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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

1 Corinthians 10:11-13

"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

What is that which is common to man? TEMPTATION! Back in the 50's there was a popular song—it may have been recorded by Frankie Laine. As I recall the final line went something like this: "You are temptation and I am yours!" The picture is of a man besotted with lust and with no means of escaping. Believe me, that is not Scriptural.

Frequently we hear of people, some in VERY high and sensitive positions, who have been guilty of various sins or indiscretions. Sad to say, it all too often occurs in churches and religious institutions.

If we are honest, I think most of us would confess to clucking our tongues and making comments about the fall of this or that sinner. Perhaps we do not gloat, but it is close to it. Watch out!

Paul cautions us to be careful, for temptation is "common to man." As I started the quotation today, it mentions, "These things happened - - ." What were "these things"? Paul reflects back to the Exodus from Egypt and specifically mentions that the people found fault with God in the food He had provided—they grumbled and complained, and they also engaged in sexual immorality.

Interestingly, Paul stresses that each and every one of us may be tempted in the very areas that we are the most critical about. Pride goes before a fall!

If Paul would have left it at that, it would sure have been depressing. It would leave us with a sense of inevitable collapse ourselves. That was not his intention.

Paul was demonstrating here that God is not to blame for our sin. It is tragic how many people blame God for their personal sinful responses to situations. This should not be! Paul indicates that we all are subject to temptation, but God always provides a means of escape. We need to stay close to the escape hatch.

I think most of us have seen pictures of huge floating oil platforms which are scattered all around the oceans of our world. Drilling for oil means that there is always a critical danger of fire. The personnel on the platforms cannot simply run down the street to escape the fire.

Before the oil rig personnel can be assigned, they must go through rigorous training in fighting the possible fire, and more importantly, how to escape. There are lifeboats on the platforms, but if the personnel do not know how to get in and lower themselves to the water, they will be in danger.

God's Word gives us His escape from the temptations that confront us. We will never be free from temptation, but we have God's lifeboat. As long as we stay near God's lifeboat, and keep proficient in its use, we can escape.

Can I let you in on a tragic secret? Many people do not want to escape Satan's temptation. It is a willful act to walk away from God's escape hatch and into the danger and peril which temptation offers. Before they know it, they are ensnared and fall into the bitterness of sin. How sad!

God's escape plan is Jesus! Our Savior gave Himself to save us. He sent the blessed Holy Spirit to be our life preserver. We are never without means of escape. Choose life!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

--- Pastor Cecil


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