Summary: How to ovecome temptation
How Will the Church Be Lighted?
Several centuries ago in a mountain village in Europe, a wealthy nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople. He made a good decision. He decided to build them a church. No one was permitted to see the plans or the inside of the church until it was finished. At its grand opening, the people gathered and marveled at the beauty of the new church. Everything had been thought of and included. It was a masterpiece. But then someone said, “Wait a minute! Where are the lamps? It is really quite dark in here. How will the church be lighted?” The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls, and then he gave each family a lamp, which they were to bring with them each time they came to worship. “Each time you are here” the nobleman said, “the place where you are seated will be lighted. Each time you are not here, that place will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God’s house will be dark” That’s a poignant story, isn’t it? And it makes a very significant point about the importance of our commitment and loyalty to the church. The poet Edward Everett Hale put it like this: I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do. What if every member of your church supported the church just as you do? What kind of church would you have? What if every single member served the church, attended the church, loved the church, shared the church, and gave to the church exactly as you do? What kind of church would you be?
The devil never loses his nature. It is like the story of the man who was a world famous animal trainer. He could do tricks with many animals. He had raised a Boa Constrictor since it was a few days old. He taught the snake to coli itself around him, start to squeeze him and then to the amazement of the crowd the snake would release him. He did this for 25 years but then one day as he was performing this act before a large crowd the snake took back its nature and the man lost his life, as the snake did not stop squeezing until the man’s life was gone. He cried out for help but it was too late. I want to let you know that it is the nature Satan to squeeze or crush the life out of you. He wants to offer you great things as he did here to Christ. His force to run us comes through temptations. We have talked about the first temptation in the last two messages and now we want to speak on the second one. The first on had to do with the lust of the flesh or to let our self be controlled by the physical needs over our spiritual needs. We might think we can escape from the Devil coming after us repeatedly with temptations but if we let him get a foothold, he will not relate you like being caught in a bear trap. He comes to us as the animal trainer thought he snake was but found out he was deadly. “The devil made me do it,” is not an excuse we can make up for we make the choice to say yes or no to temptation. How does temptation come? JAM 1:14-15 “Temptation comes from the enticement of our own evil desires? These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.” So there are three steps to sin, 1. We let out evil desires mange our thought life, 2. Those thoughts become actions and 3. Those actions lead us to spiritual death. This is what the Bible tells us in James.
We are never to think the devil that we can resist the devil once and that will be the end of the times he will tempt us. It says after the temptation that the devil left him until a more convenient time. We have in the gospels that Jesus defeated the devil in this time of temptation but the devil did not try again. So we need to be on our guard all the time. The first temptation which we have talked about had to do with the doing part of our lives. The second deals with the having part of our lives. The devil offered to Christ all the kingdoms of the world. There are three things to notice here.
I. “I’ll do it my way and do not need God’s help in my life.”