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Attended By Angels! (08.10.05--Character Counts!--Mark 1: 12-13)

Why am I tempted so much? Sometimes it just gets to be a real burden just coping with the day-to-day temptations that never seem to go away. “If God really loves me, why am I tempted so much?”

A number of years ago the Douglas Aircraft company was competing with Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets. War hero Eddie Rickenbacker, the head of Eastern Airlines, reportedly told Donald Douglas that the specifications and claims made by Douglas’s company for the DC-8 were close to Boeing’s on everything except noise suppression. Rickenbacker then gave Douglas one last chance to out-promise Boeing on this feature. After consulting with his engineers, Douglas reported that he didn’t feel he could make that promise. Rickenbacker replied, “I know you can’t, I just wanted to see if you were still honest.”(Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 22.)

Christian character is not a result of leading a life free of temptation. Temptation is a part of every Christian’s life. Just ask Christ. When He was in the desert for 40 days He was not free of temptation. The Bible tells us that He was “tempted by Satan” and “attended by angels.” The test of Christian character is not that you are tempted but that you stand up under temptation. Christians of good character are tempted and will always be tempted. True character depends upon resisting the devil’s advances, not being free of them. Character is a product of reacting to sin, not facing it. When we react to sin by fleeing from it, as was Christ, we will be attended by angels and be given the strength to stay the course.

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