Our newest series at TWTL ministries takes us back to where we started this website: The Sermon on the Mount. This time we will dive into the second part of Christ's life altering message as we examine his commands concerning the Law. This portion of the sermon spans Matthew 5:17-48. Through examining this portion of scripture, we believe we will illuminate what it truly means to operate in the Truth (or understanding) of God's ways.
This series will take place over 8 weeks and will have 3 devotions per week (24 total devotions!) The layout for each week will be as thus:
Time Frame and Extra Access
Devotions will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As a bonus, the ACCESS Page will have an extra Reflection and Activation on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. If you don't have an ACCESS Pass, you can create one simply by clicking on the ACCESS button on our website. It's free and gets you special coverage of our series.
We are excited to provide this new devotion to you all and are super excited to begin it next Monday! Until then, we recommend reading the scriptures we referenced earlier to get caught up to speed as this will be a fast paced and challenging 2 months ahead.
How To... Pt 3: Make The Devil Flee
However, this scripture and the corresponding verses that go with it have lost their stickem on Christianity today. Many Christians are tired of fighting. We long for peace and tranquility in our lives and its easier to compromise or turn a blind on things rather than to stand against them. If we want to be counted as one who is lead by God, the crux of this series, we must adhere to this important command. Let's dive in.
The recent flooding in Baton Rouge has forced many from their homes and caused damage to homes and businesses throughout the area. First Church in Baton Rouge is no exception. Many of the members of their congregation have been affected severely by this terrible flooding as has the church. The church is one of the longest continuous congregations in the area and they have been involved in shaping and developing Baton Rouge through prayer and outreach for decades. Now they need help.
Through Give Forward, a great crowd funding platform designed for emergency and difficult situations, we are able to raise funds to help the church and its congregation in a timely fashion. All money raised from this funding opportunity will go to assisting the church. It will help the church with any and all damages caused to their facilities, and will also assist in helping families of that church and people in the community who have been affected by the tragic flooding over the last few days. Thank you in advance for your donation and God Bless.
Read more and donate here.
So Why Does Temptation (and Satan) Seemingly Win So Much?
This is an honest question most people refuse to ask. There seems to be more people falling to temptation than choose to abstain from it and resist the devil. Yes, there are many who refuse to follow Christ and His plan for their life, but even in Christianity we see people suffering from the attacks of the devil and coming up short. Tempers flare up inside Christian homes just as they do in the homes of alcoholics and drug abusers. Pornography is viewed on the computers of saints just as it is on the computers of sinners. Affairs, substance abuse, depression, fear, homosexuality and many other forms of sins and products of temptations occur in the lives of followers of Christ and the narrow road just as they occur in the lives of the followers of the broad way to destruction. It's understandable that a person outside of relationship with God would falter, but why does temptation find ways to survive and even thrive in the hearts, minds and lives of those who have chosen to pursue Christ?
Reading our previous lessons and discovering what temptation exists in your life and where it attacks is a good start, but we will take it further today and examine why temptation is so effective.
Since Before Man, Temptation Is
Temptation has been around since before man existed and it has been used successfully on beings that are technically superior to humans (Revelation 12:9). Satan convinced 1/3 of God's angels,-beings that explicitly know God exists, have seen him and were with Him daily-to follow him. Satan is an effective enemy who has been honing his skills since before time began. Throughout the Bible, we watch as followers of God in the Old and New Covenant falter because Satan got the best of them.
Hall of Fame's Shame
All of these men had a major thing in common. They let their spiritual guard down. Temptation came their way, like it had several times before, but these times they were not prepared for it. Abraham and Sarah were just tired of waiting. Moses was just having a bad day. David got comfortable in his success. Elijah couldn't see past his trials to see the successes God had done. Peter reacted in a moment based on his emotions rather than the leading of the Spirit. We can all relate to these probably, and there are probably even more examples. Each of them was a result of a lack of diligence in their spirit, and it tells a great lesson.
We cannot afford to lose vigilance, even when life gets difficult and the attacks of the enemy seem to ramp up. We can't lean on our own understanding when we are unsure. We can't rely on our own temperament instead of the peace of God to lead us in how react to others. We can't let our past successes lead us to a place of complacency. We can't lay down and quit just because we feel persecuted or like our spiritual pursuits are fruitless. We can't let our emotions rule our decisions when we feel God is making a decision we disagree with. To abandon the path God has laid out, even partially and for just a moment, leads us to be open to the attacks of temptation.
We must remember what God promised us and lean on that instead of our own rational thinking. We must ask for peace instead of give into rage and frustration when things and others don't go our way. We must remember our purpose in God and stay committed to the cause even when we are experiencing a windfall of success. We must stand vigilant in the face of trials and tribulations and not quit when the going gets tough. We must trust God's choices instead of reacting emotionally to uncertain situations. If we do, having to ask why we fell to temptation will be a question we ask less and less.
Have A Greater Why
All of these people have another things in common, too. They picked themselves back up and followed God further.
All of these men repented before God and came back into the fold. They had a greater why that drove them: Why they served and followed God. Because they experienced His love and grace. There is nothing greater than that. Temptation and our failure to overcome it at times doesn't disqualify us from serving God. It's what we do when we fall that determines our future in God's Kingdom. Will we have an understanding of why we follow God that is greater than why we fall to temptation? If we do, it won't matter if we fall or how many times we falter. We'll get back up and continue the journey.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook Page. What's your why when facing temptation. Is your why for God greater?
We've announced it on several different platforms already, but we are just so excited to announce that our LYL series was tabbed to be adapted into an article for Fervr.Net. Fervr is a website geared towards helping young people navigate the waters of this life while also drawing closer to God. Our series on Losing Your Life for Jesus appealed to the core tenants of Fervr and their sister organization Youthworks. As a result, we took the series and boiled it down into one digestable devotion, which you can read here.
We would love to here your thoughts on the adaptation, so please let us know in the comments below. Also, if you haven't picked up your copy of the original LYL series, click here to get it and start learning how to lose your life for Christ.
Thanks again to all who have supported us and we look forward to sharing future opportunities we get to share the gospel.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.