Summary: What must we do when tempted? What can we do? 1- When tempted - don’t blame God 2- When tempted - do blame yourself 3- When tempted - do look up
INTRO.- ILL.- Thomas Edison was once asked how he resisted temptations. He said, “Never have any. I don’t have time.”
I love his idea of escaping the temptation to do evil. Keep busy doing good. If your life is filled with doing good you will no have time or thought for doing evil.
Matthew 12:43-45 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
When a house or life is empty it’s wide open to anything or anyone to come in, but if it’s occupied with good stuff, evil cannot enter. SO WITH OUR LIVES! If we fill our lives with good stuff: worship, service, prayer, and praise, it’s less likely that evil or the evil one will enter in.
Romans 13:11-14 “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
ILL.- One lady said, “I can resist everything but temptation.” What else is there to resist but temptation to sin? What is it that gets to you? Materialism, Pride, Self-centeredness, Laziness, Anger, Sexual lust, Gluttony, Lying, WHAT?
All of us are tempted by something. And temptation in itself is not bad. Temptation means the devil wants your soul. If you were never tempted to sin then it’s possible that the devil already had you in his grasp. What a horrible thought! And yet, in some ways, it happens.
Ephesians 2:1-3 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”
Dead in your sins! Who is that? All who have never believed in and trusted Christ for their salvation! At one time, we all were dead in sins because we live according to our fleshly appetites, the ways of the world and the evil one who is at work in this world.
But we still have a problem, do we not? We are still tempted to sin! And we must do something about these temptations.
PROP. - What must we do when tempted? What can we do?
1- When tempted - don’t blame God
2- When tempted - do blame yourself
3- When tempted - do look up
I. WHEN TEMPTED - DON’T BLAME GOD
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
ILL.- A manager of a minor league baseball team was so disgusted with his center fielder's performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The next one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun--until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms; unfortunately, it flew between is hands and smacked him in the eye.
Furious, he ran back to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the uniform, and shouted. “You idiot! You've got center field so messed up that even I can't do a thing with it!”
We humans are pretty good when it comes to the “blame game.” We don’t like to take responsibility for our own failures or sins. We prefer to blame it on someone else. “Well, I would never have smoked had it not been for my dad who smoked.” Or “I remember when my friend took me to a bar and bought me my first beer and that started my drinking problem.”