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I’m going to invite you guys to turn to 1 Corinthians 10, and we’re going to talk about one of those subjects that just makes smiles on your face. Um, we’re on the topic of temptation today, right? Like, yes, temptation. I’ve been waiting so long to talk about things that make me feel bad about the things that I do. Thank you so much for the topic of temptation. Right? You’re going to spend today guilting me, telling me I’m bad, why I fail, and I want you to know this morning that is not the goal in temptation. Okay. Uh, the reality is, being human means you will face temptation, right? We could probably all agree to that. Yes. Did this morning. My kids on the way here, I wanted to, uh. Whatever. So temptation is a reality that we will all face. But here’s the joy of temptation is, uh, temptation isn’t about just avoiding being really bad. Okay? The point we talk about with temptation as it relates to the life of the believer is that when you are able to endure temptation and walk with Jesus, it is a beautiful thing that comes on the other end. And and it magnifies the glory of who Christ is. And the reality is, when we talk about temptation, this is what I can’t tell you this morning is I’m going to give you the big secret that unlocks how to get rid of every temptation in your life.

I’m not going to do that because you’re human and you will face it all of your life. But here’s what we can do. We can talk about it in the way that brings honor to Jesus, and joy allows you to enjoy your relationship with him. And it teaches us how to strengthen ourselves so that when we face temptation, we are able to endure it. And not only are we able to endure it, but we’re able to walk with Jesus in a significant way in it that brings glory to his name. I relate to to my relationship to my children, like my my kids, when they, uh, disobey the rules within our house. One of the things I want to teach them is not that they’re just disobedient, but the the repercussions of disobedience is that puts it puts strain on relationship. As a father, I want to always love my kids. But when there is disobedience within the home, there is adversity in my opportunity to love them. And this is one of the things you need to know about temptation when it comes to temptation. The fact that God has given you the opportunity to fight in it with him says that God loves you and he cares about you, and God wants to walk with you in that no matter how how ugly you may feel when you go through that temptation, even if you fall in it, God is never going to stop loving you, right? First Corinthians chapter ten and verse 13.

In fact, it tells us that God is faithful even when you’re not faithful. God is faithful. And here’s an important part is that he makes a way for you to endure it right. God makes a way for you to endure it. It says that in first Corinthians 1013. We’ll look at it in just a minute. But what it’s saying to us in that passage is that when it comes to temptation, that what I’ve already told you is that God’s not going to just remove it from our life, but what God teaches us is to walk with him through it. And so when you read like the book of acts, chapter four, chapter five, you see, uh, Peter and John just going out proclaiming the name of Jesus. And in chapter four, they’re arrested. They’re told by the Sanhedrin, stop sharing about Christ. And they said, are we going to obey men rather than God? And in chapter five, they go back out again and they do it again, and they’re arrested. They’re thrown in jail. Miraculously, they are freed from jail. They go back out. They they’re sharing again. They’re brought before the Sanhedrin again. And this time they’re they’re punished for the preaching that they are doing about Jesus. And it tells us that they’re beaten in acts chapter five and verse 40. But one of the weird things I think that happens in Scripture is in chapter five and verse 41, it tells us when when Peter and John leave, they’re celebrating, rejoicing over the fact that they were beaten for Christ.

Now that is weird. But when you think about the significance of what’s happening in this passage, they’re communicating something about Jesus that goes far deeper than the experiences that we have in this life. So I think in life, there’s a few things in, in the world of temptation that can really pull us from Jesus. One one is, one is pain and suffering, and the other is pleasure. And you think about it sometimes in your life, you enjoy such good seasons of life that you don’t see the significance of God, and you can leave them. Or maybe you’re like Peter where when he was faced with Jesus and his persecution, Peter ran and hid, right? But now, in acts chapter five, we see that he’s learned through this temptation of abandoning Jesus that he doesn’t want to abandon Jesus. And now when he has the opportunity, he stands for Christ. I mean, I don’t know how the story went, but I’m imagining if they lived today when Peter and John are leaving and Peter took his stand, and John’s recognizing, and they both stood for Christ, they’re like, they’re probably chest bumping, high fiving, giving DAPs along the way. Right? But they’re saying something significant about their faith in Christ. And that is your faith in Jesus is deeper than anything, or at least it should be anything that you experience in life, which is why it’s worth the fight when it comes to temptation.

This is what we’re saying. We’re not saying as people were, we’re we’re not ever going to be tempted. We will be tempted to be human is to be tempted. But this is what we are saying. We are saying that because we follow Jesus, we’re going to enter into the battle against temptation, right? You know, when it comes to the to the Christian life, when you read the stories within the Bible, you’ll see people going through difficult circumstances. In fact, when you look at the story within the book of acts, I’m going to cruise past this. But and excuse me, first Corinthians chapter ten, where we are today. When you look at the story that Paul gives Paul’s writing this story to a body of believers who are facing tremendous temptations, this is the church of Corinth. Now, if you ask any theologian, tell me something about the Church of Corinth. The first thing they’re going to say is it’s probably the most sinful church in the 21st or the first century that we can look at in the 21st century. In fact, Paul’s talking about temptation here. But earlier he said to the believers, there are sins that are among you that aren’t even among the Gentile world. Like there’s things that the Corinthian church is doing that’s considered so sinful that the rest of the world even looks at it and says it’s sinful.

And so Paul is writing to them about temptation, and he begins by listing stories about temptation and giving in to temptation. I can’t read all of it to you this morning because we’re going to run out of time. But this is what he says in verse six. Now these things happen as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they are craved. Paul shares a few more stories and then he says this. Now these things happen to them as an example. And they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. What Paul is listing is illustrations where the children of Israel, as they’re leaving the land of Egypt into the promised Land that God had given them, and along the way they keep giving into temptation. They keep stumbling. They keep falling. They keep sinning. God’s faithful to them. He stays with them, and he eventually sees them into the Promised Land. And Paul gives us as an example. Now I want you to recognize within this passage what, what, what God could have done and the land of Egypt, he could have said to the children of Israel, you know, I’m going to take you to the promised land. Everybody, everybody click your heels together three times.

Say, there’s no place like home, and you’ll be there, right? But he didn’t. He allowed them to go through adverse circumstances. Now I will tell you, God, God does not. Or God’s desire is to remove all pain from this world. It says in revelation chapter 21 his desire when he returns, there’s no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering, right? God is interested in that. And God’s interested in your joy. He tells us to find joy in him, and ultimately, when we see him face to face, we’ll experience joy forevermore into eternity. God is interested in that. But I got to tell you, far deeper than pain and pleasure. There’s something more important that God is interested in. And that is where your heart is as you go through all of it. Where are you in your relationship with God? I mean, is there something that could happen to you in your circumstances of life that you would abandon God? And James chapter one says that to us. He says, consider it all joy, my brother, when you endure various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, it goes on. Let endurance have its perfect work. What James is saying to the believers is, is, listen, you don’t have to be thankful for the bad things that happen to you. But in them there’s a way to find a place to be thankful. And what what James is saying to the believers in this circumstance is that there is a place in your life to find thankfulness in the trials you’re facing.

Because if you follow Jesus in the trial, you’re saying your faith in Christ is stronger than the adversity you face. That’s why Peter celebrated after he was beaten. My faith from Jesus is so real that when I’m facing a circumstance where I could deny him, I choose to stand with him because Jesus is that important. That’s what temptation does to us. It comes into your life and it says to you, what are you going to say is most important to you? And temptation isn’t about making you hate God. The goal of temptation is to lull you to sleep over the significance of who God is in your life. I mean, we do it right. Temptation comes first. It’s a thought in the mind. And you begin to justify the action. Well, I deserve this because they haven’t or this hasn’t. And eventually your heart begins to justify it to the point that it becomes an action. Temptation on the back end of it both has pain and pleasure to. You think about temptations that relates to pain and pleasure. When you indulge into the temptation, you allow your mind to begin to go there. You start to fill yourself with all the joy it may bring, right? If I do this, I’ll feel this way. But just moments after it passes, what happens? Now the pain.

The pain from the pleasure that you thought would sell you on, on what you needed in life. And all of a sudden now you’re experiencing the heartache and you’re thinking, why did I do that? And sometimes we get in a vicious cycle with this, this idea of temptation. It becomes habitual addiction habits where we think to ourselves, you know, I don’t I don’t want to do this, but all of a sudden you begin to feel guilty and you remember that at least you felt pleasure in it. So you dive back into it and then you feel guilty again. You think to yourself, well, at least I felt pleasure. And then that vicious cycle just starts over and over. And you, you buy into the thought of what temptation would bring. But but ultimately, what you thought was pleasure ends in pain. But when it comes to to Christ. He’s called us to so much more. Here’s a definition of temptation. Temptation is anything that promises satisfaction at the cost of obeying God and fellowship with him. God desires for you to enjoy him. In temptations desires to pull you away from him. But we don’t have to look at temptation and say, ooh, ugly, bad things. Let’s not talk about that. Rather, what we get to do is discuss temptation and say, oh, look at the opportunity I now have to stand for Christ in this.

And I’m not telling you, go stick your hand in the mouth of a lion and say, look how well this lion is biting me, because I’m praying to Jesus. Because because the lion will bite you, right? That’s not it’s not what we’re saying. Go run into temptation so you can show how beautiful Jesus is, but rather when you face it. It’s an opportunity to show the glory of who God is, right? When we talk about temptations, some of us may be saying this morning, you know, temptation is not relevant for me. I really I’m pretty good. So I don’t need to discuss temptation, but I just want to say, when it comes to temptation, the goal of the Christian life isn’t to say I’m pretty good. Okay? The goal of the Christian life isn’t even really, you’re not bad, but you’re good. The goal of the Christian life is to walk with Jesus, to enjoy Jesus. It’s not this good versus bad. It’s it’s forsaking the old life and coming to Christ and enjoying your relationship with Christ for eternity. In first Corinthians in chapter ten, this is what it tells us. Again, we read it. Now these things happen as an example for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also crave now these things happen to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

The person that feels within their mind a message on temptation is not relevant to their lives. Should apply. First Corinthians chapter ten, verse 12. We all face it. And maybe you don’t feel like you’re in a battle now, but you will be. And maybe even in our own lives, we could be in that place where we’ve been lulled to sleep. And we just think, you know, I’m pretty good. But the reality is that God has called you to so much more in him than I’m just pretty good. Some of us, though today, may be beating ourselves up over with temptation. You’re thinking, man, I can’t even escape this. This seems like a monster in my life I can’t get rid of. And this is what it says in first Corinthians chapter ten and verse 13. No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you’re able. But with that temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. And sometimes in our lives we feel feel like temptation, maybe too big. Sometimes we feel like giving up. But but the reality is, and what First Corinthians is saying is there is no temptation that is too big for God. In fact, when that monster looks huge, this is the way that God refers to it.

For us, it’s common. Don’t feel like you’re on an island on your own. You know, sometimes I know you like to get on social media, and you look at all the other perfect families who managed to get those perfect shots, and you’re thinking, what’s wrong with me? But the perfect family took 60 photos to get that. I promise you, they were screaming three seconds before they took it, right? It is common. Everyone will face it. It is. It is temptation. Someone may sell you this glamorous life that that they’re living. But I promise, behind closed doors, everyone is facing adversity in some way. It is common. Don’t. Don’t feel like you’re on your own and don’t feel like you’re some sort of freak of nature. In the temptation, everyone faces it. To be human means you will endure temptation. It’s what you do with the temptation that demonstrates the beauty of who Christ is. In fact, the Bible even goes so far as to recognize force that temptation itself isn’t a sin. If it was, we’re going to be very misfortunate in the future, because it tells us in Hebrews that Jesus was tempted as we are. Yet without sin. Right. Temptation. Is the enticement or the lure to sin. But temptation itself is a sin. Let me give you an example. When it comes to, uh, um. When it comes to walking down a grocery store aisle today.

There are lots of visual temptations that are there, especially in the area of lust. It’s like today, if someone has a new product they want to sell, they’re like, how are we going to get this product? I don’t know, let’s put someone with half their clothes on and that should start us, right? Lost sales. When it comes to the temptation of lust. Here’s the the truth of it is, is that God has created us in such a way that we recognize the beauty of people. It’s not wrong to recognize the beauty of people, but. But it is wrong to take the second look, to try to imagine in your mind what you might do beyond that point, right? Temptation isn’t the sin, but what you choose to do with the temptation determines whether or not you you sin. Temptation, as I said, is anything that promises satisfaction at the cost of obedience to God and fellowship with him. But we, knowing that we will face temptation as people were, were not saying that we are. We are free from it, that we’re absent from it. We will be one day. But as believers in Christ, we will declare war against what temptation brings to us. In James chapter four and verse seven, it says it this way the battle of temptation starts within the condition of your heart. In James chapter four and verse seven it says, submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

So here’s the reality for me. When I wake up in the morning, I know that today I will face temptation and the battle starts when I get up from my bed and I say to myself, Jesus, this is the day that you made. I am the life that you created. I surrender my heart to you. I’m setting my mind on things above. I am not Lord, you are Lord Jesus. I want to walk with you. I want to enjoy you. When adversity comes. I want to demonstrate the beauty of our relationship and choose you above and beyond it. And it’s not going to be easy. God, I want you. You start the battle before the temptation begins. Surrendering your heart. Because here’s the reality temptation is tough. A temptation will start to wear on you as human beings. Surrendering, your heart begins to align yourself with where God has called you to be. You think within our our lives as people when it comes to submission? Sometimes we like to balk at the responsibility of what temptation may bring. It tells us in this passage write, submit therefore to God, and resist the devil, and he will flee from you. I had a I had a cousin when I was little. She was three years old, and my mom would watch her at home and I would go to school and and she was a cute little girl. When we come home, sometimes she’d do things wrong.

We’d ask her about it, and she’d always tell us the devil made her do it right. And it was hilarious at that point. But when I was a little kid, there was also this TV show that came on just right when I got off the school bus. If I ran home, I could catch it just in time. And I got obsessed with it and I started to record it and it only played for ten minutes. So I had a ten minute window to get it. And it was, it was the the vintage Little Rascals. I’m talking like black and white, uh, you know, the animations like choppy because you can’t even tell, I don’t know, I got obsessed with it. I don’t know why I did, but but maybe you are too. So that’s all right. You got mutual friendship here. But I would go home and I would record this, and I would watch all the episodes to where I recorded that day, and then I’d stop it at the end, I’d record it again. And I had accumulated so many episodes now, Little Rascals, I loved it, and I came home one day and my cousin had been right by the VCR player, and she she VCR is old. And she pulled out the tape and she started just pulling out the stuff inside. I’m like, why are you doing that? I mean, it was funny until this point, but why are you destroying? She says, the devil made me do it.

Like, whatever, man. That’s horrible. That is horrible. Now let’s everything that we do wrong in life, I realize there is temptation and there is. There is a spiritual battle that takes place, right? You got to be honest. The responsibility, it rests on us. It’s me and my heart that gives in to the temptation that plays out in my life. And when I’m honest with that. And that’s really the first step in fighting the temptation. Submitting myself to God. Acknowledging within my heart. That it’s me that needs the help. Submitting to God. Not lulled by temptation. But giving my heart over to him. First Corinthians 1013. No temptation has overtaken you. But such as is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you’re able, but with the temptation, he will provide a way of escape so that you will be able to endure it. He doesn’t just magically make it disappear, but through him you get the strength to demonstrate the beauty of who he is. One of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill always says, these aren’t these aren’t, uh, these are dark days. And the greater the the darkness is, the greater your light can shine for Christ. Right? It’s really it’s in the adversity that you face that you demonstrate the beauty of who Christ is. It’s not until adversity is on you that the significance of who Christ is really shines.

The opportunity is to walk away, to not stand out, to not stand up for Jesus and showing your relationship with him, but rather you cower and you give in. But here’s the good part in all of that is, is that God still loves you, even even in the giving in. And it says this to us God is faithful. Like. Even when you’re faithless. God’s faithful. Even when you’re weak. God’s faithful. Even when you may think of every excuse in the world. Why God shouldn’t care about you, why God shouldn’t show up, why you feel like you disappointed God. God’s faithful. God cares about your struggle in that I love in between Peter’s life. I didn’t share this, but you know Peter denies Jesus. Peter celebrates his stand for Jesus. But in between that story, there’s the story. It takes place in the gospel where where Jesus shows up on the shores after Peter had rejected Jesus. And Peter sees him and it tells us he jumps out of the boat. He goes on the shore, he has breakfast with Jesus and the other disciples. And Jesus, uh, asks Peter three times, Peter, do you love me? And finally, the third time Jesus asked, Peter just says to him, Jesus, you know where my heart is. Like we can even fool ourselves into thinking that we’re stronger than we are. And Peter says to Jesus, Jesus, you really know where my heart is.

I mean, this morning you may be thinking about temptation. I’m good. I don’t really nothing happening in my life. But. But Jesus really knows where your heart is. And he is faithful to be there with you in all of it, that you may enjoy him even when you’re faithless. God is faithful, and the vulnerability of where you are really helps you to recognize the faithfulness of God, because he has continued to show up throughout Scripture to the point, even in our sin, he has given his life. Way to endure it. So how do we get through this temptation? Temptation for us, really, it’s about enlarging our weaknesses. And the tendency is as people in a religious thinking, when we face temptations, we want to fix ourselves, right? I’m like, oh man, I don’t want God to know I’m in this temptation. So let me so let me go fix myself and come back to God. But what the Scripture tells us in James chapter one in this passage, it’s it’s not saying go fix yourself. It’s saying surrender yourself. It’s saying run to Jesus. It’s saying, Come to Christ. It’s saying, don’t, don’t hide in your pride, but confess where you are in the Lord. In fact, James four and six and ten says this, but he gives a greater but he gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, God is opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you. Don’t run from him. Run to him as Lord. God provides a platform for you in Jesus. Not in guilt and shame to hide from him, but in conviction to run to him. John chapter one. John. Chapter one. I heard somebody say once that they’re sending before a crowd and they said, uh, it’s teaching from the Bible. They thought they were anyway. And they said, uh, you know, I’ve gotten so good in my life that, um, I no longer face temptation. To which everyone should have just stood up and said, bull, you know, garbage, right? Because first John one eight tells us, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Right. So if I ever say that everyone feel free to stand up and yell garbage! But here’s the good part in first John one nine if we confess our sins. His faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So what this verse provides for us is a place to take solace in God. Sometimes when it comes to temptation, when we indulge in it as people, we feel this tremendous amount of guilt for doing it. But can I tell you this morning? Um. There is no future in your past. Satan is called the the accuser of brethren in revelation chapter 12, which means he loves to take who you were apart from Jesus and throw that in your face, right? Our God doesn’t love you.

Why would he? And look what you did before or look who you were. Why would he even want to care about you? Right? And we even get to this place in our lives. It’s not healthy. It’s not good where we think to ourselves, you know, if I just start making myself feel guilty about this long enough, and I and I force myself to pay this penance for this over and over, maybe then, maybe then it will be enough for me to not give in to this temptation. So you just start beating yourself up, and you start thinking about how you’re going to avoid it. And can I tell you, one of the worst things that you can do to avoid sin is to obsess about not doing that sin. Um, for example, this is just a lighthearted way to think about it. But if I said to you this morning, do not picture the Eiffel Tower, right? And then everyone pictures the Eiffel Tower, that’s our tendency as people, we obsess about not doing something that is the best way to make sure you do it, but what Jesus is calling you to. Is not about not doing what you shouldn’t do what Jesus calls you to. So you are in him. Yeah. You take off the old self.

But the way you take off the old self. It’s putting on the new self. Beating yourself up will not stop you from giving in to temptation because you’re human. You’re going to be tempted. But coming to Jesus. Reshaping your identity in him. Living out your relationship with him. So ultimately that’s really the difference between religion and relationship in Christ. Religion is this list of rules of what you don’t do. So you prove yourself to God and Jesus is about. I’ve already given my life to you so that you can enjoy your life in me, and I can shape you in my identity. That’s about walking in him. And so he says to us, your biggest struggles are not too big for God. The idea of guilt is you being shamed and distanced and pushed away and feeling worthless. But the idea of conviction. It’s beautiful. See conviction is about you drawing near to the heart of God, because you understand that the place where you are able to shape your new identity and find yourself in protection is in Christ. So it was never your strength that overcame the devil. At the passage it said, submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The strength comes in Christ. Whoa. Give me first Corinthians or first Corinthians 1013. We read it. I have it right here. Listen to this. The strength comes from Christ. No temptation has overtaken you.

But such as is common to man, and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted. It is God who is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. But with the temptation, God will provide the way of escape so that you will be able to bear it. It’s not you running away, finding the strength, it’s you shaping yourself in Jesus, or finding yourself shaped in Christ so that you are able, in Christ to find the strength. So here’s the last point I want to just make. When it comes to fighting temptation. Skip ahead. I think what God does in his community is a beautiful thing. I mean, we can look at each other this morning and say, you know, I’m not we’re not perfect. We aren’t we aren’t perfect because we face temptation. We don’t have that perfection. The fact that you have a temptation, I want to give it a sin. You’re not perfected. But there’s something beautiful about what Jesus does within his community together. So if you’re looking for God to move in this world. In the New Testament. When Christ came, he he told us that he would bring us comfort. In fact, he was going away, that his comforter would come. And the comforter is the Holy Spirit. The Bible calls us the temple of God. God’s presence dwells within his people to conduct his will in this world.

And from that, this is what I say. If you ever want to see God at work, the place, the primary place you see God at work is in the hearts of his people. He works in his people. God convicts us. God strengthened us. God calls us in this world. The way God moves is through his people that we could demonstrate the glory of who he is, the way that we face adversity, then I would say, is through his people. When Paul is writing this about temptation in First Corinthians, when James and and Paul again and Timothy writes what he’s about, what I’m about to read, he’s writing it not to an individual, but a community that’s fighting this thought of temptation together. He says this in James therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. And second Timothy chapter two and verse 22 now flee from youthful lust and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out from a pure heart. There’s something about when God’s Word gets in God’s people and God’s Spirit’s moving in God’s people to accomplish God’s will, that we recognize that we’re not perfect, but we want to be what Jesus has called us to be. So we we depend upon one another to get where God has called us to be. We are a strength towards one another. So when someone has a struggle, we’re not shocked.

We understand Jesus paid for that. That demonstrates that Jesus loves us in our struggles. And Jesus wants to walk with us in those struggles, and the way that he does is through His church as as he moves within our hearts to encourage one another. I was listening to a famous Christian speaker or Christian speaker. Christian musician. He passed away in the 90s, but I always I YouTube him every once in a while and just listen to old, old soundbites of him because he was so candid about his walk with Christ. And he had a lot of struggles in his life, and he at one point he would travel on the road by himself, and he called the spiritual mentor that he had, this pastor, I think it was or it was a it was a Christian writer. He called him and said, you know what? I’m on the road by myself, but I’m facing all this temptation and I can’t even I don’t know that I’m going to have the strength to overcome it. And he and the guy said, of course you are. You’re by yourself. Like, this is the point of the community of Christ. I’m glad you called me so I can encourage you in that. But let me encourage you a little bit further next time you go on the road. If you feel like this is a serious temptation for you, take someone with you.

Right? And then he started to share the story. Then he traveled with a friend and he called. He called the theme of the story. Jim doesn’t snore. I don’t know if his name was Jim, but it was something like that, he says. He said, I got to tell you the story now about Jim doesn’t snore. He goes, I was traveling again. Now I had a friend that held me accountable. And we we were going around and and we were in Amsterdam. And he said, you know, I, um, I decided that night, in my heart, I was wrestling with temptation that when Jim went to bed, I was going to go out into the streets, and I just wanted to see what the people were doing. And he said, I don’t know that I would have sinned. But he said, I definitely wasn’t going out to tell people about Jesus. So I knew my heart wasn’t in the right place. I just wanted the temptation in front of me. I wanted to see what it was like. My heart was longing towards it, and he said, so we. So we were in the hotel and we we started to fall asleep. And I said to myself, the minute Jim snores, that’s my cue to get up. And so he says the next day and I’ll be doggone it, Jim doesn’t snore. The significance of the Body of Christ is important for us in our temptation as a body of believers.

Let me give you an example. Um, two years ago, we were in an old building before moving into this building. We bought this place and this thing was a disaster, and it took us a year to fix it. And as we got towards the end of fixing this place up, I was under a lot of stress. And and I’ve we’ve been under a heavy amount of stress since I’ve lived in Utah. My wife and I, just because we moved here and we didn’t, we didn’t have a thing. And and seeing a church start was just it was a work in progress, battle after battle. And we bought this place. We started working on it six months before we were completed this place. Um, I lost my mind and I want to say I hit my breaking point and then we went six months past that. So if I seem crazy today back then. Okay, I used to say that about my middle school teachers. They’re crazy. Oh, no. It’s only because they have to deal with us, right? They get just. They justified middle school teachers. I love you, I’m just teasing. But. So we built this place, and, um, and at the time, you know, financially, it was difficult for a family to live here because we didn’t have a whole lot. Um, my wife just had a baby. Uh, let a friend borrow my car, and it got totaled.

Or running out on a lease on our old building. We have to hurry up and get in this new building. But we don’t have a whole lot of money to get in this building. I feel like I’m here as soon as I wake up. And. And by the time I go to bed, I’m just. I lived here. I thought about maybe moving in. It was stressful. And I got to a place where that stress, I just wanted to beat it and finish it and crush it. It produced anger in me. And I didn’t. I don’t like it and I didn’t want it. And I’m looking at where God’s called us to church and all the things we could have when we move here. But this anger came up within me and I didn’t like it. And it wasn’t anger towards anyone specific. It was just this frustration of all the stress in the moment. And it starts to come out and, and and I, you know, it happens and you feel bad. You’re like, man, I got angry and I don’t know why I’m angry. And and sometimes people don’t even know when you’re angry and you struggle in your own heart, like, just let’s just get this finished. One more thing breaks. I’m going to kill. Like, how am I going to get through this? And, um, so we started this new thing outside where apparently people don’t like to park in dirt.

So. So, um, so we have this new project happening now, and we had a men’s group right before it happened. And I’m just reflecting on, um, on my attitude towards the end of us being here. And I’m grateful for I’m thankful for it, but it was stressful. And and so I just looked at the guys in the room of this men’s breakfast we’re having and I just said, you know, guys, um, I know where I got the last time we had this place. I got frustrated, I got angry, and maybe people didn’t see it, but I knew in my heart it was just a battle. And. And I just want you to know, I don’t want to do that again. And so if you see me getting tense over what we’re going to go through again with another building project, um. Just. Just feel free to call me out. You know, before I said that to the to the guys knowing that I didn’t want to be, um, I didn’t want to reflect anger towards any of that. I want to be grateful for God as he’s provided. Um, do you know, the temptation within my mind is, are they’re not going to care. You know, all this time, it’s not going to be a big deal. You know, all the things are in my head. You don’t need to say that. But you know, when I, when I just mentioned it to everyone, I have to make a big deal about it, but just mention it to everyone.

You know, I walked away, um, my attitude and my heart was a lot more thankful. And not. Not because I had to confess this to people. But, but. Because now I know. That the struggle that I could face, which I don’t even think I have this time because I haven’t had to lift up even a hammer. But but the struggle that I’ve faced, um, I knew people were going to be watching. And so even even you ever get that place in your life where even if you feel like you’re battling in your hearts, like people can see you, what are you doing? Because I’m looking at my soul. Like I felt like I felt like even in them knowing it, if that battle came up in my heart that I could wrestle with it a lot better than before, just because I was just open about it. You may. You may have friends in your life that recognize, you know this. He’s going through a battle, but I don’t feel right saying it. If they would just say it, I feel like I could just I could just talk to them about it and love them through it and encourage them and tell them maybe they’re afraid of the way you would respond or the way to affect your friendship, but that openness gives you a place to do that.

And I think that’s the way the body of Christ works, because together, in our minds, we know what we’re pursuing as individuals and and what Jesus has called us to. And, you know, if I just told you this morning that I faced temptation, too, and you think that’s a big deal, get over it, right? Like I’m human, too. And my dependency is on the body of Christ and walking with Jesus together. And this passage of Scripture is encouraging us this way. Listen, guys, when I talk about anger, uh, it’s just from a guy’s perspective. I know if I’ve been angry about something, the tendency of guys is, we can go that way sometimes, can’t we? I know, ladies, you can too. But I got to relate as a guy for just a minute. Okay? You can do it too. But here’s what I think makes a big man. It’s not your ability to say, I got this and I handle my own. It’s your ability to recognize your relationship to Jesus is far more important. And the way you demonstrate Jesus to the people around you and your family and your friends and your loved ones is more important. And so it’s your willingness to humble yourself in that moment and say, this is a struggle, and I don’t know what the world’s going on with me. Man, I want to love my family in this. Man, I want to reflect Jesus in this. Do you know if you take that adversity a different way? And you’re able to stand against it.

Because of Christ. The demonstrate the beauty of who Jesus is. People around you learn how to walk with Christ in adversity because they’ve seen you walk with Christ in adversity. Takes a proud person not to say something. But a humble person. A humble person is open and honest. I claim to be perfect in my walk with Jesus. But I want to walk with Jesus. I want to know Jesus. The temptation in my life. It’s not about me being good or bad. It’s about Jesus. Ultimately, if I walk with Jesus, I’ll forsake the things of this world. And the beauty of Christ is seen. An importance of the Body of Christ is demonstrated in that. Why does God care about your temptation? Let me close with this story. There was a a young girl named Christina. I grew up in a city and she was poor. She was living with a single mom, and she just. This young girl just dreamed about the the high rise life and having luxury and money. And she started to dream so much that about this, that one day she decided when she went, her mom went to bed. She was going to leave. And so she did. She snuck out of the house. The next morning, her mom wakes up and she’s just heartbroken that her daughter is gone. So the mom immediately leaves the house, runs to a photo booth, takes pictures out of her, of her until she’s run out of money.

And from then she she she, with her last bet, buys a ticket on a bus. And she begins to ride the bus around the city. And she she knows as a mother, my daughter left with no money. The type of places that a young girl in desperation might have to go to make money may not be good. When you get hungry, there are some things that you will do just to get food in your belly. And so she started to look. And so some of the most horrific places for her daughter. And she went down the prostitute alley, she went down to those sleazy hotels, she went to bars at night. She went wherever she could think of that. Her daughter may try to go to make a buck in order to, to get on her feet. And she started to post pictures of herself, and she wrote a note on the back of it. And finally, at the end of her search, when she realized she wasn’t going to find her daughter, she got back on the bus and she just went home, heartbroken and weeping. Story goes weeks later. Christina ran into a picture of her mother as she was coming down from a hotel room in the morning. Her face was tired. Her brown eyes were lifeless, her laughter was broken and her dreams became nightmares.

All she wanted to do was just go home. And she flipped over the back of this picture, and on the back her mother had written a note that said this whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it does not matter. Please come home. This is why Jesus doesn’t give up on you and your temptation and sin. He knows what the weight of the world is, and he knows how much he loves you. And he knows he’s not giving up on you. And some of us this morning we think about temptation. We just feel worn out because we’ve given in. It has beat us up. We want to give up on that battle. My encouragement to you this morning. Whatever you’ve done, whatever you have become, it doesn’t matter. Please come home. What Jesus wants to do in you and through you. That’s far greater than anything you face in this world through your own strength. God loves you. God cares about you. God doesn’t want you to give up the battle. I’m not saying this morning when we fight temptation, but there is a way to completely eradicate it. Apart from Jesus coming and snatching you from this world. What I am saying is when we we don’t give up on the battle, when we walk with Jesus through it, it gives us the strength to endure.

Your Modeling Career