sacrifice on the cross was all-powerful and effective, and He was a High Priest like no other high priest before Him.

Imagine if the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company decided to come and work alongside you for a year, eat what you ate, live in your neighborhood, get paid what you get paid, and drive the same make and year car that you drive, all because he wanted to better understand the situation of his employees and fight for better working conditions… you would be blown away! Though there are CEOs who take interest in their company and in their employees’ welfare, no one has ever gone that far.

But what the Lord Jesus has done for us is light-years beyond this example. He didn’t visit earth for a weekend, a week, or even a month. He lived on earth in a body just like ours for 33 years and went through everything that we go through. In fact He experienced much more pain and suffering than any human that has ever lived. So whenever you’re tempted to feel like God doesn’t care, doesn’t understand, or is unwilling to help — you are way out of line! Jesus knows exactly what we go through. Everything He accomplished, He did by the use of faith, courage, and sacrifice — the same exact tools that we have at our disposal. He loved and forgave His enemies, and offered help to those who were trying to kill Him. Even His own brothers and sisters refused to believe in Him while He was alive on earth.

Because of all this, today’s promise says that He is qualified and ready to help us in our temptations. This means that we need to decide that we can overcome them, that no temptation is too much for us, and that He is continually at our side ready to offer the help we need to overcome. The problems is that many of us listen to the words the devil when he tells us that we can’t overcome. It all comes down to whose voice we listen to. The choice is ours.

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