How to Overcome Temptation, Part 23 (Onward Christian Soldiers #146)
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 23”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are going to continue looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are reviewing what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are going to continue looking at today is the sin of “covetousness”. We have already looked at four verses on this topic. Today, we delve more deeply into one of the passages that we looked at previously and see what more it can tell us about fighting the temptation of covetousness or wickedly desiring what others have. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website GLHOPI.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
1 Timothy 6:3-11:
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Paul gives another reason why we should not be covetous in this passage in verse seven. It is remarkably simple, but one which I believe most people really do not consider in their lives. He says, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” His words echo those of Job who said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither.” The searching preacher of Ecclesiastes also expressed the same wisdom when he stated, “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.”
All of these passages encourage us to have an eternal perspective on life and not to get bogged down in the mundane pursuit of material possessions. Even the physical blessings that are imparted to you in this life by the grace of God ought not to become the central focus of your life. Your house, your car, the food you eat, the clothes you wear are necessary things. You need them to live, but they will be gone when your physical body is gone. You cannot take them out of this life with you, thus, if you are living for eternity, the pursuit of them is pointless.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “When someone’s spirit leaves his body at death, it can take nothing with it because, when that person came into the world at birth, he brought nothing with him. Whatever wealth we amass goes to the government, our heirs, and perhaps charity and the church. We always know the answer to the question, ‘How much did he leave?’ Everything!” All of the stuff that people slept out overnight in the cold to get on Black Friday will be taken from them one day. All of the stuff that people jostled for, and fought for, and argued for, and, sadly, even killed for on Black Friday will have to be left behind. No matter what your religious beliefs are, you can take nothing with you into the afterlife.
Again, the biblical alternative to covetousness, greed, and the pursuit of material things is given in verse eight. Paul says, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” In our materialistic culture, we have forgotten how to value the basic necessities of life. We forget that, according to the Pew Research Center, 70% of people in the world get by on less than $10 a day. If we take a step back and look at our possessions and our way of living, most of us will be forced to admit that we really are better off than most of the world and better off than we deserve. On top of that, as Christians, we ought to be in a place where we can say that as long as we have God, He is all we need. In fact, He is all you will have when the time comes for you to depart this earth.
So, the next time you are tempted to complain about something that you don’t have or something that you can’t buy, just remember God’s command for us to be content with just food and clothing.
If you struggle with covetousness, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!