Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tips for Dealing with Temptation

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
On Wednesdays I work as a leader at a AWANA group. I am a team captain during game time. I listen to verses and am in charge of a room of middle school age kids during book time. I lead music most nights. Last night Mike McKinley our AWANA leader shared with the kids 5 ways to deal with temptation. I thought they were a good list so I am sharing them today. 
1. You will be tempted - so be ready. 

James 1:14

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 
2. Run Away - Flee 

1 Timothy 6:11

 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 

2 Timothy 2:22

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
 22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 

3. Resist with the Word

Hebrews 4:12

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
 Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
4. Re Focus with Praise - Remember when God has helped you before

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. Acts 16:25-26
 "I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies." 2 Samuel 22:4 
Psalm 149:6-9 says, “ May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints”.

5. Repent quickly when you fail and give in to temptation

James 1: 12 - 18 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


Acts 3:18-20

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ[a]19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. would suffer.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

So as we were leaving we got caught in the tractor beam and were sucked into the McDonalds drive through lane.  I knew my son had been listening because he said we should resist and run away - but I want a shake mom.  Clearly there are greater temptations than shakes at McDonalds that you and I face daily in our lives and I thought this was a good list to think through because like it or not you will face temptation in one form or another. Its is good to think through how to deal with temptation ahead of time and maybe even begin to practice these things on the little things that come up so that when you are faced with harder temptations that you will have practiced a bit beforehand. 
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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