Friday, June 21, 2013

Seed thoughts: "Where do temptations come from?"

"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." (I Cor. 10:13)

The word temptation can mean “trial” and “testing,” but in this study we are focusing more on the idea that temptation is the “solicitation, enticement or the invitation to sin.”  Having said that, the temptation, in and of its own, is not sin (it is an invitation to sin).  The sin is in the yielding to it.  When you yield to temptation then you end up in sin.  When you yield to God, resist the Devil and flee from sin, then the temptation is escaped and you will be able to bear it or endure it.

Where do temptations come from? There are at least three sources of temptations (BTW, if you wish to add or improve upon this article please feel free to leave a comment) - The first two that I will highlight are outward sources and the third is inward or our selves (the flesh or our sinful nature).

1.  Satan himself, as he is also known as "the tempter."

"For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain." (1 Thess. 3:5)
The Lord Jesus Himself was tempted by Satan (Matt. 4; Mk. 1; & Lk. 4).  Interesting to note that when the Lord got victory over Satan's temptation, that Satan (or the tempter) departed from Christ only "for a season" (Lk. 4:13).  One victory over temptation does not mean that the temptation (nor the tempter) doesn't return.  Satan tried to get the Lord Jesus to doubt God and God's goodness, to doubt His own identity as God's Son, and he tried to persuade the Lord to fulfill his natural desires in a way that was out of step with the Heavenly Father.  Note: a temptation can also be an invitation to do "God's will" in a disobedient way.

2.  Companions, friends or others.

"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." (Pro. 1:10)

 "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." (Pro. 4:14-15)

 "A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good." (Pro. 16:29)
We must ever be watchful of who we follow or listen to or allow as friends because of the influence that others may have upon us.  Others can clearly be a source of temptation in our lives.  The best thing to do when others are manifestly the source of temptation is to avoid them.

3.   Self or the flesh.

 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matt. 26:41)

"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14)
Certainly the two outside influences of temptation would be greatly hindered if we would take great heed to ourselves!  We must remember that our flesh is weak.  As long as we are living in this world we will always struggle with temptations.  However, we do not need to be defeated by our temptations, we can through God's grace, bear it or endure it.  It is all wrapped up in how we choose to respond to temptations.  We must remember that God is faithful, that He only permits temptations to come our way which He knows that we may able to resist.  He makes a way of escape or deliverance from it so that we maybe able to endure it.  God has given us everything we need to defeat the various sources of temptations in this world of sin.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More Twitter love and hate

I think another Twitter review is in order here.  I really do like Twitter.  I suppose, similar to blogging, there could be a variety of reasons one is on Twitter.  They say that tweeting is like micro-blogging and that seems to be a good way of putting it.

So, for starters, I only "follow" accounts that I personally know, or if someone "follows" me first and I determine that they are not a robot (spambot), organization (unless I know them), and someone with quasi-beliefs (they must at least be a Christian).  Twitter is about conversation (tweets).  Therefore, if I elect to "follow" someone, and they don't "converse" with me, then I don't see the point of remaining a "follower."  But that is just me.  It ties in very closely as to why I am on Twitter, which is to stay connected with people that I care about.  If I do want to "follow" someone who has no interest in returning the favor then I may choose to utilize the "list" section and just watch their updates (twitter feeds) that way.  The list option is great!  I really like it and I use it a lot. By the way you can also subscribe to my list and others by selecting "subscribe."  ALSO, strange but true, you can also see if you, yourself, have been added to someone's listing.  Whatever may be, follow wisely, and list wisely!

I like the idea of "hashtaging" a tweet (# followed by a topic or thought - which then pools all the tweets into an undisclosed area, kidding, into a space where everyone who is interested in that topic can see others with similar interest).  For me, I just like to group my morning Bible tweets and take a look at them at the end of the week.  My morning Bible verse tweets are divided into three themes, doctrine, devotional, & discipleship (I like to think of it as Bible Tweets 3D).  Sometimes, admittedly, they do seem to over lap, but generally speaking, I try to keep them rolling like that.  I use a social media management tool called Hootsuite to set up my AM Bible Tweets ahead of time which automatically tweets for me.  I think that my AM Bible tweets have been a blessing.  I gauge that by the various feedback that I have gotten from my "followers."  Twitter is about "adding value" to those who follow you.  This is one way, I think, I can accomplish that.

Okay, I like it when I get "retweeted" - It makes me feel good.  But I don't tweet with that as a goal.  I do like to "retweet" items which I think would be a blessing to my followers.  But there comes a point when "retweeting" becomes obnoxious.  I don't care to "retweet" men and movements that are on the opposite spectrum of my belief system (even if they have some brilliant ray of truth that can inspire and motivate - this makes me even sadder, bec.  they should have an even more brilliant light, the Bible, which should have guided them into perfect truth or better truth - this is my way of saying, they should know better to do what they are doing).  But then again, that is just me.  I don't care what others, that I "follow" retweet about, but after a while they can get to be a nuisance, therefore and thankfully, you can always go to their profile section and select "turn off retweets."  What a blessing!  Don't be an abuser, retweet in moderation.  Then there are other things like modified tweets (MT) which is neat, but I still really don't know how to properly do it.  Then there is also the "old school" retweeting process (RT) which, I like bec. of added interaction, but it is so much easier to just hit the retweet button.

 I can say more, but I will have to leave it be for now.  Please don't forget that you can "follow" me on Twitter @hardecker.  Thank you and have a wonderful day!