August 11 2021
Today, Wednesday August 11
1 John 3:4-10 “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning …” v. 4
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning …” v. 6
“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil…” v. 8
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” v. 9 “…whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God…” v. 10
This morning I could not help but notice the phrases, “practice of sinning” or “keep on sinning” and “does not practice righteousness”, being repeated several times in this passage. It is clear that a believer or genuine follower of Jesus should be able to overcome temptations.
If there is one thing that the devil likes to do, after we become a follower of Jesus and determine to live a life “practicing righteousness”, is to get on our shoulder and whisper in our ear, “If you were really a Christian you would not have done that.” And because of failure of dealing with a temptation that comes our way, we begin to doubt our salvation. Has that happened to you? I’m sure it has. That was my experience many times as a new believer.
One of my greatest fears in becoming a follower of Jesus was that I would not be able to handle the temptations of the flesh, the world and the devil. And I didn’t want to claim to be a Christian and yet live a life that was always going back to my old ways. The devil used that thought for a long time to keep me from even becoming a Christian. Before I became a believer in Jesus Christ and had Him in my life and heart, I had no power or ability to say no to the temptations.
James tells us, that even as believers there is still something in us that desires to sin. “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:13-14) We cannot help that the devil entices us to do wrong any more than we can keep a bird from flying over our head. But we can do something about it if the bird is begins to make a nest in our hair. And we can make a choice with God’s power now living in us to say no the temptation. The temptation is not sin, but yielding to it is sin.
With God’s Holy Spirit now living in us and His Word abiding in us we can hold up the “shield of faith” and take the “sword of the Spirit” and stand up against the fiery darts of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:10-18) We have also been promised in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. We have also been assured that if, “we submit to God and resist the devil, that he will flee from us”. (James 4:7)
Today, by God’s grace, say no to sin and the devil, and say yes to God and be an overcomer!