Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Just say no!

Today's passage that we're going to look at comes from Proverbs 1:5-19, and it deals with something we all have faced at one time or another in our life. Being lured away from our walk with Christ by others, or things.

I grew up in the church, and I remember my grandmother took us to Sunday School every weekend morning just like clockwork. I did this for years, and got award after award from our church for never missing a Sunday. One weekend when I was nearing my teens, our family moved to a new place that was every kids dream. We had acres to play in, and woods to explore. During the first weekend at our new home, I mentioned to my mother that I wish I could stay back from church and explore our new home, and she let me. I wish I had never said anything now. I stayed home that weekend and got lost in a new world that I'd never seen. A weekend I enjoyed. One weekend turned into many, and many turned into years. Those years that I walked away from the Lord started out with one innocent statement, but turned into years of spiritual neglect. All because I was lured away by something I thought was better.

In today's passage, I want to emphasize a verse that will sum up the entire passage of Proverbs 1:5-19. Proverbs 1:10 says, My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. When I look back at that weekend I chose to do something else rather than go to Sunday School, it just tears me apart. I remember so well how happy I was to be able to run up and down the hills and see things I had never experienced before. It was so great, but it sure was short-lived. That new joy lasted a few months, but by then, church had lost it's appeal, and I never went back. That's how temptation is. We're always looking for something better, but we get so trapped into wanting more that we fail to see how blessed we really are. We hear about people who win the lottery thinking all their troubles will be over, wishing years later that they wished they'd never won it at all because of all the taxes, people bugging them for loans, and other things that just made the win a bad experience. It was more trouble than it was worth. When you really take a look at your life, no matter how bad it may seem, the long-term benefits of knowing Jesus will always out weigh the short-term effect that a temptation will bring. It's like a stock investment you make, if you stay in the race for the long-term, no matter how the market goes, you'll eventually have the money to retire on and enjoy life. However, if you choose to always go after the "sure thing" stock, you're going to lose most of the time because they usually plunge leaving you empty. Are you ready to resist the temptaions of others, and life, so you can enjoy the long-term benefits of an eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, or are you going to go for the short-term happiness that will bring an eternity of condemnation and seperation. That's what temptation is all about, your eternal life or the now.

We live in a world today that exposes us to people and things that make it easy to forget God. I wish it was different, but that's the reality. Everywhere we look there's a promise of a better life. Don't fall into that trap. Stand firm in your faith and know that Jesus loves you more than the world ever will. Don't chase after a shiny new penny when you have a dollar in your hand. Stay the course and stay with Christ. When you're standing in the Kingdom of Heaven praising the Father because you've never seen a happiness like you're experiencing, then you'll find your reward for all eternity. Then you'll find it was all worth it.

Stand firm today, and be happy because you know Jesus, and the temptation will no longer tempt.

In His Service,
Pastor Mike

Other Passages dealing with the subject of temptation and how to deal with it.

Proverbs 4:14
Romans 6:13
Ephesians 6:13
2 Peter 3:17
1 Corinthians 10:13


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