1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Temptation comes in many forms and we all have to deal with it every day. Church folks are just like all other people, so they also have to struggle with unkind thoughts, improper desires, and un-Christian acts. In fact, most of us attend church because of our imperfections that separate us from God and sour our relationships with other people. The sanctuary becomes a place where confessional prayers are made on a Sunday morning, in order to receive Christ’s forgiveness and begin again.
Some people, however, really struggle with temptation and feel as though there is no way out of succumbing to it. Paul reminds us that this isn’t true – God understands what temptation is and provides a way to overcome it, if we choose to accept His guidance and grace.
As we approach Holy Week and especially Good Friday, we become more aware of our shortcomings, as well as the consequences of our sins. Jesus died for mistakes, wrong choices, and unholy deeds. He was crucified for our crooked thoughts, detrimental gossip, and damaging lies. We need Christ to be our Savior; we need Jesus to take and forgive our sins.
Questions for personal reflection
Have I been tempted recently to harm someone through prejudicial gossip, selfish choices, or bad behavior? Have I asked Christ to forgive me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us fully and totally. You hear our words and see our deeds. You know our struggle with temptation and when we surrender to sin. Forgive our foolish behavior that separates us from God and damages other people. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to make comments or ask questions about this message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Good Friday drawings called Passover King. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: King.