1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 1:6-10; Matthew 11:28; Various
The Way of Escape / No Excuses
Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.
Have you ever been to an escape room? An escape room is where you pay money for you and your friends to be locked in a room full of clues, trying to find the combination that will let you escape. You only have a set time to get all the clues or you lose... sometimes in dramatic ways. Tonight we are going to talk about an escape, not from an escape room, but from temptation.
We have spent the last few sessions talking about 1 Corinthians 10:13 and how it is an encouragement to us to resist temptation. It says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.”
There are four promises in this verse to help us overcome temptation. 1. We’re all in this together, there is help available from your brothers and sisters in Christ who have overcome temptation and are good mentors to help you overcome too. We have accountability partners! 2. God is faithful. He is always available for you to help you. He has even given Christians his Spirit to live in us as a Paraclete… a counselor and encourager. 3. He doesn’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can overcome. He trust us to resist this so that we can build a resistance or immunity to sin. 4. God has provided a way out, an escape hatch so that we can endure and persevere over temptation and sin.
However, Christians should note that Paul's words are actually a sharp two-edged sword that rebukes as well as assures. If God does not allow any temptation greater than the believer can withstand, and if he has given us the support group of the church, and if he provides a way of escape, then surely as Christians we do not ever have a valid excuse for succumbing to sin! That means it is up to us to really put the tools that God has given to us to work in order to resist temptation when it comes our way.
No of course no believer ever avoids sin entirely. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and the nature of our flesh is to desire the forbidden fruit. 1 John 1:6-10 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” God knows we are all objects of sin by nature. But he has given us his Son who forgives our sins and purifies us from all unrighteousness when we confess our sin to him.
I love that God gives us an escape plan for temptation. But this isn’t that God is removing you from the temptation or that there is some kind of formula to make us magically stronger. The escape is often a reminder that God is with you so that you can bear up under it. That is so we can build endurance.
When I was younger I was haunted by impure thoughts that would spring into my head at the most unusual times. But the interesting thing was that all of a sudden I would hear a hymn or Christian song playing in my head. Sometimes I started humming it or even singing it. There were other times when a memory verse would spring to mind. Now that I am older I find it absolutely amazing that when I am feeling tempted my accountability partner will call at that exact time.
Your escape hatch maybe different from mine. A fellow Christian had been in an accident a few years ago that damaged her back. She was in so much pain and her doctor had cut down on her medication. She had tried prayer, meditation, reading her Bible, and keeping her mind busy… but nothing seemed to help. She was in so much pain she had actually decided to buy some illegal drugs from a friend of a friend of a friend. Just as she was about to meet the “friend” her preacher drove up. He rolled his window down and talked to her saying that it was funny because she had just been on his mind. He told her that he suddenly had the urge to pray for her and now her she was driving by him. She was practically in tears as she thanked the preacher for his prayers and concern. She drove home with a renewed strength and courage.
The escape that we are talking about is not so much an escape from something but rather an escape to someone… that someone is Jesus. Jesus is the one who wants to fellowship with you. Jesus is the one that forgives. Jesus is the one that purifies us from sin. Jesus is the one who faithful and just to be there for us. He is the Rock that we should escape to when temptation comes our way. That is why he puts songs and hymns and memory verse in our heads. That is why he sends preachers, accountability partners, and fellow believers our way. It is because Jesus wants us to escape to Him.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord of All, I thank you for this incredible day that you have given to us. Thank you for friends and accountability partners. I thank you for Jesus, who purifies me from sin and all unrighteousness. I thank you for providing a way of escape to you. Help me to resist the temptations that come my way. It is in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior, that I pray, AMEN!
Remember what Jesus says in Matthew 28:11, ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus will give you rest by taking your burden on him. Follow the escape plan and run to Jesus for rest.
I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.