September 7, 2017

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) — 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Summer is beginning to fade away and so are the county fairs. The main attractions at the fairs are the rides, the 4H exhibits, the animals, the crafts, the food and the evening shows which could include a popular band, a tractor pull and perhaps a demolition derby.

There is also what I call ‘side show row’. This is usually a row of little booths where you are tempted to spend your money trying to win a stuffed animal, a cheap ring, watch or bracelet or maybe even money. To do this you may have to knock down some bottles, pop balloons with a dart, throw rings around the neck of a bottle, or shoot a gun at moving targets. You may even have to make so many baskets in a row with a basket ball. Regardless of what you have to do the bottom line is that the people that run these booths are after your money. They even call out to you to come and try your luck and when you come close to winning they encourage you to try again. They almost make you feel stupid and less of a person if you don’t try. Many a naïve individual has lost a lot of money and sometimes even integrity of character to these hawkers of side shows.

The Christian life has as its main attraction Jesus along with the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But along comes Satan and his worldly bunch and they set up little sideshows; booths that entice and tempt you to come and spend your time your money and your life on pleasure. Booths like gossip, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, materialism, sex outside of marriage, gambling, astrology, abortion etc, have sidetracked many an individual and caused them to deviate from God’s chosen path. And of course the hawkers of peer pressure never let up until they get you to their booth.

Galatians 5:19–21 (NLT) — 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Our memory verse says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can endure and he will provide a way out. Solomon tells us of the way out of temptation.

Proverbs 4:24–27 (NLT) — 24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. 25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Plan out your day so that you don’t get sidetracked. Plan what you will do with your free time. Never channel or internet surf. Plan what you are going to watch and where you will go on the net. Choose your friends wisely. Resist peer pressure. Speak out your memory verses and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The memory verses we are learning this year give us ammunition to deflect the temptations from the hawkers calling from the side show. As Jesus showed us “It is said. ..”

  2. Your analogy couldn’t be better Pastor Dan. It reminded me of a skit that was preformed at the Bible Camp we worked at years ago. Worldly pleasures danced and made circles around the person sitting in the middle. She had her Bible open and on her lap. Jesus was on the inside of the circle with her as were many other people (ways) to provide a way out. There were times during the skit that she gave in to the pleasures because she hadn’t made Jesus and his Word the main attraction. The more she stayed in the Word, learned to follow Jesus and resist the temptations with the strength he provided, the circle of worldly pleasures became bigger. They were not directly in her face anymore. It was one of my favorite skits and always made an impact on me when it was done. I thought about the blog yesterday a lot! There were times in the past when God was providing a way out for me but I choose otherwise…sad. I also thought of the many times he kept me safe by even getting close to the temptation. I am thankful!