September 8, 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.

The Greek word for temptation and test is the same word. When God is involved it is a test to see how you will do and it is always for your betterment. When Satan is involved it is always to bring you down by causing you to sin. God wants to make you stand and Satan wants to make you fall.

This weekend marks the start of the NFL football season. The teams will play each other to see how far they have progressed in their training. These games are tests to see how they compare with each other. They will expose weaknesses and show strengths. Each week the teams will try to improve on improve their weak areas and continue to strengthen their strong areas. The goal of each team of course is to improve enough to make it to the Super Bowl and win. So although the games are tests they are good tests.

The goal of the Christian is to become like Jesus in character and maturity.

Romans 8:29 (NLT) — 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Ephesians 4:15 (NLT) — 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

As we go through life we should view temptations and tests as good things that show us where we are weak, so that we can improve, and where we are strong so that we can remain humble in that area. Temptations and tests are not to be feared because both are used to shape us like Jesus. He went through the same test and temptations as we do and yet he was without sin. Therefore he knows what we are going through and he can help us. Many of the football coaches are ex football players so they know what the players are going through and they are there to help them.

Hebrews 4:14–16 (NLT) — 14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

The coaches can’t impart their strengths and talents to the players. But God imparts to us Grace and Mercy. Also the coaches don’t play through the players but we have the same Holy Spirit that Jesus had living in Him now living in us. This was the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and gave him life!

Romans 8:9–13 (NLT) — 9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. 12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.

When it comes to the game of life we have exactly what we need to win. We have God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. So let the tests and temptations come because they show us where we are strong and where we are weak. Continue to yield both the strong areas and the weak areas to the Holy Spirit. Football players exercise physically. You need to Exercise the self control that the Holy Spirit gives you. Football players trust their coaches to prepare a good game plan. Maintain your faith in God. Football players shout encouragement to each other. Speak out your memory verses to encourage and strengthen you. Football players have their playbook so they know what to do. The scriptures are your playbook.  Keep the armor of God on. No football player goes out on the field without his protective gear on.

We have what it takes endure and to win plus we have the promise that God will not allow the temptation to be greater than we can endure. No football player has that promise when they enter the game.

Be Inspired Hilltop!