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Tag Archives: overcoming temptation

Getting Too Close to the Fire

There is something intriguing about fire.  Perhaps, this may explain why boys are drawn to experiment and play with fire.  In January of 1983, English Rock Band Def Leppard introduced their latest album entitled Pyromania.  Over 10 million copies were sold in the United States suggesting either this sound or a fascination with fire contributed to its success.

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?  Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? – Proverbs 6:27-28

As an adult, the concept of fire still applies, but usually in a different context.  The Bible uses fire as an analogy, comparing it with temptation.  Drawn in by the flames, Solomon suggests that if you get too close to the fire, you will eventually get burned.  Unfortunately, the scars will not appear on your skin like burn victims.  Rather, the soul can be scorched, resulting in soul ties and eventually soul spirit hurts if you engage and indulge in temptation.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God, Hebrews 10:26-27.

The author of Hebrews addresses those who become addicted to playing with fire.  Whenever you find yourself in a downward spiral, committing the same sin over and over again, God’s grace is being cheapened daily.  Essentially, individuals are crucifying Jesus over and over again with each sin.  Therefore, intervention is often necessary to drag someone out of addictive habits.  If this blog finds you a pyro or under the influence of some other sin, practice the words of James 5:16 so that you will be healed before its too late.

by Jay Mankus

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The Value of a Soul

One of Jesus’ commands made to first first century followers involves the human soul.  After the heart, the soul is placed in front of the mind as the second most important part of the human body.  The context of this passage summarizes the first and greatest commandment.  This message highlights the value of a soul.

Jesus replied: “ ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,’ Matthew 22:37.

While talking to his disciples, Jesus suggests that its possible to forfeit your soul.  Maybe He was trying to warn Judas Iscariot of his initial thought of betrayal.  On the other hand, Jesus appears to recognize an unhealthy pattern within Peter.  Beginning to think like Satan, Jesus brings this concern front and center, afraid that one of his leaders could have their soul poisoned by evil.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? – Matthew 16:26

This caution continues today with countless distractions to lure a soul away from God.  The Devil still uses the same temptations Jesus endured in Matthew 4.  Every day physical, mental and spiritual obstacles lurk around every corner.  The question is will you allow temporary pleasures to alter your standards?  Whatever your decision, may you embrace the value of a soul by resisting the Devil and drawing near to God.

by Jay Mankus

What Happens Here Stains Eternity

A couple of times a year I put on a brand new shirt or sweatshirt for the first time, proudly seeing how it looks in the mirror.  Unfortunately, a careless bite later often produces a stain.  The only thing worse is putting a new outfit in the dryer without catching this blemish.  Once dried, there’s nothing you can do except donate or throw this piece of clothing out.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

If you watch a lot of television, you are probably beginning to see commercial blitzes for travel destinations.  This is the time of year that cities and states are trying to sway you to plan a summer vacation or visit during a long weekend.  Perhaps, I’ve never given it much thought before, but Las Vegas’ calling card, “what happens here stays here,” got under my skin recently.  In the spiritual realm, what happens here stains eternity.

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings, 1 Peter 5:9.

In this day and age, no one is immune from embarrassing moments.  Friends may even bring up painful remainders of the past to keep you humble.  Yet, even Peter who denied Jesus in public three times learned from his previous mistakes.  Although what happens here on earth stains eternity, this portion of Peter’s letter highlights the importance of faith.  Thus, the next time you’re tempted to do something your heart or soul is telling you is wrong, resist this urge.  Rather, be alert and keep in step with the Spirit of God.

by Jay Mankus  

Run for Your Life

Some will point to the Woodstock Music Festival in the summer of 1969 as the birthplace of America’s sexual revolution fueled by recreational drugs.  This movement led the United States government to declare a war on drugs in the 1980’s.  Public service announcements were used to encourage young people to reject this temptation behind Nancy Reagan’s leadership.  Unfortunately, a commercial doesn’t help individuals when temptation arrives.  Thus, sometimes whether if it sounds smart or not, a prudent person will run for their life.

She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house, Genesis 39:12.

A naive Joseph finds himself in an awkward predicament, as his bosses wife wants to have sex, making a pass at him day after day.  Like a stalker waiting for the perfect moment, Potiphar’s wife get’s her wish, finally alone with Joseph.  Sensing the inevitable, Joseph flees the scene, knowing this time he will not be able to withstand her advances.  While the curious may celebrate and indulge in the pleasures of life, Joseph’s conscience prevents him from giving in to lust.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,”Genesis 4:7.

Unfortunately, sin if often premeditated.  Those who have already made up their minds, the only thing that remains is the actual act.  This is where we find Cain, as a spirit of jealousy has pushed him to the brink, contemplating the idea of getting rid of his brother.  If you ever reach this point, running for your life is one of the last viable options remaining.  Therefore, before you take a bite of forbidden fruit, follow in the footsteps of Joseph by fleeing from temptation.  By doing this, you will find favor from God.

by Jay Mankus

The Allure of Money

If you are a fan of reality television, then you likely understand the allure of money.  Shows like Insane Pools, Tanked and Treehouse Masters help Americans visualize what a couple of hundred of thousand dollars can buy you.  Thus, if you’re not careful, the eternal can be replaced by temporary treasures, distracting individuals for a life time.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs, 1 Timothy 6:10.

Money in itself is okay, used to provide the needs of life.  The love of money is what is harmful.  This love refers to a lust, craving and coveting what you neighbors have instead of being thankful for what God has given you.  This obsession often leads to deception as individuals are lured away from the faith.  For many, they don’t recovery, dragged behind the devil’s door.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5.

The author of Hebrews provides the solution to the allure of money.  The key is maintaining a level head by staying content with the hand God has dealt you.  This is accomplished through a spirit of thankfulness.  When you possess this quality, individuals recognize God is the source behind your wealth.  Therefore, don’t be tempted by what you don’t have.  Rather, embrace the little things in life so that the allure of life won’t hold you down.

by Jay Mankus

 

Council for the Tempted

One of the ploys of the devil is to make people think that they are all alone, with nobody who truly understands their situation.  Those who fall prey to this mentality often leads to isolation, causing struggling people to feel abandoned by God.  This lie blinds many from the reality that there is council for the tempted.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin, Hebrews 4:15.

According to the author of Hebrews, there is one person who is able to empathize with our weaknesses.  Yet, despite enduring the same temptations common to mankind, Jesus did not sin.  Thus, there is a reliable individual who can relate to the human race.  Therefore, when you are on the verge of giving in, fix your eyes on Jesus.

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, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The apostle Paul discovered that there is a way out of every temptation.  Its unclear whether the Holy Spirit or Jesus himself revealed this information.  Nonetheless, for those of you facing extreme situations, these words are helpful council for the tempted.  Therefore, the next time you consider giving in, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the way out.  This bit of advice will provide the defeated with direction toward victory in Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Serve the Lord Without Distraction

The apostle Paul refers to a time in the future where peril will reign.  An era when the world will be influenced by sinful pleasures.  Whether today is that time, only God knows.  Nonetheless, its essential for Christians to hold fast by serving the Lord without being distracted.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1.

Despite this great dilemma, an Old Testament prophet provides a source of hope.  To prevent the love of Christ from being extinguished, the Holy Spirit will fill people of faith.  While the form in which the Spirit is poured out remains a topic of debate, this invisible force is essential to keep in step with God, Galatians 5:25.  If you try this alone, distractions will lure you away, halting your service for a season or more.

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions, Joel 2:28.

In reason years, the times I felt like I was on the right track, something got in my way.  Usually, pride lures me into a false sense of security.  A day, week or month later, all the spiritual momentum that I built up was gone.  Thus, I learned the hard way about the importance of a consistent witness.  Therefore, don’t allow distractions to linger.  Rather, lean on God’s grace and mercy to begin again to serve the Lord without distraction.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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