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Have a plan before you are tempted!

How to deal with temptation
(my notes from a sermon)
                         
Jesus didn't get into arguments with the devil. If you do that you have lost. ~ Dr. Charles Stanley 

Immediately go into the word of God. 

Have a plan to protect yourself. It's not a coincidence that Jesus was approached by satan after having the awesome experience of being baptized.

We are susceptible to having a fall after having a great spiritual revelation.

Matthew 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

Immediately we learn that evil appeared to the Son of God who had just had the spiritual experience that kicked off his ministry!

Matthew 4:1-2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 

Notice that evil comes when Christ was vulnerable in his humanness (like we are). Hunger, sorrow, illness, addiction, anxiety...fill in your weakness...evil will haunt you when you are most susceptible.

Matthew 4:3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 

Satan tempts with great things when we are the most susceptible. Be careful because it's temporary or false.

Jesus gave us a way out! Go to the Bible! 

Matthew 4:4 
Jesus quoting Deuteronomy: It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone. Rather, he lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Eternal One.” 

This is why you must know where to turn in the Bible when you are tempted. Prepare yourself with scriptures! 

Don't make excuses. Now you know.


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Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, all who wait with hope for the LORD, and let your heart be courag…

Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
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