Truth for Life - February 20, 2016

February 20

Guard Against Temptation

Matthew 4:1

A holy character does not prevent temptation--Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ's case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Spirit, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial.

Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. Solitude has its charms and its benefits and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritually minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation.

The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against satanic temptation. Christ was consecrated through and through. It was His meat and drink to do the will of Him that sent Him--and yet He was tempted! Your hearts may glow with an angelic flame of love for Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to lukewarm uselessness. If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armor, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation.

Like the old knights in wartime, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded moment to make us his prey. May the Lord keep us watchful in all seasons and grant us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Job 20

verse 2 1 Corinthians 7

ESV Daily Devotional New Testament

The ESV Daily Devotional New Testament will help readers become familiar with the central message of the Gospel by guiding them through the entire New Testament over the course of one year.  
 
Featuring 365 devotions, each day includes two readings – one from the first half of the New Testament (Matthew through Acts) and one from the second half (Romans through Revelation). After each reading, a short reflection helps readers consider the meaning of the passage and understand how it relates to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Each devotion concludes with a short passage from the Psalms that ties thematically into the day’s Bible reading, as well as a “Thoughts for Prayer” section to guide personal prayer and meditation.  

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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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