(Orange, Texas)

Local News

May 25, 2013

Throw the book at him

ORANGE — Sunday school and worship shaped my early childhood church experiences on Sundays when, as a child, I attended the local Church of Christ. I especially loved to sing from the hymnbook. A line I still remember said, “Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin, each victory will help you some other to win.”

Everyone knows the allure and power of temptation. And it is true—as often said—It is not a sin to be tempted; it is a sin to yield to temptation. Yes, everyone (without exception) is tempted to do wrong, say wrong things dwell on a wrong desire. There is a vast and fertile field within every one of us that provides an unlimited source for temptations.

Here is a first step in understanding this: “People who are ruled by their desires think only of themselves. Everyone who is ruled by the Holy Spirit thinks about spiritual things. If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But, if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace. Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God's laws. If we follow our desires, we cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8 CEV).

Don’t despair. Here is a word of encouragement: “If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should” (Galatians 5:16-17 CEV). But there’s more: “And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25 CEV).

Our victory over temptation is centered in Christ and we receive great help from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus provides the best example for meeting and beating temptations. This is how he did it: “The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, ‘If you are God's Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.’ "Jesus answered, ‘The Scriptures say: No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken’” (Matthew 4:1-4 CEV).

Jesus threw the book at him!

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