How to Overcome Temptation, Part 30 (Onward Christian Soldiers #153)
Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
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.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 30”
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”. This is the second sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
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.
Jeremy Taylor said, “Covetousness teaches men to be cruel and crafty, industrious and evil, full of care and malice; and after all this, it is for no good to itself, for it dares not spend those heaps of treasure which it has snatched.”
As we continue looking at the positive traits that we should follow instead of covetousness, we turn our attention to “patience.” Paul says we ought to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
Patience is an important quality to learn for those of us who struggle with covetousness or greed. The word patience used in this passage is defined as: steadfastness, endurance, constancy, or patient waiting. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon goes on to state: “It is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”
You might count the absence of something you want in life as a trial. Do you know what God wants you to do? He wants you to endure with patience. He might be testing you to see how you will respond when He says “no” or “wait.” Cultivating a spirit of patience will require you to realize that God knows what is best for your life. It will require you to bring your desires into submission under the authority of Christ. You can no longer be driven only by what you want. You must let go of your will and tell God, “Thine will be done.”
As with the other positive traits named by Paul, we cannot become patient in our own strength. John Piper said, “Patience demands tremendous inner strength. For the Christian, this strength comes from God. That is why Paul, in Colossians, asks God to empower the saints for the patient endurance that the Christian life requires. When he says that the strength of patience is ‘according to [God’s] glorious might,’ he doesn’t just mean that it takes divine power to make a person patient. He means that faith in this glorious might is the channel through which the power for patience comes.”
While you are being patient, you must be steadfast in the things of God. Patience is not sitting on your hands saying, “I’m waiting on God to give me this or that.” While you are waiting on God to work, you ought to be working on those things that you know you ought to be doing. Many have found that in the course of doing what they know they ought to be doing, God has changed their mentality so that they no longer desire the things they once desired and they realize the reason why God never gave them those things in the first place.
Covetousness and greed are taxing on the mind, body, and soul. It is far better to learn patience, to learn to wait on God, and to leave the things you do not have in His hands.
One hymn writer said:
My soul with patience waits
for thee, the living Lord:
my hopes are on thy promise built,
thy never-failing word.
My longing eyes look out
for thy enlivening ray,
more duly than the morning watch
to spy the dawning day.
Let believers trust in God;
no bounds his mercy knows;
the plenteous source and spring from whence
eternal succor flows.
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!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.