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December 27, 2021 3:00 am
Our spiritual adversary is a formidable foe. And he knows that if he can take down a believer who’s actively living out his faith, he scores a big win for his kingdom of darkness. Not only is the believer’s life affected but many others around him, as well.
Today on A New Beginning, in one of the year’s messages requested the most by our listeners, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn how to stand our ground and resist the temptations that seem to surround us constantly.
Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org.
A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners.
If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org again it's email@example.com you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org to name Pastor Greg Laurie Moran shown healthy growing Christians. Sometimes the favorite targets of our spiritual adversary. If you are growing as a Christian.
If you are progressing in the Christian life. Coming to the front stairs.
Why, because now you will become a bona fide threat to his kingdom. If you find yourself constantly being harassed and tempted that may be an indication you're on the right track and he knows if he could take down the believer who is actively living out his faith with his darkness.
Not only is the believer's life for many others around him as well. Today on a new beginning years messages requested the most wireless Greg Laurie helps us learn how to stand our ground seemed to surround the messages. Why does God allow temptation.
The life of the believer can attribute to the Scriptures you go to look for in James one. Look for in James one, so turn there if you would quick up all before we get started, how many of you have ever been tempted to sin. Raise your hand up okay.
How many of you have given into the temptation this and raise your hand up how many of you have resisted the temptation to sin, measuring interesting not quite as many hats.
I don't understand that maybe you want to really need to be here, but listen, here's what you need to know everyone gets tempted. It's not a sin to be tempted. It's only a sin when you give into what everyone faces that even pastors. Of course, heard a story about a minister that want to make off hospital call and he couldn't find a parking spot in the circle around and around and finally he double parked any yet, he put one of his little cards under the windshield wiper the case. An officer came along, he said, dear officer, I'm late for an appointment to minister to somebody and so I circle the block 10 times. I couldn't find a space and then the minister wrote forgive us our trespasses, so the minister went to meet his visit and came back out and saw a parking ticket under the windshield wiper was little surprised by that but he noticed the officer wrote something extra on the ticket and the officer wrote these words dear Rev. I circle this blog for 10 years of I don't give you a ticket. I'll get fired and then the officer wrote lead us not into temptation, but I guess it officer read his Bible to that's what I want to talk about why does God allow temptation know this is a part of our series, whatever he growing Christian needs to know we've already seen the importance of studying the Bible. If we want to grow spiritually. We seen the importance of prayer life. If we want to grow spiritually. We seen the importance of being a vital part of a church that we want to grow spiritually.
Now him and talk about why temptation comes. It doesn't make sense. Why would God allow us to be tempted. What possible good can come out of it will. Here's what you need to know if you are indeed growing as a Christian. If you are progressing in the Christian life.
You're going to come into the crosshairs of the devil. Why, because now you will become a bona fide threat to his kingdom. If you find yourself constantly being harassed and tempted that may be an indication you're on the right track. If you can't remember the last time you are tempted. Maybe you're not worth attempting. Think about that.
See. So here's what we need to understand everyone will be tempted in. Even Jesus was tempted and that's what were looking at here in Luke chapter 4.
Our Lord is beginning his public ministry at the age of 30 is going down of the Jordan River is been baptized by his cousin John and the Holy Spirit. As you recall, came upon Christ in the form of a dog in the father actually spoke from heaven that said this is my beloved son in whom I am well please. What an epic moment we see the Trinity in action here, father, son and Holy Spirit. So what happens next, we read that immediately after that Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil wants. After a moment like that yes after a moment like that.
After the dove came the devil after the blessing came the temptation know why was Jesus tempted, let's get technical, in a literal sense God cannot be tempted. He's not contemptible. He doesn't have a sinful nature back where you told in Scripture.
James 13 God cannot be tempted with evil. Neither does he himself tempt any man's only talked about the temptation of Christ. He was tempted in one sense, but in another sense. He did not have the vulnerability to give in to the temptation. Having said that I would add Jesus did feel the pressure in the presence of temptation. Why would he go through that so he would be able to help us to understand that he has walked in our shoes so we would understand that we serve a God that knows what it's like to face temptation. And he sympathizes with us about Hebrews 415. Speaking of Christ says this high priest of ours understands our weaknesses pretty face all the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of grace of our gracious God that will receive his mercy and find grace to help us when we need it so you can feel God doesn't know what it's like to live in the 21st century cognizant know what it's like to face temptation. Actually, God does know what it's like and he basted.
Here's another reason why believe Jesus was tempted the occupy ground that we can occupy. Let me restate that Jesus face this so will see how we should face it gives us a template to follow for the next time we come under temptation. So he's giving us an example to follow us know nobody likes being tempted. It's a horrible thing to have to go through but but there is some value that can come from it. It's been said one Christian is been tempted is worth more than a thousand who haven't been on another person said Christians are a lot like teabags you don't know what they're made up you put them in hot water. Maybe you're the hot water of temptation right now and your thinking.
Why is God allowing this in my life because it can make you stronger. It can cause you to be more dependent upon God and see his abundant resources that are at your disposal is sort of toughened you up as a follower of Christ to listen to this statement and this is a our first text here. James one verse 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he is been approved to receive the crown of life whom the Lord's promise to those who love him to write up about.
We see some important things about temptation. Number one, it can be endured, it can be resisted on that later. Number two. There is a reward for the person who endures temptation because of promises or receive the crown of life.
And thirdly, you'll be a happy person if you resist temptations call because it says blessed is the man or literally happy is the man who resists or endures temptation not yours will get a look at the verse of the force or look for a look at six things about temptation number one will get a look at where temptation comes from where temptation comes from number two will you look at when temptation comes when temptation comes number three. How does temptation come. How does temptation come number four Buddhist temptation come to who doesn't come to five. Where is the best place to be when it comes. And lastly, number six. What is the primary weapon.
We should used to resist that key ready to, let's read look for you to read verses 1 to 13. Now Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Being tempted for 40 days by the devil. And in those days. He ate nothing and afterwards when the it ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, if, by the way this can be translated since so it wasn't a question of if Jesus was the son of God, Satan was effectively affirming it to be translated since since you are the son of God, says the double. Why don't you command the stone to become bread. Jesus answered him, saying it is written. Underlying that phrase man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God, then the devil took him up to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time in the devil said all this authority I will give to you and their glory.
This is been delivered to me and I can give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you will worship before me. All of this will be yours. Jesus answered and said get behind me Satan, for it is written. Underlying that phrase again. You shall worship the Lord God and him only shall you serve. Then Satan brought him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said since you are the son of God, throw yourself down from here forward. It is written notice." Scripture no bread is written, he will give his angels charge over you to keep you and in your hands will bear you up lets you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus answered and said it is been said, you shall not tempt the Lord your God. Now when the devil it ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time for Greg Laurie of the second half of this message moment right after a quick look at the way a new beginning touches the lives of listeners in my lap and the Lord now and having a hearing the radio and a thousand every way every means I'm so grateful. Thank you for your monsters like that really move me think of this. This young lady is a little girl, hearing our program and that she obviously made some bad choices in life, becoming an addict where own admission, but coming back to the Lord of the Bible says if you train a child in the way that they should go the come back to the return to it and that's what happened with this young lady and that's when so important to when you're driving around with your kids in your car bring to listen to contemporary Christian music. Great to listen to Christian radio and can I just say really great to listen to a new beginning because the word of God will not return void. So were so thankful that our ministry is touched or back in her childhood to this present day, and that's why we do what we do and we couldn't do what we do without the support of our listeners. Thanks much for praying for us and for investing so this work can continue. You can make a generous year-end gift today at harvest.orc well today. Pastor Greg is beginning to offer six observations on how to resist temptation based on the Lord's response to temptation, recorded in Luke chapter 4. Let's continue. Okay so let's deal with issue number one.
Where does temptation come from, where does it come from well we play a key role in our own temptation.
Satan needs our cooperation in this area where there is no desire on our part. There is no temptation. It's been said, it takes two to make a successful temptation and you are one of the two okay so it's very easy to blame everything on the devil or blame everything on someone who may be tempted. Your are, whatever it is you're facing.
But the reality is you have to cooperate with it. James one 14 says everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires is enticed and what desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it's full-grown, brings forth death.
Now in this simple verse for these two verses I should say we have the five steps of temptation).
James 114 to 16. First of all, we have the temptation itself. Everyone is tempted, again reminding us that everyone faces it first Corinthians 1013 says there is no temptation taken you but such as this, and the man you're not the only person that had those crazy thoughts know you're not losing your mind you're not the only person that's been under that pressure.
You're not the only person in his face. The temptation that you face it, and the man we all face it, so we need to understand that and everyone is tempted, but there's always a way out number two let's say you're drawn your you're attracted to that thing you're tempted now you're under its power. Verse 14 drawn away by your own desires your own desires. This is the whole thing of try this sample take a test drive. Go ahead and buy, you can return it if you want that this is the strategy of that because you know I'm pretty good with resisting dessert. I like dessert but I don't crave dessert now you put hot bread in front of me and I collapse I love hot bread and especially with butter on it but tell, you know, dessert us, and I don't want dessert software. Maybe in a restaurant reading some of the ones you dessert now and wanted some is a lie wanted to. And okay, bring the desert with four forks right so everyone to start eating and I'll say to myself on a community event dessert. I'm just it's a matter of principle. I'm not having an instrument is a truly good great trek of catch a little bit only need is that taste and now it's like I'm a shark that smelled blood.
Okay, this is nothing my wife. You know she likes to eat things in a long leisurely way so she'll take a bite if even for a whole the bite way she talks like this in the moment she turned away, I might you notice the rightmost of intrinsic part of the food go.
I don't know it. But here's the thing it was that little taste that gets me or maybe it's a test drive. You never plan the mind that car all but now that you have that new car smell and it even experience it now.
You said yourself, I must have it will that's temptation you think I will do this thing. I will give into this temptation in the ticket for a little mental test drive. I would never act on that lustful thoughts, but I'll go ahead and just play it through in my mind just for fun, sort of a little fantasy. There is no harm. There I would never actually reach out in kill a person, but all just sort of entertained the thought of beating them many times. It hurt whatever it is, but the ideas you take it mentally you see her already getting pulled it step number three are almost took verse 14 James one. You're drawn away by your own desires and enticed on that this is becoming problematic. It's like a hoax. It and you're getting wielded. There's still a way out and remember friends there's always a way out. There's always a way out again. At first Corinthians 1013 there's no temptation that you face.
That's not common to man, but God was faithful will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able, but will temptation make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Listen to this. Sometimes a way of escape is as simple as the door. It's just the door. You know, maybe you're being tempted your laying down on a bed with your girlfriend, your sin, I'm facing sexual temptation in this hotel room we just booked and I'm laying here and I don't know why this is happening.
Number one because you're an idiot. Number two you planted in you set yourself up. Well Otto I resisted your case you need to get out of there as quickly as you can.
Simple as that.
You don't need leaders it could give me strictness shut up with the ticket out get out like when Potiphar's wife.
The original cougar this older woman get on young Joseph. She pulled them down on the bed and effectively said, have sexual relations with me and he ran.
Sometimes I just the best thing to do. Just run see at this point we have a problem you know you're almost took your you're enticed to your thinking your processing your considering memory to step number four. The hook is set desire is conceived to give birth to sin. So you act on it continued to and maybe there's a little bit of fun but short-lived pitcher lived. Maybe there's not even a little bit of fun. Maybe it's just miserable from the get go.
But whatever little momentary pleasure.
You have now since Edson the deadness of sin sets and you don't talk about and the guilt sets in every consciences working so I have a problem though you're separated from God in fellowship and then the effects of sin said in verse 15 and sin when it's full-grown, brings forth death. They get big and it becomes potent, you know, we have a couple rabbits or grandkids do a should say in one is named fuzzy and cute little Robert really like that Robin went on about another rabbit that was even smaller than fuzzy.
You hold this rabbit and the palm your hand.
I think his name was Martin so there's fuzzy whose full-grown martins. This tiny little Robert.
I don't know what happened but Martin just grew like a weed mixing you know Martin is bigger than fuzzy.
In any kind of not cute anymore fuzzies can dark brown the martins and about weird like he came in from the field or something and then the thing is is Martin is kind of aggressive it's like fuzzy would let you pet him and now the martins around them. Martin is a bad influence on fuzzy thinking fuzzy back to his wild rabbit ways you know and and and as he is in the little rabbit.
You could pet anymore.
They're both, while the barn gets bigger and bigger and then one day, Martin just dies. We don't know why he died. We said by okay so I was in a Martin you that sin, you know, it starts up. It's so cute. Just see look that gets bigger will this really bit the promise since I can about your gonna die is can have its way with you, so don't even start with the thought you have resisted at the get go.
So having said all of that everyone is going to be tempted and that everyone is going to face it. At some point in their life. And so here we find Jesus facing temptation and you I think it's very easy for us to place the blame on others.
Again, quoting James 13 let no man say when he is tempted, I'm tempted by God.
Don't blame it on God. We do that sometimes cottage or fall.
Adam did that I didn't know who play out in plain view is either God or his wife. But after he gave into sin. He said Lord it's the woman you gave me. So even the emphasis is on woman or the emphasis is on you know it's either Adam said it's the woman you gave me, or it's the woman you gave me either way you look at it. Adam is shifting blame is not taking responsibility for thought my Paul.it's your fault it's her fault, that of course he says, well, the serpent tricked me. So she blames the devil. No one's accepting responsibility for their actions here, but that's what it is something that were all going to from one of the years most Pastor Greg Laurie is highlighting important insights on temptation and how we can avoid it. And there's more. We can learn from Jesus temptation and look for as this message continues here on a new beginning and be listening for the next several weeks as we highlight our best of collection for 2021 and then were so excited about making a wonderful video resource available for you and your family have you heard of the television series called the chosen.
It's the first multi-season series about the life of Christ, and it's also get this the highest crowd funded TV series or film project of all time. It's a series that portrays Christ through the eyes of those who met him and walked with him and it's powerful. The cinematography is stunning and the acting is really first-rate and how accurate is it to what we read in Scripture. Well, the show has biblical scholars from a variety of denominations reviewing scripts to ensure historical and biblical accuracy. The chosen helps you see what it's like to live life side-by-side with Jesus as he encounters needy people who need a touch of the Masters hand. Pastor Greg says this is the best for trail of the life of Christ he's ever seen on film and we want to make season one of the critically acclaimed series called the chosen available to you on DVD as our thank you gift for your donation right now, that's an investment in change lives through a new beginning and through our large evangelistic events. We heard this from someone who just attended SoCal harvest a few weeks ago I listen with my heart instead of my ears and it became clear I need Jesus in my life.
Not tomorrow, not five minutes from now.
But right now what your investment helps people have a moment of decision like that.
So we hope to make a donation today. You can donate securely firstname.lastname@example.org or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call any time around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 Pastor Greg has a lot more to share with you six observations about temptation and how we can resist more from one of the top 10 most requested messages of the year. Join us here on new beginning pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and thanks for letting Greg Laurie a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org