Summary: How to stay focused when tempted - Joseph vs. David
Living a Focused Life – Part 2
November 10, 2002
This week as we continue our series, living a focused life, we will be talking about how to focus on what can’t be seen.
Read about the Titanic from pages 1-2 of “Beneath the Surface”.
Just as the sinking of the Titanic is reality, sadly every day in our country hearts are braking and lives are being destroyed by temptations that lurk beneath the surface.
In our hearts we desire to do the right thing, but we often become weak in compromising situations.
Joke of girl and cookie jar
Where is that place we call the heart? We know the heart as the organ in our chest that pumps blood to the rest of our body. But is it something else? Did Hallmark invent the notion that our heart is a place where our emotions, attitudes, and sensibilities dwell? Hardly. The heart is a biblical concept, that is talked about a lot throughout scripture.
· God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was continually evil.
· we will find the Lord if we search for Him with all of our heart.
· We should love the Lord our God will all our heart, soul and strength.
· Joshua told the people to destroy the idols among them and turn their hearts to the Lord.
· The Lord said to Samuel, don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but Lord looks at a person’s heart.
· Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
· A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
· He that trusts in his own heart is a fool.
· the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?
· Jesus says that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
· out of a person’s heart come evil thoughts…
· Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled.
· It is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God…
Throughout the Bible God also gives us many examples of people that we can learn from when it comes to lessons about life.
For the next several minutes, we’ll be looking at the lives of two men who grappled with great temptations. One kept his heart focused on God, and the other allowed his heart to drift toward evil. One man stood firm, and the other man fell flat.
The first man is Joseph.
When we catch up with Joseph in Genesis 39, he has been sold into slavery as a result of his own brothers’ jealousy. After being transported to Egypt, Joseph is sold to a man named Potiphar who is the head of Pharoah’s secret service
Read Genesis 39:1-12
Later in the Bible another man is given to us as an example. Faced with a similar opportunity to make a life-determining choice, he, unfortunately, makes the wrong one.
The second man is David
When we think of David, we think of a shepherd, a giant killer, the king of Israel, someone that God said was a man after his own heart. Unfortunately we also think of this incident in David’s life where he was an adulterer and ultimately a murderer. What happened to David? He did not guard his heart when temptation came knocking. The good parts of David’s life are things that we all wish would happen to us. The bad parts of David’s life are things that could untimately happen to us, if we don’t guard our heart against temptation.
Video clip from “while you were sleeping” Have you ever felt like this?
We must realize that temptation is a part of everyday life and it will come to all of us.
James 1:13-15 “…when you are tempted to do wrong you should never say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.”
The question is, how will you handle temptation when it comes?
Even Jesus faced temptation. (Matthew 4:1-10)
When Jesus was tempted he focused on what God had said and followed it step by step. If Jesus found this to be a good strategy in avoiding temptation, you and I would too.
The Bible is a lot like the owner’s manual of our car. We don’t often read it unless we have a major breakdown or problem. If we consulted the owner’s manual before the problems, the problems could often times be avoided all together. The same is true with the Bible (our owner’s manual for life).