Posts Tagged 'temptation'

Don’t Cause Others to Stumble

JESUS SPEAKING

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18: 1- 7)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Using a small child as an example, Jesus informed the disciples that they had to be converted and become as little children to enter the Kingdom of God. Being reborn means returning to a childlike state of enduring innocence and purity. Sadly, this world remains rife with temptations that lead to sinful practices. The devil lurks around every corner, “seeking whom he may devour.” The punishment for assisting Satan in his efforts to entice believers and little children to sin is accordingly severe. Christians are therefore prohibited from behaving in ways that might cause others to stumble.

How we dress has an effect on other people. In western society today, inappropriate clothing is common, and even celebrated by popular culture. Short skirts, skin tight leggings, and shirts that reveal cleavage are accepted and promoted as ideal. (Men are also guilty of dressing with sinful intentions.) Each of these enticing styles is worn to purposefully tempt others, and to elicit lustful glances. We read in 1 Timothy: 8 – 10, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”

As the world suffers through temptations, Christians are admonished to remain pure; to exist as little children. Our actions, our mannerisms, our attire, our speech, and our habits are all being monitored by others. When they look, they must see genuine Christianity; a way of life devoid of conduct which might cause others to stumble. As the light of Christ, we must shine with His brilliance. May our lives always be an example of humility, modesty, and purity.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we yearn to share in Your perfection and purity. May we become as little children; walking with integrity; never tempting anyone to stumble into sin. Strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Let Your light shine through us, that others might come to know You as we have. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Temptation

JESUS SPEAKING

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 19 – 21)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     Jesus urges every follower to remain focused on the virtues that are eternal, rather than indulging in the momentary enjoyment of some passing pleasure. We are told in 1 Peter 5: 8, to “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  One of Satan’s most efficient tactics is to create blindness. He elevates the allure of a present desire, while simultaneously concealing the long-term, or eternal consequences that will eventually arise as a result of engaging in some sinful activity.

Adultery is one of the most serious sins an individual can commit. Infidelity destroys families and devestates entire households. We read in proverbs 9: 13 – 18, “A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: ‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here’; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.” This woman’s plan was to corrupt those who were innocent; to blind human beings by emphasizing the enjoyment of immediate gratification; adultery may appeal to the flesh but it is destructive to the Spirit. Those who are deceived will act without contemplating their future torment. They can’t comprehend the ugliness of an eventual divorce; they can’t envision the trauma their children will endure, or the loneliness of partial custody. Like brute beasts they can see only what is right in front of their face, and no more.

As long as mankind walks upon this Earth, Satan will continue his campaign of temptation; presenting us with momentary pleasures devoid of eventual consequence. How then can we resist the trickery he employs to corrupt and defile those who love Jesus Christ? Simply put, we must emphasize and remain focused upon eternal virtues; things such as fidelity, selflessness, honesty, respect, charity, and kindness. The light of God’s eternal kingdom illuminates the devil’s lies and creates a genuine vision of those things which the Lord values.

“Dear Heavenly Father, may we avoid distraction and remain focused on our eternal destination with You in Your Kingdom. Protect us from sinful temptations that could arise and cause us to suffer. May we see the end from the beginning. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit Lord, that we might preach the gospel with boldness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You. And we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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