Every reasonable human being will admit that we are living in perilous times. And those of us who strive to walk in Jesus’ footsteps can sense that the end is near. Still the Bible tells us: “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
That we do not know when the end comes should motivate us to be ready like the five wise virgins were, unfortunately, that is not the case. Many Christians continue live their lives as they did on the other side of the Jordan.
Brothers and sisters, now is the time for those of us who have lagged behind in our Christian life to step up the pace. We should do this, whether we think the end is near or not. It is the right thing to do. There is no telling what tomorrow brings. Proverbs 27:1 states: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day brings”.
Life is a Marathon, and you do not know how long you will be able to run it. ” Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
Life is short, and many people do not realize how short it is until it is too late. Just as a runner trains and prepares for a race, so must every human being prepares for eternity.
What if you die today?: Where would I go? Heaven or hell?
Friends, according to Matthew 7:13-14, you have two choices. You can choose the narrow gate which leads to heaven or the choose the wide gate with all its glitz and glamour and end up in Hell.
I urge you to, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who go in by it. But narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”.
Jesus said in John 14:6, ““I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
Temptation is something we all face as Christians, no matter how long we have been following Christ. There are a few practical things, however, that we can do to grow stronger and smarter in our struggle against sin. We can learn how to avoid temptation by practicing these five steps.
Recognize your tendency toward sin.
James 1:14 explains that we are tempted when we become enticed by our own natural desires. The first step toward avoiding temptation is recognize our human tendency to be tempted by our own fleshly desires. Temptation is a given. Do not be surprised by it. Rather, expect to be tempted. Be prepared for it.
Run away from the temptation.
I love the New Living Translation of 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”
Whenever you are faced with temptation, look for the way out that God has promised and then run as fast as you can.
Resist with the Word of truth.
Hebrews 4:12 says God’s Word is living and active. Did you know you can carry a weapon that will make your thoughts obey Jesus Christ? If you don’t believe me, read 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 One of these weapons is the Word of God.
Though it can be helpful to read God’s Word when you’re being tempted, sometimes that’s not practical. Even better is to practice reading the Word daily, so that eventually you have so much of it inside, you are ready whenever temptation comes. If you are reading through the Bible regularly, you will have the full counsel of God at your disposal.
Refocus with praise.
How often have you been tempted to sin when your heart and mind were fully concentrated on worship to the Lord? Praising God takes your focus off of self and puts it on God. You may not be strong enough to resist temptation on your own, but as you focus on God, He will inhabit your praise. He will give you the strength to resist and walk away from the temptation. May I suggest Psalm 147 as a good place to start?
Repent quickly when you fail.
In several places, the Bible tells us the best way to resist temptation is to flee from it (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22). Yet still we all fail from time to time. We fail to flee. Notice I didn’t say, repent quickly if you fail. Having a more realistic view—knowing that, at times, you will fail—should help you to repent quickly when you do. It is not the end of the world when you fail, but it is very dangerous to persist in your sin. Going back to James 1, verse 15 explains that sin “when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
This article was originally published on http://www.onewaystreetministries.org