Monthly Archives: June 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Peninsula Community Church

June 27, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

This last phrase brings us to the conclusion of our series within a series. In this part of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus reminds us that we are to pray that God will not us to be lead into temptation.

 Lead us not into temptation:

 The first point we need to make about temptation is that being tempted is not a sin. We must understand that temptation in itself is not sin because we are all tempted. Even Jesus himself was tempted after He fasted for 40 days. Therefore temptation is nothing more than a suggestion to sin.

Temptation becomes a sin when it is acted upon. The act of temptation places us at the juncture or crossroads between right and wrong; good or evil. Our choices in that moment will define and shape who we are. Sin and temptation is a lot like dieting. When I try to do the right thing and begin to lose a few pounds my senses are aroused.  First of all when I and dieting I can smell what the family two doors down is having for dinner.

I have shared before the process of sin that occurs when we are tempted and we act on that temptation. We see this in the story of Adam/Eve, Achan and David.

  • We see – This is the temptation. We see something we think is good and our senses call out for that thing. It is at this juncture that we must reject and turn from the temptation. If we do not resist, the desire will grow. What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:1-3).
  •  We covet – Our senses are stirred and the desire grows and becomes a scream in our hearts to act upon the temptation. It is here that we often meditate on the temptation. We know we are at this point when we begin to rationalize the temptation by communicating false ideas to ourselves: What if I were never caught? What if no one ever knew? I would not hurt anyone but myself. It is at this stage we need to do a Joseph and run from the temptation to give in (Gen. 39).
  • We take – we act upon the temptation and the temptation becomes a sin and now holds us in its grip. If not dealt with we will be drawn back into sin again which can lead to developing a stronghold or an addiction.
  • We hide – We know we are in deep when we cover our tracks and cover up the sin in hopes that no one will know.
  • We suffer the consequences – The result of sin is that there are always consequences to our actions.

Or, we can be tempted; resist the temptation with God’s strength; and we can become a stronger individual. It is like growing spiritual muscle. As we resist we become stronger at resisting the temptation.

We must become aware of our weaknesses and the temptations of our life and then establish boundaries to protect ourselves. The concern is a temptation left unchecked will most often leads to sin which leads to an addiction of some sort. When an area of our life tends to be an area of temptation we must draw boundaries and lines in the sand to avoid crossing over the line. There are many addictions:

  • Food
  • Complaining/grumbling
  • Shop-a-holic
  • Hoarding
  • Pornography/sexual perversion
  • Poor stewardship
  • Drugs/alcohol

Let us look at what the Scripture says about one of the greatest gateways to temptation and sin; our eyes. I hone in on this particular area because we are so driven visually and from a sensory mode. It is therefore necessary to set a guard to protect us from falling into sin.

  • Psalms 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
  • Psalms 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
  • Job 31:1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
  • Jesus even stated that if your right eye sins pluck it out. He was serious about dealing with the issues that lead to sin. This statement followed the statement “If a man looks upon a woman with lustful intentions he has committed adultery with her.”

 Deliver us from evil or as some commentaries suggest from the veil one:

Temptation cannot be overcome without the power of God being revealed.

We must understand that sin is pleasurable for a season. It can be enjoyed but that enjoyment only lasts for a season. Hebrews 11:24-26 – By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

Helps to overcome temptation and bring deliverance:

  • Prayer – Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38 –Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • Fellowship/Accountability
  • The Word– even Jesus was tempted but He knew the Word and how to use the Word to overcome the temptation.
    1. Psalms 119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
    2. Psalms 119:10 – With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
    3. Psalms 119:11 – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
    4. Read it, memorize it and let it take root in your heart.

When we call upon God, we ask that He will deliver us so we are asking for freedom from the results of the temptation. The promise of the Lord is that He will not put on us anything we cannot bear. 1Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Application: While temptation is not a sin we must draw boundary lines in the sand to prevent the entrapments of sin.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sermon on the Mount – Forgive as We Forgive

Peninsula Community Church

June 12, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Forgive Us Our Debts

 

Text: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

It should be noted that this phrase should not be detached from the phrase before it. Jesus says that we should pray that God would provide our daily bread but we should also pray that our sins be forgiven.

It appears that from a precursory reading of this passage that what Christ is saying is that if we don’t forgive others we will not be forgiven. But if that is the truth then it diminishes the work of the cross in our lives, because while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. What Jesus is communicating is that we must have the same attitude as Christ in that we are willing to forgive all who have offended us or wounded us.

Forgiveness is a major theme throughout the ministry of Jesus. The passage in Matthew 6:14-15 is a continuation of Matthew 6:12. It is as if Jesus finishes the prayer and then has an addendum to the prayer. He states, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus does not imply that His forgiveness is conditional but God’s forgiveness is founded in His grace. The basis of this request is that we can extend forgiveness to others in the same way that God extends forgiveness to us.

 

There is nothing that God does not forgive nor is there anything beyond his ability to reconcile in our lives. What is being said here is that the same power that God uses to forgive us can be manifested in us to forgive others.

One of the lessons learned from this passage is that to truly forgive we must attempt to see things from another’s point of view by having mercy on others. The idea of forgiveness here is the idea that one must have mercy on others as God has had mercy on us. The idea of mercy is a weak concept in our language. It relates more to having pity on another rather than just “giving someone a break” as we would interpret mercy.

 

An unwillingness to forgive is often based in pride that will not let us free the other person from the wrongs committed. To fully forgive, we must deal with the pride resident in all of us. As a result pride keeps us from forgiving others and from forgiving ourselves. When pride is resident, we are slow to forgive.

 

This is the reason that pride is such an issue for us in regards to forgiveness. When pride is resident we fail to recognize the grace and mercy God has bestowed upon us by His work on the cross.

To acknowledge ones’ need for forgiveness is to renounce the human demand to control one’s own life and fate. By confessing our sins we give up control.

The problem with not forgiving others is that we allow them to control our thinking, our attitudes and our actions. The problem with not forgiving others is that a lack of forgiveness causes the other person to have power over us and in essence control us. They control our thinking, they control our attitude and they control our actions because we allow them to take charge over us.

 

True forgiveness:

  • Is not a feeling.
  • Is not forgetting.
  • Is not excusing or justifying.
  • Is a decision.

Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of the will. True forgiveness is a series of decisions that we will call on God to change our hearts and to refuse to not talk about what someone has done against us.

Forgiveness is not forgetting. The old adage of “Forgive and forget” is a misnomer because the reality is that while we can forgive we do not necessarily forget what one have done to us or against us. When God says that He forgets our sins what is meant by this is that He no longer holds that sin or wrong against us. Forgetting is a passive process while forgiveness is an active choice of the will.

Forgiveness is not excusing or justifying. By excusing the wrong means that the real issues are not dealt with and that they will tend to be repeated.

Forgiveness is a decision. To forgive means that we release the other person from the liability to suffer punishment or penalty. The Greek word Aphiemi is translated to let go, release or remit. When someone hurts us we have one of two choices. We can forgive them or we can continue to collect on the debt of the wrong or the sin committed. We extract payments from others in many different ways:

  1. Withholding forgiveness
  2. Dwelling on the wrong
  3. Being cold and aloof
  4. Giving up on the relationship
  5. Inflicting emotional pain
  6. Gossiping
  7. Lashing back
  8. Seeking revenge

We can’t do this alone. To fully understand forgiveness we must recognize that we cannot do it alone. It is impossible to truly forgive others in your own strength. Without the cleansing and healing power of Christ at work in us we will not be able to forgive others in the way God intended. The only way to walk in forgiveness is to recognize that you are powerless to forgive anyone in your own strength and that you need Christ to come and change your heart.

 

Application: We must forgive others by recognizing God’s mercy and grace in our life.

 

 


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sermon on the Mount – Give Us Our Daily Bread

 Peninsula Community Church

June 5, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – The Lord’s Prayer

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

 

Text – Matthew 6:9-15 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 In our text today, we see that God is instructing the disciples to pray for their daily bread. The term daily means day-to-day or immediate. In other words, we are to pray for God to provide what we need for this moment in time because if we pray this each day and trust God to provide, He will provide for each day’s journey.

By praying “Give us our daily bread” we are asking for what is necessary for the present as we trust God for the future.

Notice that “Give us this day” is a small part of the prayer and yet we spend such an inordinate amount of time praying for our needs.

In this passage there are several truths that we can learn:

  1. The first of these is that God has the ability to sustain us on a daily basis. The Psalmist understood this principle when he wrote “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22). Too often we attempt to carry our burdens without giving them to Him because we are filled with pride or we feel that God cannot be bothered.

     

  2. We must be fully dependent on Him for our needs. Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Please note the results of the one that trusts in God:

     

    1. “He will be like the tree planted by water and he sends his roots out” to get the sustenance they need. This speaks of us doing our part by seeking after God for the things we need. We must be rooted in the truth of Gospel.
    2. “He does not fear when the heat comes.”
    3. “He is not anxious in the year of drought for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
    4. This truth means that we trust God not when we have needs but when everything is going well as well.

     

  3. Instead of anxiety we can rest in God’s ability to provide. Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough worry of its own. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. The problem with is that we often worry about things that never come to pass or we take things into our own hands and end up stepping outside God’s will.

     

  4. This provision is a symbol of God’s eternal grace. In the Old Testament we find that God provided for the Children of Israel by providing manna and quail for them. The fact is they did not deserve it because all they did was complain about the conditions of the wilderness, the leadership of Moses and the lack of faith they exhibited towards God. It is also interesting to note that when he provided the manna they were instructed to only take what they needed for that day as the rest would be moldy and would go to waste. Once again God was developing in them the ability to fully trust God in every circumstance, a trait they would certainly need as they entered the promise land. We could also make the observation of how easy it was for the children of Israel to revert to old ways and old habits. They were a complaining people and it was easy for them to go back to the old ways of dealing with issues.

 

  1. The manna was given in spite of the fact that they were complaining and being critical. God sent the manna
  2. God raining down manna from heaven at night and quail in the morning was assign of God’s provision and that He had not forgotten them. (Exodus 16)
  3. And that it was God that was bringing them out of Egypt and the desert.

 

  1. This passage shows us that He is interested in the little things in our lives. Jesus reminded the disciples that he was concerned about the number of hairs on our head. And he is concerned about whether or the birds of the air have nests to rest. There are times when we do not believe that we should be praying for the little things but God is just as concerned about those things as He is the big things.

 

Application: God provides all we need when we need it. And, He knows what we have needed of before we ask. His plan is for us to ask so that we will rely upon Him and not our own strength and ability. What is happening in your life? What is that you need?

  • A job
  • Restored relationships
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Spiritual Growth

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized