Tending the “Crops” – TEMPTATION [15]

In the last post, Healthy Seeds!! —> Healthy Harvest!!  –  TEMPTATION [14], http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ, I mentioned that when we plant “seeds” of kindness, thoughtfulness, etc., in time they will produce a beautiful and abundant harvest.

But what happens if we plant “seeds” of unkindness, uncaring, selfishness, adultery, sex before marriage (fornication), abuse of alcohol, pornography, etc? We’ll get a harvest alright, and it may be abundant, but instead of beautiful, it can be ugly, hurtful, destructive, isolating, and painful.

…whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6

This just makes logical sense.  If I want to have a harvest of apples, I don’t plant pumpkin seeds.  If I want a harvest of apples, I plant apple seeds.

pumpkin seeds            red-cross-hi                  apple-tree-lg

apple seeds      red arrow right      apple-tree-lg

 

We learned in this post and the last that the only way a harvest (a result) comes about is from the “seeds” we plant.  But in between the planting and the harvest is the “tending”.

NOTEEveryone is tempted from time to time.  James reminds us in James 1:13 that when tempted…  That is not an if statement, but a “you can guarantee you’ll be tempted” statement.

In fact, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray in Luke 11:1-4, Jesus teaches them the following prayer, called the Lord’s Prayer.

Father, may your name be kept holy.
    May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.

Notice the last line of the Lord’s PrayerAnd don’t let us yield to temptation.

Jesus obviously knew people would struggle with temptation.  In fact so much so that He included it in what is probably the most recited prayer in churches worldwide.

So I have a choice at the ”tending” point. Am I going to fuel the fire, or throw cold water on it and cool it down. Keep in mind that what you feed grows and thrives, for the good or for the bad. Choosing to cut off temptation’s “food” source will “kill” the temptation before it reaches the harvest.

Her are some examples of temptation’s “food” —

  • Lusting after a person when married to someone else
  • Watching or reading pornographic material
  • Thinking only about yourself and what will make “me” happy
  • Gossiping, bullying, drinking in excess, etc.

When I make the choice to “kill” the temptation, I’ll be able to continue along a more healthful path were I can thrive.

The Gospel writer, Matthew, warns us with this principle, If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. – Matthew 5:29

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** FOR MORE ON TEMPTATION SEE MY OTHER POSTS BELOW **

Healthy Seeds!! —>>  Healthy Harvest!!  –  TEMPTATION [14] – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-BQ

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Where Does My Desire to “Push the Envelope” Come From?? – TEMPTATION [3]

WHERE DOES TEMPTATION COME FROM?

In Mark 7:21-22, we learn that temptation is inside of us, in our thoughts.  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

                              evilheartout

 

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.  – James 1:14-15

                        Temptation-Cycle

 

HOPE FOR GOD-FOLLOWERS…

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. And afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

                               Crown

 

 

AN IMPORTANT FACT TO REMEMBER:

  •  As long we are on earth, and in our physical bodies, we can expect to experience temptation.

EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

  •   We don’t have to give into temptation. 

Temptation in and of its self is NOT a sin.  It becomes a sin once my sinful thoughts become actions.

 

** FOR MORE POSTS ON TEMPTATION SEE LINKS BELOW **

Are My Urges and Desires a Sin??  –  TEMPTATION [2],   http://wp.me/p5nZpi-vY

A Sneak Preview – How Can I Resist Temptation??  –  TEMPTATION [4],  http://wp.me/p5nZpi-xc

 

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CAUTION, DANGER, STAY AWAY!!! PROVERBS 5 [4]

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18

 

AVOID THE IMMORAL WOMAN  
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
    listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2 Then you will show discernment,
    and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
    and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
    as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
    She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
    Never stray from what I am about to say:
8 Stay away from her!
    Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor…
    

Proverbs 5 is titled, Avoid the Immoral Woman.  You’ll also notice, throughout chapter 5 that  Solomon refers to, my son.  Although it appears that the warnings of chapter 5 are just for boys/men, it applies to girls/women, as well.  Guys certainly can be smooth-talkers and flatterers in an attempt to seduce (entice into sexual activity) girls –  v.3 lips sweet as honey and mouth smoother than oil.  But at the same time, girls may choose to dress provocatively in an attempt to seduce guys, leading to sin – But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:28

Solomon says again with emphasis in v.8 –  stayaway
Otherwise, the result – v.9a – You will lose your honor

The surest way to protect yourself from getting caught up in sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage) is, v.8 – DON’T go near the door of her/his house.

dangerkeepoutdoor

You could take that to mean, in the literal sense, don’t go “home” with them.  Or, in the figurative sense, the “door” meaning to approach in conversation, put yourself in a vulnerable position (alone, one-on-one), etc.

Both of the above scenarios are assuming that you have found yourself in a tempting situation. A situation where you suspect the person you are with, or you yourself, may be tempted to be sexually immoral.

Naturally, it is ok to interact with people in a conversation, or hang out at friend’s houses.  But, for your own “protection”, and accountability,  it’s a good idea to hang out in a group versus one-on-one.

strength in numbers

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