Temptation And Testing


Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

~James 1:13, NASB


None are known to be good until they have had an opportunity to be bad.

~Benjamin Whichcote

Regrets are hard to live with. They may not be as unpleasant as grief but they are annoying. However, when a believer looks back at their personal history, they can see the Romans 8:28 principle at work. God does not tempt us to do evil but He does allow it. He didn’t tempt Jesus, the devil tempted Jesus but the Father allowed it and the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness where He was tempted. This doesn’t make Jesus a sinner–He did not yield to the temptation. Although we see a distinct difference between temptation {coming from the devil} and testing {coming from God}; our temptations can also be test of a sort and can even work for our good. Don’t misunderstand, do not flirt with temptation thinking good will come from it. But when you think about former temptations and even those low moments when you yielded to them–you can see how God uses these experiences to sanctify us.

I am not going to lie, I do not want to be tempted. I am rather looking forward to a time when I cannot be tempted at all. Suffice it to say, I have done things that are shameful and embarrassing and yes I have deep regrets about them all but I have to tell the truth–these character flops have taught me things that I am not sure I could have learned any other way. In my prayer time yesterday I made a list of things I’ve learned: [1] They have slapped me in the face with the reality of my depravity. I don’t argue with God anymore, I am totally depraved. I had a man tell me just a few weeks ago {and he was sincere}, “Jack, you are a good man.” I almost threw up on the spot. I thought, “If he knew what God knows, he wouldn’t say such a thing.” [2] Our sin and failure is acid to our pride. How can we be proud when all we do is foul up? [3] Struggling with temptation drives the roots of our faith deeper. I’m telling you, I ought to be the poster boy for GRACE. [4] It makes us more dependent on Christ. I don’t want to face temptation at all but I surely don’t want to face temptation alone–No, I’m hanging out with Jesus. Trust me, I need His protection. [5] It purifies our love for Jesus which was selfish in the beginning.

Do you know what it means when your kids and grandkids stop coming around? It means, they don’t need you anymore. One of the greater joys of parenting is to see a child mature to the point that they don’t need you but they do come around simply because they love you. Everyone wants Jesus stuff but they don’t want HIM. They want a crown without a cross. They want forgiveness without repentance. We must lean to love HIM the way Job trusted HIM… “I don’t care what He decides for me, I am going to love HIM!”

Winter Storm warning for today. I don’t know what that means, possibly nothing but it will be enough to keep a lot of Baptist at home unless they need to go to Kroger’s or Walmart. Kroger’s was covered up yesterday.

Pray for your Pastor today; that God will anoint him with a life changing message. Pray for the president, the one we elected.

New word for the day…Tautology–Stating the same thing {truth} twice using different words.

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