Tag Archives: temptation

Tooting My Own Horn

Good morning, Father. It is good to have this time, in the quiet of the early morning hours – just me and You. Help me to listen and learn, for there is no better teacher than You.

Matthew 6:1-4 (<<click the green)

Sometimes it’s hard to do something nice for someone and keep it a secret. Now sometimes the recipient will know but sometimes we are just so proud of ourselves we want to toot our own horn, as the saying goes.

In this passage, Lord, You admonish us to “Watch out!” when it comes to doing our “good deeds publicly, to be admired by others”. When we do so that is our reward and we forfeit the reward You would give us. Now, I truly have no idea what that reward would be but is there anything this world has to offer us that can hold a candle to what You have to offer us, Lord?

It’s interesting knowing a little of the background of this passage – it’s a bit of knowledge I picked up from a wonderful man of God that I had the privilege of serving under several years ago. The “trumpets in the synagogues” were receptacles for offerings and for some of those able to give generously it was probably a great temptation to throw in a handful of coins letting anyone in the vicinity know that they had made a sizeable donation.

Lord, what is my motivation for doing and giving? Is my goal to receive praise for myself? Or am I striving to point others to You? May I be diligent in doing all I can do but help me be equally as diligent in not doing it for my glory. I don’t want to be guilty of tooting my own horn! Your rewards are worth waiting for!

Nov 28th, Tues, 6:32 am

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

Temptation

Father, a snippet of today’s Puritan prayer would be my prayer this day,

“While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my case, may I show forth his praise.”

For all You have done, are doing, and will do for me, Father, and out of my love for You, though it is but a minuscule fraction of Your love for me, may I reflect and praise You with the entirety of my being! Amen.

James 1:12-15 (<<click here)

Now, there is something that plagues us all, Lord, temptation! On this side of eternity, we cannot escape it. It is always just around the corner ready to pounce. And in our own strength, we will ultimately succumb to its ravages. Obviously, I have a bit of experience dealing with temptation…we all do. But can we blame God or anyone else for tempting us? Not at all! Verses 14 and 15 make a very clear statement.

“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entices us and drags us away. The desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Temptation is all too real and sin is the ultimate outcome. But, all praise to You, Lord, we are not defenseless! Your Holy Spirit lives in all who have confessed our sins and have given our lives over to You. The instant temptation is there, He is there to help us. If we will but listen to His guidance we can stand firm. He gives us the strength to say no and if it’s best to do so, to run from its influence. Through Your presence in our lives, we can be victorious.

And if we fail to listen and we are enticed and dragged away, all is not lost.

“…if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9

Lord, with Your death You paid the wages for our sin. Thank You is not enough. And even though we deserve to die for our sin, we are offered not our just wages but the gift of eternal life through You.

Thank You, Lord, for all You do and all You are. May I grow stronger in my faith every day so that I may live for You and shine forth my light for Your glory! Amen.

Aug 8th, Mon, 6:06 am

Consequences

Thank You, Father, for a wonderfully fulfilling day with Karen yesterday! Thank You for Your watch care over us and thank You for the blessing of bringing us together, oh, so many years ago!

Hebrews 12:16-17 (<<click here)

Lord, in reading these verses my Study Bible* makes me think about the long term impact of sin. Examining our lives we can see how even decisions from a life time ago, can continue to impact us. Esau’s careless disregard for his birthright – trading it for a bowl of soup! – came back to bite him when his father issued blessings sometime later. And this wasn’t just a simple “bless you” but in this culture was a driving force in where your life would go. And no matter how much he wept, it could not be changed. (Genesis 25:29-34; Genesis 27)

Our sins can surely be forgiven and our loving Savior remembers them no more – he has removed them “as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 but regardless we cannot forget and many times the repercussions of our sin haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Lord, first of all help me to learn from the errors of my ways. Help me to not repeat them. But may they be a reminder of where You have brought me from and that I do not want to go back.

Secondly, help me to move on. Help my past not hinder my moving forward into what You would have me do today.

And lastly, may I remember when tempted today that decisions I make today will have lifelong consequences. May my decisions be guided by You. Amen!

June 15th, Wed, 6:43 am

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Fidelity

Father, the next several days are going to be a challenge. We are so excited that Massey is home for a few days! But because we want to stay up and talk and do things together it makes getting up more of a challenge. My time with You is of the utmost importance to me so I am determined to be here. Please help me to be wise in what I do when awake so that I will sleep well. Help me to be safe in my travels and to do my best at Kohl’s and in getting ready for worship. Thank You for Your active presence in my life.

I don’t know if the tacos from supper were a contributing factor, Lord, but I sure dreamed last night. I know many times You used dreams in the Bible to communicate messages. My dream was surely disturbing and it may just be a wild, taco induced thing in my brain but I do want to use it as means of staying true to You and the ones I love.

It’s disturbing in that it was sexual in nature. It was not sordid and there are no graphic details to pass along. In my dream I was not married but even then it was like I was looking at myself doing and thinking things and feeling mortified because I am married. For the most part the dream was flirtatious in nature and though I was tempted to pursue things best left alone, I did not yield. The only physical contact was I rubbed the young woman’s back. It was in a group setting and that’s all I did but just that simple contact evoked “feelings.” Later she was in the shower and a clear but subtle invitation had been extended to me but I saw nothing and did nothing for I did not yield. I didn’t even go near her location.

Yuck! I don’t even like writing it down but, Lord, I want it to be an anchor point in our relationship that will shore up another extremely important relationship in my life – my marriage!

The world is replete with sexual promiscuity. Our culture’s mentality is to meet our own needs regardless of how it impacts others. And no matter how much our society glamourizes it, it always impacts others – and many times in hurtful, scarring ways.

I am wholly committed to Karen! Jesus, You are very clear on this topic.

“You have heard the commandment that says, “You must not commit adultery! But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

I pray every day for the strength and wisdom to abide by Your words, Lord. I do my best to not even linger on pictures of women I see. I strive to avert my eyes while interacting with the public when on many occasions low cut tops and skin tight bottoms want to lure me in.

Lord, help me! Only in You can I stand strong. I am totally dependent on You to get me through and want nothing else than to be utterly faithful to my wife. Amen – so be it!

Mar 11th, Fri, 5:37 am