Thursday, September 12, 2013

He was tempted

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,  Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.   Hebrews 4:14-16

After seeing all the other girls at the end-of-school party, wearing their new summer clothes and looking so pretty, a teen girl found herself wishing her family could afford new seasonal clothing.  She wasn't asking for much, just something new.  She later confessed she was tempted to do some shoplifting at a department store, but just couldn't get the courage. 

A young married man, working at one job while trying to start his own business, carried small quantities of office supplies from his job.  There was nothing really expensive in what he was taking, and after all he was just taking enough to put out some flyers for his new business.  But he realized his weakness and his temptation had turned into his downfall. 

A lady noticed after her grocery shopping she got home with too much change.  She could use the extra money, and the store would never miss it, so her temptation got the better of her.  That seemingly insignificant incident started her on a habit of stealing something from the store on every visit. 

A student preparing for college realized his grades were not as high as they needed to be and he was tempted to falsify some of the reported grades on his transcript, just to make his college entrance a little easier. 

Temptation is the tool Satan uses in an attempt to get us to lower our standards of morality, forget our promises to God, and even disregard making right choices.  While we may feel our individual cases are unique, temptation comes into each of our lives.  If we  Christians understood Satan's scheming ways, perhaps we could be better prepared to deal with temptation when it comes our direction.

In describing the superiority of Jesus, the Hebrew writer calls him the "great high priest who has ascended into heaven."  Because Jesus is our great high priest, we are encouraged to "hold firmly to the faith we profess." 
Then in the statements following, we learn our high priest, Jesus, empathizes with us in our weaknesses. (That  alone makes me want to identify with him.)   Not only that, he is one that has been tempted in the same ways are tempted, but he did not sin. 

You and I are blessed with a Savior who has walked in our shoes......without committing sin. It is because of that we can approach the very throne of God with confidence, knowing that we can receive mercy and find his grace to help us in our need. 

Our God wants us to know the best way to handle temptation, is to confidently come to him.  It is God who blesses us with his mercy and grace. 


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