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When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note "I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
Oscar Wilde: “I can resist anything except temptation.”
Wouldn’t it be great if God would just take us up to heaven the very moment we were saved? Then, we would never have to face temptation. But that’s not how God chooses to do things. Instead, he leaves us here on this earth, in the midst of all these temptations. So how do we deal with them? How do we live a godly life in the midst of a culture that constantly tries to keep us from doing so?
One option is isolation. And a lot of Christians try to do that by withdrawing from the world. But that seems to go against God’s plan for our lives as revealed to us in the Scriptures:
…You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.
Philippians 2:15 (NLT)
In fact, Jesus, on the night before he died on the cross, prayed for us and made it quite clear that we are not to isolate ourselves from the world:
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
John 17:14, 15 (NIV)
Instead of asking His Father to isolate his disciples from the world, Jesus asked Him to insulate us – to protect us from the evil one.
This morning, as we continue our study of 1 Peter, we want to discover how we can have hope in the midst of all these temptations we experience in the world around us each day.
Read 1 Peter 1:13-21
HOW TO HAVE HOPE WHEN I’M TEMPTED
Notice that Peter starts this section with the word “therefore”. You’ll remember from last week that the first 12 verses of this letter dealt with the whole idea of how to build a solid foundation for my hope. I build that foundation by:
Rejoicing in God’s will
Relying on God’s work
Remaining in God’s Word
So Peter says now that you’ve built that foundation, here’s how you can have hope when you’re tempted.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
1 Peter 1:13, 14 (NIV)
1. Renew my mind
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
• Filter out the bad
• Water filter
• Coffee filter
• Furnace filter
• Gas, oil and air filters on your car
• Pool/spa filter
Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:7 (NLT)
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