Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Finding Grace for Temptations

Sometimes finding grace is like looking for hope through the fog. Here are some questions to meditate on after reading  Hebrews 4:12-16:

1.      Why is the Word of God so important in affecting change?
It is living – meaning it is useful for everything going on in our lives (2 Tim 3:16-17). It penetrates or judges not only our actions but our thoughts. If we let it, it will reveal our motives. It is the way God searches our hearts (Jer 17:10).
2.      Why is it important to understand God’s omnipresence and omniscience when dealing with sin and temptations?
There isn’t anywhere we can hide (Jer 23:23-24). He will judge the things we do in secret and he holds us accountable (Ecc 12:14). He rewards or punishes based on what we do in secret (Rom 2:16).
3.      Why is it important to understand that Jesus is our high priest who is now in heaven?
As a high priest, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Rom 8:34). In heaven, he is seated, he isn’t like the priest of old who wore bells and kept moving. Each stood before God as a sinful man and couldn’t stay in the holy of holies. Through Jesus, we can remain or abide in God every moment of every day. We don’t have to leave the Holy of Holies. Whether we are constantly aware of being in his presence or not, we are!
4.      How does Jesus’ empathy with you encourage you?
I know that he was tempted way beyond anything I could stand. But he did it as a man with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. He isn’t going to turn away when we ask for help and I have the same resources available to me.
5.      How does Jesus’ sinlessness in the face of temptation encourage you in temptation?
Some people believe that because Jesus is God, it was impossible for him to sin. Others believe, as I do, that because he is also human, he could truly have succumbed to temptation but didn’t. Because he didn’t sin it reminds me that his grace and power working in me, I can face any temptation and not sin (1 Cor 10:13). I’m not claiming I don’t sin, only that I don’t have to sin (Rom 6:11).
6.      How do you picture God’s throne of grace?
I picture it like the river of living water that flows from his throne in heaven. Rev 22:1-4  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. It is a never-ending source of mercy and grace to provide us with what we need to overcome sin in our lives.
7.      Can you draw close with confidence to receive mercy? Why or why not?
Yes, because I believe his promises to us. Based on the word of God and not on anything I have done or not done. If I couldn’t do this, then God’s promises are useless, however they are all fulfilled in Jesus and we who believe are able to agree with them (2 Cor 1:20).
8.      How does God’s grace help you when you are in trouble?
Titus 2:12-14 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. His grace works in us when we ask for it. It helps us to look forward to Jesus’ coming when we won’t be tempted anymore. It reminds me that I don’t need to give in to sin. It gives me the desire to do good. Grace isn’t just for salvation; it is a constant source of power from the Holy Spirit to enable us to live godly lives.

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