Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Word For You Today Devotional Sept. 10

    We attended a church a couple of weeks ago where we were given a free copy of "The Word For You Today" devotional.  I have found it practical and inspiring.  Yesterday's devotional was particularly helpful to me because I seem to be addicted to eating.  Whenever I have a few extra minutes I look for something to eat--preferably chocolate.  Consequently, over the years I've put on a few extra pounds which I would like to lose but have not been motivated enough to stop eating sweets.  Yesterday I was thinking about how Christians are called to represent (re-present) Jesus to the world.  Do I represent Him in the best possible manner if I am careless about my appearance, or my words, or my habits?
   Then I read the devotional for Sept. 10 entitled, "Handling Temptation" with Pr. 4:23, "Keep your heart with diligence" as the included verse.  I tried to find the devotional online, but since I couldn't I decided to type it here because I'm going to need to read it over and over.  I particularly liked the illustration at the end.  I need to continually keep my eyes on my Father.

     We all have our battlegrounds; in some cases they're things we surrendered to years ago that now prowl through our innermost thoughts.  That's why the Scriptures warn, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life."  
    Max Lucado writes: "I'm at my desk in a hotel room far from home.  The voices that encourage are distant; the voices that entice are near.  A placard on my nightstand invites me to the lounge 'to make new friends in a relaxing atmosphere.'  Another on top of the TV promises late-night movies that will 'make all my fantasies come true.'  In the phonebook several columns of escort services offer 'Love away from home.'  Voices!  Some for pleasure, some for power.  The world rams at your door, Jesus taps.  The world promises fleshly pleasure, Jesus promises us a quiet dinner...with Him: "I will come in and eat with him, and he with me' (Rev. 3:20 NIV). Which voice will you obey?" 
     You ask, "How should I handle tempting situations?"  
     In two ways: First, by filling your mind with Scripture so that your first response is always, "It is written."  Second, by keeping your eyes on Jesus.  Lesley Durkin writes, "My father used to put a bit of meat on the floor near his dog and say, "No!"  The dog never touched it.  But he never looked at it either, because if he did the temptation to disobey would have been too great.  He just kept looking at my father's face."  
     Keep your eyes on Jesus.  "Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."  (Ps. 34:5 NIV) 

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