Avoiding Temptation

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Avoiding Temptation
Scripture: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. So you become a Christian. You think,“Follow Jesus: that won’t be so hard. Obviously, this is the way I want to live, so I’ll avoid all the bad things." Unfortunately, it is not so easy to avoid those bad things –those sins – that keep you separated from God. But the good news at least, as St. Paul noted, is that anything that has tempted you, has tempted others, as well. Any sin you commit is not the first of its kind. Others know how you feel! But the even better news, he wrote, is that God will give you a way to avoid falling into the trap of yielding to your temptation and falling into sin. "Get Behind Me, Satan!"

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 4, our Lord Jesus was sorely and brazenly tempted before He started His ministry. Jesus had gone into the wilderness by Himself. While He was alone and hungry, the Evil One tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread, to have Him summon angels to attend Himself, and to make Jesus worship him. Each time, Jesus used God’s Word to rebuke the Devil; Jesus would not give in to sin even if it made his life easier for Himself. God doesn’t want us to give in to sin either. For us, temptation will probably not show up as the devil. But we are tempted to sin – to make life easier for ourselves, to enjoy a pleasure not allotted to us, to avoid something we don’t want to do – in hundreds of ways. Our temptations tend to show up in more earthy ways: for the original humans, it was eating a piece of fruit God told them not to. Have you ever taken a sweet, or something else, that didn’t belong to you? That’s an easy temptation to fall prey to. As Jesus quoted in Matthew 4, and in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, God taught His Chosen...
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