Bible reading: James 1:13-15
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (NKJV)
Temptation is the invitation or the incitement to sin. It is not initiated by God. Satan furthers it, but it is our bad desires which draw us toward sin and death. But God has given us a conscience. When temptation comes, this inward voice alerts us to it. Temptation itself is not bad unless we give in to temptation. Disobedience can become a habit and the consequences are disastrous. We lose our joy. Guilt and anxiety take over. Sin will cause considerable damage to our relationship with God. The scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted without committing sin. Let us remember that God controls the intensity of the temptation and is planning an escape route. We can count on God’s help to resist the temptations.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
2 Timothy 2:26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Mark 7:15,20-23 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man...And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Youth Challenge! Be a Godly Friend!
Think about how you can help others not to give in to temptation. For adolescnece, it is particularly difficult. Here are some practical suggestions that you can put into practice:
■ Be an example by refusing to give in to it yourself.
■ Warn the friend about the damages it could cause
■ Invite him to JYC or the youth group at your church
God will not allow Satan to snatch any of His children out of His hand, and one of the ways by which He keeps us in His hand is in our prayers for perseverance. We pray for the Lord to protect us from Satan so that we may do God's will and so that we will press on and remain faithful to Him in all times of testing. Let us pray daily for protection from the devil and for the grace to remain faithful to Christ.