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THE RED BARON AND TEMPTATION
Manfred, Freiherr von Richthofen was a famous German First World War fighter pilot.
He was better known as the Red Baron because he flew a distinctive a red Fokker aircraft.
He shot down more combat planes than any one else on either side in the first World war
His known kill tally was 80.
On 21st April 1918, he began chasing a Canadian plane - that was trying to escape the battle over the Mor-lan-court Ridge, near the river Somme.
As the Red Baron pursued his prey, he strayed behind Allied lines.
He dived too low into the enemy lines
And he also he missed a Canadian pilot (Arthur) "Roy" Brown coming up on his tail to help his comrade.
We will never know whether it was a shot from the ground - or a shot from Brown that killed Richthofen.
But what we do know is that the "Red Baron" came to his end because he made the mistake of pursuing that Allied 'plane "too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory" (as one report so succinctly put it)
And many committed Christians have been shot down because they have followed temptation for too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.
And as with Richthofen -- they are then caught unawares and then have to deal with the conseqences.
Lieutenant Andrew Moffatt
The Parable of Water
There are a lot of things I could compare when it comes to living in the world, sexual sin, the lust we have for objects that are shiny; but, I’ve decided that I’m not going to. I’ve decided to discuss two different liquids. One of them is water and the other is Coca Cola.
The two I’m going to compare in this way:
Let’s just pretend that water is the God’s kingdom stuff, the things that come from the Father.(repeat)
Let’s also pretend that Coke on the other hand is the world.(repeat)
By my own admission, there’s always some Coke in the Moffatt family grocery trolley. We are Salvationist’s we don’t smoke, we don’t drink, or gamble – but hey we have Coke in the fridge.
1) When I see a Coke bottle or Coke advertising I’m keen for a Coke. On a hot day I could be said to be craving a Coke. Water might be better for me, the truth is water is better for me, but there is water in Coke, Coke contains carbonated purified water, cane sugar, caramel 150d (colour), food acid (338), flavour, and caffeine. It says that about caffeine twice, the second time in bold letters.
On the other hand water contains two hydrogen atoms to every oxygen atom, a virtual trinity of atoms. All life is dependent on water if it knows it or not.
Coke all that yummy caramel coloured, caffeine enhanced goodness. The caffeine helps fuel the craving. That this has all been in the fridge – ice cold, (open the can), all enhances the craving, (take a sip) – how is that craving going for you? Now remember I’m pretending water is God’s Kingdom stuff and that Coke is the world.
2) Now the lust of the eyes, Coke comes in a “contour bottle” with its hoop skirt appearance and the “dynamic ribbon device” note the attractive red and white against the dark caramel of the liquid. With the trademark Coca-Cola, lettering. Nice! This is one of the most widely recognised designs in the world.
So along with the craving and the eye attractiveness thingy Coke is a must! I even found this bottle that has my name on it, have a Coke with Andrew, that’s clever.
Water on the other hand, well its always close, we see it in creation, it sustains life, it cleans us, allows growth, it rains down on us. All life is dependent on water whether it knows it or not. You could deny all knowledge of water but it still sustains you.
Like Coke / the world comes in different flavours; mmm vanilla, with or without sugar and it’s on special often. Water / that kingdom of God stuff is always there, the benefits of it are always there, the life sustaining growth that it brings is always there, you could almost take it for granted, how often do we pass it over for the Coke. Coke that liquid that comes in a variety of sizes, continually costs, not to mention the litter that is left behind. When if we just turned the tap on, if we just leapt into a lake of water we would have a supply that would never run out and the price of which has been paid for us.
The other thing about the world is that just when you believe that you have found satisfaction in Coca Cola, you discover Dr Pepper!
Lieutenant Andrew Moffatt
What thought? Every thought. The one I have about the Ford Mark One Zephyr that I would like to one day own, the one about how angry I get with repeating a request that someone shuts the door behind them, the thought about how I’d like that last slice of chocolate cake that is for another member of the family, the thought about how I deserve this or that, the thought about the attractive lady who smiles at me in the street, and here’s a biggy the thought about how ‘I earned it, it belongs to me! ‘
You see we all have thoughts we shouldn’t have and the world tells us that it’s OK to have them. Not every thought is worth having, in fact, some are down right hazardous to a person’s health.
Try these on for size:
Ill never be capable of doing that.
Just one, no one will ever know.
Everyone’s out or the kids are in bed, I can watch this programme.
Everyone else does it.
If I just wait around things will come right.
It’s only cheating if I get caught.
We humans, are inclined to do stuff wrong, we think wrong and then act in wrong ways. there is a process of thinking and action. Thought comes before action. If we can capture our thoughts and that’s every thought, even the ones that seem good, but are a bit self seeking and make them obedient to Christ, life is a lot easier.
The loan for the Zephyr, which I would so like, does not have to be paid back, you see in my case it’s a case of idolatry any way, and the Subaru is adequate, and much cheaper to run.
The door situation doesn’t erupt into an argument, because I come up with a suitable deterrent to the door not being shut, and discipline is how the young learn.
The chocolate cake fills the right stomach and I didn’t need it any way, I also don’t need to apologise or loose the extra calories.
I take any thought about the smile and think about the beautiful lady who smiled at me on our wedding day and continues to love me even knowing all my faults not just me at a glance. The gift of God that is our income is recognised as being a gift because God has gifted us with the ability to earn it. This is thinking how Jesus would have us think!
We know what these thoughts are, as we walk in the faith, we pick up the tools of the faith. “Thinking how Jesus would have us think” is one of those tools.
The scriptures and the Holy Spirit aid us to think correctly but we need to know them and respond to them.
LETTING GO OF SIN
Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of th...
1 John 2:15-2:17
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
Everyone put your hand out. Imagine with me that you have a lemon in your hand. Feel how cold it is since you just took it out of the refrigerator. Feel the two knobs on the ends? Ok, now take a knife and cut the lemon in half. Careful! Don’t cut yourself. Oh, look at the juice run down over the sides. Now, put one half down and just hold the other half of the lemon. Now, look at the inside of the cut lemon. Lean down and smell the lemon. Get a good full sense of the lemon fresh scent of the just cut lemon. Ok, now squeeze the lemon. See the juice ooze up and cover the surface of the cut lemon? Now - lick the lemon. That’s right! Lick the lemon. Ok, who feels like you have more saliva than you did a minute a go? How can that be? It was only pretend! The reason is because your body reacts to that which your mind thinks about.
Do you remember the Lord’s Prayer? Twenty-five percent of Christ’s fifty words have to do with deliverance from evil. What did he say? Matthew 6:13, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” I challenge you to make that petition before God. I challenge you to say, “From this day forward, I am going to adopt this keep me from evil attitude with the Lord.”
I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE HIM
In the classic "Twilight Zone" episode from 1960, "The Howling Man," an American on a walking trip through central Europe gets caught in a raging storm. Staggering through the blinding rain, he chances upon an imposing medieval castle. It is a hermitage for a brotherhood of monks. The reclusive monks reluctantly take him in.
Later that night, the American discovers a cell with a man locked inside. An ancient wooden staff bolts the door. The prisoner claims he’s being held captive by the "insane" head monk, Brother Jerome. He pleads for the American to release him.
The prisoner’s kindly face and gentle voice win him over. The American confronts Brother Jerome, who declares that the prisoner is actually none other than Satan, "the father of lies," held captive by the Staff of Truth, the one barrier he cannot pass.
This incredible claim convinces the American that Jerome is indeed mad. As soon as he gets the chance, he releases the prisoner—who immediately transforms into a hideous, horned demon and vanishes in a puff of smoke!
The stunned American i...
When the Federal troops occupied Cheraw, South Carolina, the Confederates left so much gun powder behind that the Union troops decided to dump most of it in a little creek. Some of the Union troops were looking for some entertainment so they scooped up handfuls of the powder and carried it to their cooking fires a few hundred yards away, where they exploded it amid much shouting and laughter. With each handful they grew more careless, and left numerous crisscrossing trails of powder running back to the ravine. Sergeant Theodore Upson of the 100th Indiana had just started his coffee boiling when he saw “a little flash of powder running along the ground.” A moment later he noticed that the powder flashes had multiplied and were running in all directions. Someone yelled, “Look out for the magazine!” Upson and his comrades “made some pretty quick moves” in putting as much space between themselves and the creek bed as the burning powder trails would allow. “Then there was a tremendous explosion,” Upson recorded. “The dirt and stones flew in every direction.” The ground shook for miles. The force of the blast destroyed several houses and shattered nearly every window in town. A storm of shell and shrapnel rained down for a half-mile in every direction. One officer and three enlisted men were killed as a result of the blast, and more than a dozen were wounded. Rumor had it that Sherman at first believed the explosion was an act of sabotage, and was on the verge of issuing orders to burn the rest of the town and execute the mayor in retaliation. He relented, however, when he learned that it was the carelessness of his own men that had caused the devastation.
Don’t play with the fire of temptation. It may seem fun for a while but eventually it will burn you and others. (Prov 6:27-28 NIV) Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? (1 Tim 6:11 NIV) But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
From Mark L. Bradley,The Battle of Bentonville: Last Stand in the Carolinas, pg. 67-69:
One fine Spring Sunday morning, a Priest was gazing out of a rectory window at a nearby Trout Stream. "Today would be a good day to sneak off and go fishing", he thought. The weather was perfect, his fly rod had new string, he had very recently heard reports of a good Trout run, and the Associate Priest was more than ready to handle the Mass. So, within minutes, the Mass was underway and the Priest was quietly sneaking out the backdoor, rod, net and creel in hand, heading upstream.
But he didn’t go unobserved. An Angel was watching his every move and went straight to God. "The Priest lied so he could sneak away and go fishing", the Angel reported to God.
Smiling, God said, "So he finally gave in to temptation."
The Angel nodded, "Should I alert the congregation, Sir, and allow him to be caught?"
"No, give him complete privacy," God said.
"Should I command the fishes to avoid him, so he gets skunked and catches nothing?", the Angel asked.
"No", God said, calmly, "We want the Priest to catch something. In fact, command the largest Trout in the stream to take the bait and give the Priest the fight of his life."
Confused, but loyal, the Angel did as God instructed and within minutes, the Priest had hooked a massive Trout. The fight was spectacular. The Priest was using every trick in the book to successfully land the fish. He loosened the drag so the giant fish could run and not snap the line. He slowly walked the bank, up one end and down the other, allowing the huge fish freedom and time to tire out. Finally, after an exhausting ten-minute ordeal, the massive Trout cruised into the shore and the Priest proudly scooped him up in the waiting net.
The Angel quickly turned to God, "Should I make a hole in the net so the fish is released?"
"No", God said, calmly, "The Priest will release the fish."
"What?" the Angel said, shocked, "The Priest lands the biggest fish in the stream, by far the biggest catch of his life and, forgive me God, but you actually expect him to release it?"
Smiling knowingly, God assures the Angel, "The Priest is supposed to be in Church. He can’t carry the giant fish into Mass and he certainly can’t talk about it to anyone."