Summary: Say no to temptation, no matter how hard it may be, for there is no substitute for God’s presence in and provisions for our lives today and forever!
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, Jesus taught them what we call today the Lord’s Prayer.
Let us slowly pray it together: Our Father ……………
This prayer of course is not meant to be a repetitive, by rote type of prayer. It is a model for prayer. If it was meant to be a repetitive type prayer, Jesus would have said so. As a matter of fact, Jesus taught the same prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, but the words are not the same! However, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, we must regularly pray each topic of this prayer taught by Jesus!
How often do we really pray, “Lord, lead me not into temptation!”?
Now, why would Jesus instruct us to pray this prayer?
Jesus wants us to accept the fact that we should not get ourselves in tempting situations. We are to pray, lead us not into temptation, because Jesus knows (and we know personally don’t we?) that when we get to a tempting situation, many times, we give into sin!
If there is only one thing you can remember about this morning’s message, I encourage you to remember to pray regularly “Lord Jesus, lead me not into temptation!”
If you pray this prayer on a regular basis, maybe you won’t end up like this poor cat (show picture), wondering if he should eat the fish or not!
God teaches us in Scriptures that being tempted is not a sin. But giving in to the temptation is a sin.
Joseph is a hero for us in this area of our lives. Please open your Bibles to Genesis 39. Read along with me verses 5-23…………
Let me summarize the story.
Joseph the Israelite became a slave to the Captain of the Guard in Egypt. Joseph had no choice but to live with this Official of the Pharaoh and his family.
Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to be intimate with her. How strong was that temptation?
How often was Joseph tempted?
We note in verse 10 that Joseph was tempted everyday!
And before we talk about what Joseph did right, how did Joseph see what was wrong with being intimate with Potiphar’s wife? Joseph noted in v8-9 that sleeping with Potiphar’s wife would be 1. displeasing to his master, because it would be stealing and 2. is a sin against God.
Now, what did Joseph do right??
a. he refused the proposal (v8)
b. he tried to avoid her (v10)
c. he ran away from her (v12)
And because she didn’t get what she wanted and likely embarrassed, Potiphar’s wife got angry and lied to get Joseph to jail.
And so, even though he was innocent of any wrongdoing, Joseph faced hardship in prison.
What can we learn from this story of Joseph?
How often do we face temptation to displease someone and sin against God?? – Everyday!!!
We are tempted as soon as we look at the world!
Whether it’s through the media or other people, our minds daily wonder off away from God!
1. Let us not fool ourselves! We face temptation to sin everyday! And just like with Joseph, there will be many times when we will have no choice about temptations right in front of us. (share work example…)
We will all face temptations and those temptations can be very strong at times!
And because we face temptations everyday, remember what I shared at the beginning? We all must regularly ask Jesus for help in avoiding temptations! Pray regularly “Lord Jesus, lead me not into temptation!”
2. We must be alert to what sin is! Joseph knew that it would be sinning against his employer and God if he slept with Potiphar’s wife. Joseph acknowledged what Jesus teaches us today, to love God and people. Another godly habit we should practice daily is to ask ourselves, “Am I loving God and other people?” We would be sinning if we do not love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength and love others as ourselves. The greatest commandment from God is to love God and other people.
Maybe you are having a hard time with this command.
You see, loving God and others is an impossibility if you do not have God the Holy Spirit within you!
God is calling you to be the person He intended you to be; to be a loving person. How can you have the Holy Spirit help you? You must accept the fact that you are a sinner and you can not love God and others all by yourself! We all must claim the forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ death and resurrection and yield to Jesus Christ as our only God. We all must learn what true love is before we can truly love. Love is demonstrated through Jesus Christ suffering and dieing for our sins!