God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

Temptation (Grace Mail 12/21/09)

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” James 1:14, NASB

There are two steps to the process of being tempted. First of all, there is the knock at the door. Hey! I’m something you really want! You see, you’re not tempted by stuff that doesn’t appeal to you, right? Duh! The enemy knows that in order to tempt you, he must first carry you away and drag you out. Secondly, he must entice or “lure” you. In Greek, the word for “entice” means “to catch by the use of bait; to allure.”

In the very darkest part of the ocean, there is a little fish that has what looks like a little light, and it attracts other fish. It looks like a little pole that is connected to the fish. When the little fish gather around this “light”, the fish eats them. They were lured by what looked like a little glow worm to them. They are really “turned on” by worms.

How do you fish? You don’t just throw out a hook into the water and wait for a fish to be dumb enough to bite it. What do you do? You hide the hook with something that a fish likes. Fish like big, juicy, curvy, luscious worms, don’t they? They are totally enticed by worms. When fish see worms, their little fins start moving faster, their tails start going, and their little hearts start beating really fast!

So the little fish goes up, not realizing that the hook is covered by what looks appealing and attractive, and it bites. When the fish bites, what happens? The fisherman yanks up on the pole and sets the hook in the jaw of the fish. The fish thinks, “Oh no! I’ve got to go the other way – they were right!” Trying to go the other way, what does he do? He sets the hook even deeper, and there is more pain. Would he have bit if he knew how great the pain would be? No! Now the fisherman reels him in, yanks him out of the water, and hits the fish over the head with a hammer—then it’s all over.

That’s what the Bible says in James 1:15:

“Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” (NASB)

Don’t let the bait deceive you! Don’t let the hook be hidden, and don’t let the snare be camouflaged. Watch out! “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8b, NASB

Psalm 51, verses 1-2, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”

Proverbs 21, verses 2-3, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.”


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