Tag Archives: Temptation

Alone With God

Alone,
with God,
with myself,
with my demons.

Faced with the stark realities
of my life.

Where do I put my trust,
where do I look for nourishment,
where do I seek validation?

Do I try to live without God?
Filling my life with stuff
that fails to satisfy?

Do I think I can look after myself?
Or trust God to rescue me
when I have got myself into a mess?
Or do I seek him first,
before I jump?

Do I want to test God?
To see how far I can push him?
How far I can go?

Do I put my trust
in the wrong things?
Am I distracted by the shiny,
and lose my focus on God?

Lord,
this lent,
I want to walk with these questions,
to come again
to you.

Deepen my trust,
my faith,
my worship,
my service,
I pray

Matthew 4:1-11 (GNT)

The Temptation of Jesus

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.”

But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’”

Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says,

‘God will give orders to his angels about you;
    they will hold you up with their hands,
    so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’”

Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. “All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’”

11 Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

 

Standing By

1 Corinthians 10:12 

12 Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. (CEV)

12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (NIV)

When I think I’ve got it right,
above temptation,
so sure of what I say,
beyond reach,
immovable
and untouchable

that Lord,
is when I am relying on me,
not you;
going by what I think,
my position

and when I am weak,
beacause I am no longer looking at you.

I come
in my vulnerability,
my less than certainty,
my times of wobble
and despair

Let my certainty
and hope
be in you
and not where I stand

for only in you
may I be sure,
only in you
may I stand firm

Could I, Would I, Should I, Will I?

Could I, would I, should I, will I?

Give up something, that is perfectly acceptable to me, if my doing it hurts or harms someone else?

Just because I think it is OK, someone else may not be able to cope with it.

Paul’s focus here is on food, but the scope is much wider.  What am I doing in my life, that may be harming the life of others?  What do I do, possibly even without thinking, that is making life harder for someone else?  Making it more difficult for them to hang on in there, or stick to their path?  Putting temptation in someone else’s way?  Making them angry or upset – with good reason?  What things do I say, that would be better not said?

Things that may be effecting my life, without me realising, or even thinking?

Something to pause and think on as we journey through Lent.

1 Corinthians 8  (CEV)

Food Offered to Idols

In your letter you asked me about food offered to idols. All of us know something about this subject. But knowledge makes us proud of ourselves, while love makes us helpful to others. In fact, people who think they know so much don’t know anything at all. But God has no doubts about who loves him.

Even though food is offered to idols, we know that none of the idols in this world are alive. After all, there is only one God. Many things in heaven and on earth are called gods and lords, but none of them really are gods or lords. We have only one God, and he is the Father. He created everything, and we live for him. Jesus Christ is our only Lord. Everything was made by him, and by him life was given to us.

Not everyone knows these things. In fact, many people have grown up with the belief that idols have life in them. So when they eat meat offered to idols, they are bothered by a weak conscience. But food doesn’t bring us any closer to God. We are no worse off if we don’t eat, and we are no better off if we do.

Don’t cause problems for someone with a weak conscience, just because you have the right to eat anything. 10 You know all this, and so it doesn’t bother you to eat in the temple of an idol. But suppose a person with a weak conscience sees you and decides to eat food that has been offered to idols. 11 Then what you know has destroyed someone Christ died for. 12 When you sin by hurting a follower with a weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 So if I hurt one of the Lord’s followers by what I eat, I will never eat meat as long as I live.

Lord,
help me to reflect on all I do.
To realise the things that damage others,
don’t help in situations,
point people in the wrong direction
and are unhelpful to me.

I hand them to you,
and receive
your forgiveness
release
and life.