How to Overcome Temptation, Part 24 (Onward Christian Soldiers #147)
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 24”
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:
1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
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.
Michel de Montaigne said, “Covetousness is both the beginning and the end of the devil’s alphabet — the first vice in corrupt nature that moves, and the last which dies.”
Nowhere in Scripture is it indicated that the poor are more righteous than the rich or that the rich are more righteous than the poor. To the contrary, the Bible depicts both poor and rich people who walked faithfully with God. Both the poor and the rich can be equally content.
God looks at the heart of the person. He sees those who “will be rich” — those who have a desire to be rich. That is where the danger lies. If you are always striving, seeking, and pushing for more, the devil will see that as an opportunity. He will try to exploit that desire in you and push it to an extreme. That is why Paul says, “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.”
A “temptation” is the enticement to sin. If you desire to be rich, the devil will bring sinful opportunities before you that end in the promise of more money or more material possessions. He will say, ‘You can have this money or this material thing if you commit this sin.’ He will try to get your desire for riches to override what you know is right.
A “snare” is a trap or an entanglement that “brings peril, loss, or destruction.” For some people, their snare is gambling. They get trapped in a cycle of putting up money in order to get more money. For some, their snare is unseemly business practices. They become willing to do whatever it takes to make some extra cash. For some, their snare is cheating, lying, or stealing. They don’t mind doing these things as long as they end up with more than they had before.
The “foolish and hurtful lusts” that men fall into are the “desires, cravings, or longings for that which is forbidden.” Coveting is a broad term that covers more than money. One can covet or lust after another person’s spouse, another person’s house, another person’s success, or another person’s car. These lusts are foolish and hurtful to that person. Foolish because it is no use pining after that which you cannot and should not have. Hurtful because if we do get what we covet we will end up worse off — no matter what lies the devil tells us.
It is wise to stay away from all forms of covetousness — and to avoid the temptations, snares, and lusts that go along with it. Again, we ought to be content with such things as we have.
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!