A group of scientists make a mockery of Biblical Creation

A group of scientists make a mockery of Biblical Creation

March 31, 2015

Recently, a group of Paleontologists toured the Creation Museum and said they were offended by the way in which Evolution, their life’s work, was under attack, referring to the museum as a monument to scientific illiteracy.

The scientists said the Creation Museum, the work of Ken Ham and his organization Answers in Genesis, was like Sunday School with statues.

The visiting scientists said Creationism is a theory not supported by most mainstream Christian churches and it presents a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

Scientists who say the Creation Museum is an offense to their life work as Evolutionists are actually confirming the Bible and setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

During a recent trip to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH, a group of Paleontologists not only were offended by the literal interpretation of the Biblical Creation story, but mocked at the very thought that there is a God, an Intelligent Designer, Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

These so-called scientists said that a literal of the Biblical account of Creation was an attack on their life’s work in Evolution. The truth be known, that is correct. The Bible does attack the Theory of Evolution and reveals that it is a religion, a philosophy that can only be accepted by faith.

True science is personal observation of an event and the ability to reproduce the event which is not the case in the origins of man. It is a fact that Creation must be accepted by faith, belief in the Biblical account from the only One who did actually observe Creation and can replicate it, and that would be God.

II Peter 3:5 says these pseudo scientists would indeed be willfully ignorant of God’s work in Creation and more so as we approach the time of the Lord’s return, II Peter 3:4.

The Theory of Evolution and those who propagate it are indeed setting the stage for Jesus to return and for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/

Does God's Sovereignty Mean He Makes People Evil?

Does God’s Sovereignty Mean He Makes People Evil?

by Phil Johnson

A fellow who espouses hyper-Calvinism wrote me to argue that there is no such thing as “common grace.” He insisted that God’s “apparent goodness” to the reprobate has no other purpose than to increase their condemnation. He was convinced that God is as active in making the reprobate wicked as He is in conforming the elect to the image of Christ. And for “proof,” he cited Romans 5:20: “The law entered that the offense might abound.”

Different? You bet. My view, of course, is different from his.

So let’s think through some of these issues carefully. Consider, first of all, that the law has the effect of provoking sin in the elect as well as the reprobate. Even the apostle Paul testified that the tenth commandment stirred up all manner of coveting in his heart (Romans 7:8). He went on to explain in verse 13 that this is because the law was given to make sin appear exceedingly sinful. In other words, the law makes sin abound in order to confront us with the reality and magnitude of our sin.

But that is ultimately a gracious purpose, and the second half of Romans 5:20 makes that point inescapable: “The law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” So the exacerbating of sin is not an end in itself. God’s ultimate purpose, and that which He delights in, is not the sin, but the superabounding grace.

Moreover, even while the law is provoking us to rebellion, the Lord through common grace usually restrains sinners—including the reprobate—from giving full expression to their sin (cf. Genesis 20:6; Romans 2:14-15).

So it is my conviction that the overall effect of common grace on the reprobate will be to decrease their condemnation, not increase it.

But what about the potter-clay analogy in Romans 9? my hyper-calvinist correspondent wondered.

We need to think that through carefully, too. The potter starts with a lump of clay—something inherently filthy and base, with hardening properties already defining its very nature. So the clay is analogous to fallen humanity—useless for anything at all except in the hands of the heavenly Potter.

Left alone, clay will harden into something permanently worthless. But when a skilled potter applies His work to that amorphous lump of filthy clay, he always makes it useful. He improves the clay-lump into something that can be employed for good purposes.

The end-products are of varying quality, of course, because they are made for different purposes. Sometimes the potter makes fine pottery that may include veritable works of art; other times he makes ash trays. But he starts with the same glob of clay, and all his finished products are superior to the worthless lumps they would have been apart from His work.

That’s exactly what Paul meant when he spoke of vessels of honor and dishonor. “Dishonorable” vessels in Paul’s analogy would be things like diaper pails, chamber pots, spittoons, garbage containers, and whatnot. The vessel used in such a way is “dishonorable” in the sense that you don’t put it on display for honored guests, or use it to serve your Thanksgiving Turducken. (Or pizza, as the case may be.) But the potter who makes such dishonorable vessels isn’t himself dishonorable. Nor are his purposes dishonorable. On the contrary, they are good. (Imagine a world without garbage containers.)

So the potter imagery does not suggest that God works to make the reprobate worse or worse off than they would have been without His work, nor does it suggest that He delights in increasing their condemnation. In fact, if their damnation is ultimately exacerbated in any sense because of His work, it is precisely because they have despised and spurned His goodness, which ought to lead them to repentance (Romans 2:4)—not because He deliberately made them into something worse than they would have been otherwise. If they are worse off because of His goodness to them, it is their own fault. His goodness is not a mask for some hideous secret delight over their damnation.

The example of Pharaoh, cited by Paul in Romans 9, is a case in point. We are not to imagine that the potter-clay imagery suggests God made Pharaoh evil. The proclivity of Pharaoh’s heart was already evil. Pharaoh’s hatred for God and the things of God was Pharaoh’s own character flaw, certainly not something God was responsible for.

Like this. It was a beaut.

Let me give you an illustration. When I was in high school, I had an old car, a beautiful 1954 Chevrolet Bel Aire. (I wish I still had it.) But in those days it was not quite the antique it would be today, and far from being a classic, it had some rather severe mechanical problems. One was that it steered left all the time. If I wanted to make it go straight down the road, I had to exert a steady pull to the right. But if I wanted to change to the left lane, I simply had to release that pressure, and the car would automatically veer left.

God exercises His sovereignty over an evil heart very much like that. The heart of Pharaoh was in God’s hands so that He could turn it whithersoever He willed (Proverbs 21:1). But when it served God’s sovereign plan for Pharaoh to turn stubborn, God did not have to exert force to pull him in an evil direction. God did not need to infuse an evil intention into Pharaoh’s heart. God simply withdrew His influence and Pharaoh’s own evil inclination steered him into the left lane, fulfilling God’s plan.

John Calvin has an interesting section dealing with this very issue in his Institutes. (II.4.3) He writes:

God is very often said to blind and harden the reprobate . . .. There are two methods in which God may so act:

[1] When his light is taken away, nothing remains but blindness and darkness: when his Spirit is taken away, our hearts become hard as stones: when his guidance is withdrawn, we immediately turn from the right path: and hence he is properly said to incline, harden, and blind those whom he deprives of the faculty of seeing, obeying, and rightly executing.

[2] The second method . . . is when executing his judgements by Satan as the minister of his anger, God both directs men’s counsels, and excites their wills, and regulates their efforts as he pleases.

So when Scripture says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, we are not to think God infused an evil desire into Pharaoh, or sovereignly steered him in a direction Pharaoh was himself not inclined to go. Pharaoh’s own will was already inclined toward evil; God simply permitted Pharaoh to fulfill the already-evil intentions of his own fallen heart and will. Or in other words, God sealed the will of Pharaoh in its own evil intention, and then used Pharaoh’s evil designs to accomplish God’s good purposes.

In fact, God’s agency in hardening Pharaoh’s heart is exactly like the agency of the sun in hardening clay. The sun is in no way tainted or influenced by its contact with the clay; but the clay is profoundly affected by the sun’s rays.

Furthermore, the property that gives clay its hardness is a property that belongs to the clay, not the sun. Want proof? Put a block of ice in the sun and see what happens to that. It will melt rather than harden. So the property that leads to the hardening of clay is something in the clay. Left to itself the clay will harden with or without exposure to the sun’s bright light. The sun merely accelerates the natural process.

And that is precisely the effect the Word of God had on Pharaoh. So while we may truly say that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, it is vital to remember that the sinful properties that caused the hardening lay in Pharaoh’s own heart. Pharaoh alone was responsible for his stubbornness. God, though sovereignly in control from beginning to end, bore no responsibility whatsoever for the evil that emanated from Pharaoh’s own will.

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2007/10/does-gods-sovereignty-mean-he-makes.html

The Iraqi government wants to turn the Biblical site of Babylon into a

The Iraqi government wants to turn the Biblical site of Babylon into a major tourist attraction

March 30, 2015

With the rapidly improving security conditions in Iraq, the surrounding Babel province has persuaded the US State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on a preservation project with plans to make the ancient city of Babylon a major tourist attraction.

This war torn nation sees an opportunity to restore this Biblical city to a stage that could attract visitors from all over the world to the site of such great historic figures as Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great.

The US and Iraq will work together on this project that they believe can become at least what it was before Saddam Hussein if they are not able to bring it to where it was when the ancient city of Babylon ruled the world.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

As the US and Iraq work together to restore the ancient Biblical city of Babylon as a tourist attraction for war torn Iraq, the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

For many years, I have reported the restoration of the Biblical site of Babylon under the leadership of the late Saddam Hussein. There are reports that Saddam spent 500 million dollars to restore Babylon not necessarily as a tourist site, but because Saddam believed he was a reincarnation of King Nebuchadnezzar who ruled the world from Babylon 2,500 years ago.

This Babylon project is in reality setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled. A number of ancient Jewish prophets wrote centuries ago that Babylon would once again come to power before it was totally and completely destroyed, which has never happened.

Revelation 18 calls for the literal city of Babylon to be the economic center of the world and to be ruled over by the Antichrist for the last three and a half years of the seven year Tribulation Period. Isaiah in his prophecy, chapters 13-14, Jeremiah in chapters 50-51 and John the Apostle, in Revelation 16:17-20 all call for the total and complete destruction of Babylon.

The move to make Babylon a tourist attraction is indeed Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/

March 31, 2015 Bible Reading

March 31

Reading for Today:

Deuteronomy 23:1–24:22

Psalm 39:1-6

Proverbs 13:1-3

Luke 5:17-39

Notes:

Psalm 39:5- handbreadths. He measures the length of his life with the smallest popular measuring unit of ancient times (1 Kin. 7:26); see “four fingers” (i.e., about 2.9in.) in Jeremiah 52:21. and my age is as nothing before You. On “measuring” God’s age, see Psalm 90:2. vapor. For the same Hebrew word, see Ecclesiastes 1:2ff., “vanity” (a total of 31 occurrences of this term are in Eccl.); Psalm 144:4. On the concept in the New Testament, see James 4:14.

Luke 5:26- strange things. The response is curiously noncommittal—not void of wonder and amazement, but utterly void of true faith.

Luke 5:30- eat and drink. Consorting with outcasts on any level—even merely speaking to them—was bad enough. Eating and drinking with them implied a level of friendship that was abhorrent to the Pharisees (7:34; 15:2; 19:7).

Luke 5:33- fast often. Jesus did fast on at least one occasion (Mat. 4:2)—but privately, in accordance with His own teaching (Matt. 6:16-18). The law also prescribed a fast on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:27)—but all other fasts were supposed to be voluntary, for specific reasons such as penitence and earnest prayer. The fact that these Pharisees raised this question shows that they thought of fasting as a public exercise to display one’s own spirituality. Yet, the Old Testament also rebuked hypocritical fasting (Is. 58:3-6).

DAY 31: What does Deuteronomy 24:1–4 say about divorce and remarriage?

This passage does not command, commend, condone, or even suggest divorce. Rather, it recognizes that divorce occurs and permits it only on restricted grounds. The case presented here is designed to convey the fact that divorcing produced defilement. Notice the following sequence:

if a man finds an uncleanness (some impurity or something vile, see 23:14) in his wife, other than adultery, which was punished by execution (see 22:22);

if he legally divorces her (although God hates divorce, as Mal. 2:16 says; He has designed marriage for life, as Gen. 2:24 declares; and He allowed divorce because of hard hearts, as Matt. 19:8 reveals);

if she then marries another man;

if the new husband then dies or divorces her, then that woman could not return to her first husband (v. 4). This is so because she was “defiled” with such a defilement that is an abomination to the Lord and a sinful pollution of the Promised Land.

What constitutes that defilement? Only one thing is possible—she was defiled in the remarriage because there was no ground for the divorce. So when she remarried, she became an adulteress (Matt. 5:31, 32) and is thus defiled so that her former husband can’t take her back. Illegitimate divorce proliferates adultery.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Applying the Disciples' Prayer

Applying the Disciples’ Prayer

[COLOR=Red]”Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:13).

The Disciples’ Prayer is a pattern to follow for life.

The implications of the Disciples’ Prayer are profound and far-reaching. An unknown author put it this way:

I cannot say [COLOR=Red]”our” if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment. I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child. I cannot say “who art in heaven” if I am laying up no treasure there.

I cannot say “hallowed be Thy name” if I am not striving for holiness. I cannot say “Thy kingdom come” if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day. I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I am disobedient to His Word. I cannot say “in earth as it is in heaven” if I will not serve Him here and now.

I cannot say “give us . . . our daily bread” if I am dishonest or an “under the counter” shopper. I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against anyone. I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path. I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

I cannot say “thine is the kingdom” if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject. I cannot attribute to Him “the power” if I fear what men may do. I cannot ascribe to Him “the glory” if I am seeking honor only for myself. I cannot say “forever” if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by the things of time.[/COLOR]

As you learn to apply to your own life the principles in this marvelous prayer, I pray that God’s kingdom will be your focus, His glory your goal, and His power your strength. Only then will our Lord’s doxology be the continual song of your heart: “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13).

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to use what you’ve learned from the Disciples’ Prayer to transform your prayers.

For Further Study

Read John 17, noting the priorities Jesus stressed in prayer.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/drawing-near

A Petition To The Father- The Seven Last Sayings of Christ

Monday, March 30, 2015

by John MacArthur

Famous last words can be tragic or inspiring. Not everyone has the opportunity to choose their last words carefully, but for those who see death coming, what message of wisdom, love, confession, or summation do they deliver with their final breaths?

In preparation for the celebrations of Christ death and resurrection later this week, we’ve been considering Christ’s last words from the cross. What did the Lord have to say to those gathered as He suffered the punishment of countless sins He hadn’t committed? As we’ve seen already, His words pointed forward to God’s redemptive purpose in His suffering, and illustrated His love and compassion.

Christ’s fourth saying from the cross is by far the richest with mystery and meaning. Matthew writes,

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45–46)

It might seem at first glance that Christ was merely reciting the words of Psalm 22:1 (“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning?”). But given the fact that all of Psalm 22 is an extended prophecy about the crucifixion, it might be better to see the psalm as a prophetic anticipation of the cry of Jesus’ heart as He bore the sins of the world on the cross. It was no mere recitation.

Corrupting the Cross

Some commentators have gone to great lengths to explain why Jesus would utter such words. To them, it seems unthinkable that Jesus would actually feel abandoned on the cross—and even more unthinkable to surmise that God in any sense abandoned His beloved Son. And so they insist that Jesus was merely reciting Scripture, not expressing what He truly felt in His heart.

But that betrays a serious misunderstanding of what was taking place on the cross. As Christ hung there, He was bearing the sins of the world. He was dying as a substitute for others. To Him was imputed the guilt of their sins, and He was suffering the punishment for those sins on their behalf. And the very essence of that punishment was the outpouring of God’s wrath against sinners. In some mysterious way during those awful hours on the cross, the Father poured out the full measure of His wrath against sin, and the recipient of that wrath was God’s own beloved Son!

In this lies the true meaning of the cross. Those who try to explain the atoning work of Christ in any other terms inevitably end up nullifying the truth of Christ’s atonement altogether. Christ was not merely providing an example for us to follow. He was no mere martyr—a victim of the wickedness of the men who crucified Him. He wasn’t merely making a public display so that people would see the awfulness of sin. He wasn’t offering a ransom price to Satan—or any of the other various explanations religious liberals, cultists, and pseudo-Christian religionists have tried to suggest over the years.

Divine Substitution

Here’s what was happening on the cross: God was punishing His own Son as if He had committed every wicked deed done by every sinner who would ever believe. And He did it so that He could forgive and treat those redeemed ones as if they had lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness.

Scripture teaches this explicitly: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. . . . He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief . . . as a guilt offering. (Isaiah 53:4–5; 9-10)

“What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2).

Propitiation

That word propitiation speaks of an offering made to satisfy God. Christ’s death was a satisfaction rendered to God on behalf of those whom He redeemed. “The Lord was pleased to crush Him” (Isaiah 53:10, emphasis added). God the Father saw the travail of His Son’s soul, and He was satisfied (v. 11). Christ made propitiation by shedding His blood (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17).

It was God’s own wrath against sin, God’s own righteousness, and God’s own sense of justice that Christ satisfied on the cross. The shedding of His blood was a sin offering rendered to God. His death was not merely a satisfaction of public justice, nor was it a ransom paid to Satan. Neither Satan nor anyone else had any right to claim a ransom from God for sinners. But when Christ ransomed the elect from sin (1 Timothy 2:6), the ransom price was paid to God. Christ died in our place and in our stead—and He received the very same outpouring of divine wrath in all its fury that we deserved for our sin. It was a punishment so severe that a mortal man could spend all eternity in the torments of hell, and still he would not have begun to exhaust the divine wrath that was heaped on Christ at the cross.

This was the true measure of Christ’s sufferings on the cross. The physical pains of crucifixion—dreadful as they were—were nothing compared to the wrath of the Father against Him. The anticipation of this was what had caused Him to sweat blood in the garden. This was why He had looked ahead to the cross with such horror. We cannot begin to fathom all that was involved in paying the price of our sin. It’s sufficient to understand that all our worst fears about the horrors of hell—and more—were realized by Him as He received the due penalty of others’ wrongdoing.

And in that awful, sacred hour, it was as if the Father abandoned Him. Though there was surely no interruption in the Father’s love for Him as a Son, God nonetheless turned away from Him and forsook Him as our Substitute.

The fact that Christ—suffering from exhaustion, blood loss, asphyxia, and all the physical anguish of the cross—nonetheless made this cry “with a loud voice” proves it was no mere recitation of a psalm. This was the outcry of His soul; it was the very thing the psalm foretold.

We should keep Christ’s suffering in mind, not just this week but always, and remember that He willingly endured the physical and spiritual horrors of the cross for the sake of our redemption. His immense sacrifice on our behalf is humbling.

(Adapted from The Murder of Jesus.)

http://www.gty.org/blog/B150330/the-seven-last-sayings-of-christ-a-petition-to-the-father

March 30, 2015 Bible Reading

March 30

Reading for Today:

Deuteronomy 21:1–22:30

Psalm 38:9-22

Proverbs 12:26-28

Luke 5:1-16

Notes:

Deuteronomy 22:5- anything that pertains to a man…woman’s garment. Found only here in the Pentateuch, this statute prohibited a man from wearing any item of feminine clothing or ornamentation or a woman from wearing any item of masculine clothing or ornamentation. The same word translated “abomination” was used to describe God’s view of homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). This instance specifically outlawed transvestism. The creation order distinctions between male and female were to be maintained without exception (Gen. 1:27).

Deuteronomy 22:22–29- Adultery was punished by death for the two found in the act. If the adulterous persons were a man with a woman who was pledged to be married to someone else, this consensual act led to the death of both parties (vv. 23, 24). However, if the man forced (i.e., raped) the woman, then only the man’s life was required (vv. 25–27). If the woman was a virgin not pledged in marriage, then the man had to pay a fine, marry the girl, and keep her as his wife as long as he lived (vv. 28, 29).

Luke 5:4- let down your nets. Normally, the fish that were netted in shallow water at night would migrate during the daylight hours to waters too deep to reach easily with nets, which is why Peter fished at night. Peter may have thought Jesus’ directive made no sense, but he obeyed and was rewarded for his obedience (v. 6).

DAY 30: What specific crimes were listed in the Old Testament as deserving the death penalty?

CRIME — SCRIPTURE — REFERENCE

1. Premeditated Murder Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12–14, 22, 23

2. Kidnapping Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7

3. Striking or Cursing Parents Exodus 21:15; Leviticus 20:9; Proverbs 20:20; Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10

4. Magic and Divination Exodus 22:18

5. Bestiality Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 20:15, 16

6. Sacrificing to False Gods Exodus 22:20

7. Profaning the Sabbath Exodus 35:2; Numbers 15:32–36

8. Offering Human Sacrifice Leviticus 20:2

9. Adultery Leviticus 20:10–21; Deuteronomy 22:22

10. Incest Leviticus 20:11, 12, 14

11. Homosexuality Leviticus 20:13

12. Blasphemy Leviticus 24:11–14, 16, 23

13. False Prophecy Deuteronomy 13:1–10

14. Incorrigible Rebelliousness Deuteronomy 17:12; 21:18–21

15. Fornication Deuteronomy 22:20, 21

16. Rape of Betrothed Virgin Deuteronomy 22:23–27

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Avoiding Temptations

Avoiding Temptations

[COLOR=Red]”Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

Don’t let your trials turn into temptations.

When we hear the English word temptation, we usually think of a solicitation to evil. But “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 translates a Greek word that can refer either to a trial that God permits to refine your spiritual character (James 1:2-4), or a temptation that Satan or your flesh brings to incite you to sin (Matt. 4:1; James 1:13- 15). Both are valid translations.

I believe“temptation” in Matthew 6:13 refers to trials. Even though we know God uses trials for our good, it’s still good to pray that He won’t allow us to be caught in a trial that becomes an irresistible temptation. That can happen if we’re spiritually weak or ill-prepared to deal with a situation.

God will never test you beyond what you’re able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13), but resisting temptation requires spiritual discipline and divine resources. Praying for God to deliver you from trials that might overcome you is a safeguard against leaning on your own strength and neglecting His power.

God tested Joseph by allowing him to be sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused by an adulterous woman, and unjustly imprisoned by a jealous husband. But Joseph knew that God’s hand was on his life. That’s why he could say to his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to . . . preserve many people” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph was ready for the test and passed it beautifully!

Jesus Himself was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1). God wanted to test Him to prove His virtue, but Satan wanted to tempt Him to destroy His virtue. Jesus, too, was victorious.

When you experience trials, don’t let them turn into temptations. Recognize God’s purposes and seek His strength. Learn from the example of those who have successfully endured the same trials. Be assured that God is in control and is using each trial to mold your character and teach you greater dependence on Him.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the trials He brings your way.

Ask Him to help you see your trials as means by which He strengthens you and glorifies Himself.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 119:11, Matthew 26:41, Ephesians 6:10-18, and James 4:7. What do those verses teach you about dealing with temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals#.TqYCaZxU3cR