Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
Satan is a tempter.  This is probably his most infamous work.  He delights in seducing people away from the Word (truth) of God.  He salivates over the opportunity to cause people to stumble in their pursuit of the will of God.  He relishes the chance to lure people into a miry pit of depravity, addiction and perversion.  He loves to persuade people into thinking it is beneficial to wallow in bitterness, anger and unforgiveness.  He lives to capture a person’s mind with narcissistic delusions of grandeur and pride.  Satan finds no greater pleasure than to captivate a person’s heart with the illusions of worldly goodness and pleasure, offering them a “Turkish delight” that eventually is lethal to the soul.

Temptation is solely a work of the devil.  Although Satan is ultimately subject to the perfect and sovereign will of God, he operates independent of God in his temptations of mankind.  In the Bible we read, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (Jms.1:13-15).  Here, it is important to understand that God did not create Satan.  Rather, God created Lucifer who, in his rebellion against God, became Satan – a fallen angel, the prince of demons.  Satan is never outside the sovereign authority and control of God.

This means that as God’s children, we (by God’s power and grace) are able to resist sin and flee from Satan.  In all this, we must remember God’s encouragement and promise to us: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1Cor.10:13).  As believers, saved and sanctified by His sovereign grace, God has given us everything we need to resist temptation and to keep from sinning (see 2Pet.1:3-4).

How has He done this?  This is an amazing truth!   In order to free us from the power and bondage of sin, God sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins.  Though He committed no sin, Jesus died as if He committed every sin of every believer who has ever lived (see 1Cor.5:21; 1Pet.2:22; 1Jn.3:5).  When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive His full and just righteousness as He was punished fully and justly for our unrighteousness.

“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death…  For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that ... He might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb.2:14-18; see 4:14-16).

We are never called to battle or resist Satan alone.  Rather, we are commanded to follow God and to flee from Satan.  In addition, God’s Word exhorts us to do whatever we can to “not give the devil a foothold” (Eph.4:27).  That means, we must strive to never give the devil an opportunity to find us willing or vulnerable to sin.  We must fight for our purity, and strive to be faithful.  In this life we will be tempted.  But when tempted, we can join the apostle Paul in saying, “[T]hanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor.15:57).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #28):
Leviticus 13-15; 2Kings 6-10; Psalms 81-83; Proverbs 10; Ezekiel 25-30; Luke 19-20; Colossians 1-2

Recommended Reading:  “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges

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