Tag Archives: Hebrews 4:15

Unwanted Visitor

Father, as I come before You this morning, may my thoughts be under Your direction. May I focus on You. Speak to me, that I may be blessed and be a blessing as well. Amen.

Matthew 4:1-11 (<<click the green)

As we were leaving my sister’s place this past weekend a Yellow jacket paid us a visit. First, it was flying around my wife, then around me, then around my mom. He was an unwanted visitor. Each of us tried walking away but until it decided to move on, it buzzed around incessantly. None of us were stung but that possibility was there.

The word I would place beside the word “temptation” is “ugh”. And in this fallen world, much like our unwanted visitor, it just won’t leave us alone. Just thinking of temptation makes me groan.

Now nobody in their right mind would entertain a Yellow jacket’s presence. When we see one in our vicinity, most of us would high-tail it out of there. And most certainly, we wouldn’t get so up close and personal that we would welcome its sting…but isn’t that what we do with temptation?

We all know what temptation is. We all know what temptation does. But each of us, on a regular basis lays out the welcome mat for it. Many times we say “no”, and many times we do run away, but it seems like inevitably there comes a time when we yield.

Looking at Your response to temptation, Lord, it seems the big difference is that You were prepared for the attack. You were never caught unawares. When the tempter laid out his enticements – no matter how enticing – You shot it down with Scripture.

Hebrews 4:15 tells me that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

You know. You’ve been there. May I learn from You, Lord. May I be prepared for all the wily ways of temptation. May I stand strong in You, armed with You Word, when it comes my way. Amen.

Oct 3rd, Tues, 6:33 am

New Every Morning

Ah…a peaceful morning to begin a new week, Father. I am so grateful that each day is a new day. Regardless of what past days have held, it is now behind and today is a clean slate, a fresh vantage point. Thank You, Father, for the wonderful assurance found in Lamentations 3:22-23 (<<click the green).

22The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lord, I know that You understand. You came to live amongst us. You experienced life from our perspective. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that You “faced all of the same testings [i.e. temptations] we do, yet [You] did not sin.”

We struggle to be faithful. We do so well for quite a while and then…we think poorly of someone at work…we lose patience with our spouse and say things that should not be said…we become angry with other drivers on the way to work. We listen to things we shouldn’t listen to, we watch things we shouldn’t watch, we read things we shouldn’t read…and I am not alone – we are all guilty

Last summer my family made a trip to Waco, Texas and visited Chip and Joanna Gains’ Magnolia Market. While there we purchased a steel wall sign that says, “Today is a good day for a good day.” Lord, today – and every day – is that day. I am eternally grateful that Your “faithful love…never ends” and that Your “mercies begin afresh each morning.” May I be the child You know that I can be. Amen.

Aug 21st, Mon, 6:28 am

A Mighty Fortress

Thank You, Father, for every aspect of yesterday’s services. Your presence in preparation to the last “Amen” of the last service. I am so grateful that you take the little I have to offer and You choose to use it and adding Yourself into the equation the little is multiplied exponentially All the praise surely goes to You. The old song rings true, “Little Is Much When God Is in It.”

Hebrews 4:15 (<<click here)

Temptation – what an all-inclusive unifier of the entirety of humanity.  Every person to ever walk the face of this earth has had to deal with it – and You, Lord, are no exception. And we all have failed, many times over, to not yield to its many allures – with one great exception, and that is You, Lord – Only You, in Your perfection, had the fortitude to withstand every assault that was leveled upon You.

Jesus I am oh so weak and my propensity to yield to the temptations that come my way is absolutely HUGE! My only hope is found in my relationship with You.

In and of myself I am utterly incapable of success but, praise Your holy name! You understand – You can relate because quite literally, You have walked in our shoes and have been victorious! Today and every day I come to You, I stand with You – for again that is where my strength is. When I keep my eyes on You I can overcome anything that crosses my path.

Martin Luther surely got it right! “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our help in He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing…” Thank You, Lord, for being that “mighty Fortress” for me, I would be lost without You!

Mar 7th, Mon, 5:12 am

The Allure of the Trap

Father, beyond the last couple of days being outside the routine, they have also been trying. Fiery darts have flown and I have been less adept with my shield than I should have been. I have already asked for and received Your forgiveness and would ask that my resolve be strengthened from Your never ending reserves. My strength is found in You, Father, for I am weak. Thank You for Your love and patience. If I truly got what I deserve, I would have been a pile of dust and ashes long ago. But only because of You, I am stronger today that I once was and in You I will be stronger tomorrow, too.

One of the daunting things about country living is the fact that unwanted guests will occasionally let themselves in…mice! Every nook and cranny in our home has been filled and sealed with the exception of one and it is a space that I cannot get to. Almost all of the lower cabinetry in our kitchen will have to be removed for the entry point to be eliminated. So we use traps and they do a fine job.

Over the years we have discovered that peanut butter serves as very enticing bait and many an unwanted guest has succumbed to its allure. The scent of it draws them. The taste keeps them and drives them further in until a foot or a nose trips the lever and the penalty is paid for unwanted entry.

The devil knows our weaknesses and being unable to be everywhere at the same time, he sets traps for us – alluring things, enticing things, things that are very, very hard to say “no “ to once they have been tasted. And none of us are exempt. We can all be tempted. All of us have entered places where we have no business being, be it physical or mental. Many times we realize early on that we’ve entered a very dangerous place and exit immediately but even the strongest of warriors can be enticed in times of weariness or when our guard is let down even for a moment. And in that moment of hesitation the trap is sprung and we are caught.

But our Father, gratefully so, can be everywhere at the same time. And when we cry out He is there to save us, to set us free, once again from the trap. We lick our wounds and regret our actions and fall on the gracious mercy of our loving Lord and Savior who understands us, more than we could ever know. “For this High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings’ (temptation) we do, yet he did not sin” Hebrews 4:15

Thank You, Lord, for Your love, Your forgiveness and Your mercy and grace. Give us wisdom to avoid the places of temptation. And when we do end up there and sometimes it attacks when we didn’t even see it coming, gives us the strength to stand and fight or sometimes it is just best to turn and run.

May we continue to abide in Your presence and learn from Your Word so we may be ready, in Your wisdom and strength, for whatever comes our way. All praise, and honor and glory to You!

Feb 27th, Sat, 4:58 am