Theme: OVERCOMING TEMPTATIONS
The word temptation, means “a desire or craving for something, especially something considered wrong”. It is “the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to do evil.” According to the Wikipedia, temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment that threatens long-term goals. It also means sore afflictions, difficulties and perils, at the instance of satan the devil to induce people of God to deviate from their convictions. Temptations are tests of our faith in God Almighty. He, being holy and desirous of man’s holiness, does not tempt anyone; it is the devil who is the “tempter”. (Matthew 4:3,1; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) Apostle James stated, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” – James 1:13.
The Christian’s success in overcoming sin and resisting temptation is dependent on and proportional to his or her diligence in learning, believing, and obeying the words of God as contained in the Holy Bible. Children of God should cultivate the Christian ethic of prayer, piety, moderation in all things, abstinence from wasteful consumptions, thrift or prudence in the use of resources, foresight in planning for the future, patience and so on. Jesus Christ said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” – Matthew 10:16.
Text: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” – 2 Peter 3:17.
Comment: In several portions of the Holy Scriptures, it is revealed that God would reward everyone according to their works. – Ecclesiastes 12:14; Job 34:11; Romans 2:6 etc. In pursuit of eternal life, at no time should we allow ourselves to be distracted by the attitude of anyone, no matter how highly placed they may be, our personal relationship with them, their duration of service, material possessions, or wealth of experience they may have acquired over time. Whenever we are tempted to make a turnaround from the way of life because of the ungodly conduct of others, the text for today cautions us to beware. The gospel message which has divine promises should rather stabilize us, teaching us to be diligent that we “may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless”. – 2 Peter 3:14.
Rather than allow ourselves to be carried away by the errors of the wicked, we should adopt the approach of Lot, “… that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds”. (2 Peter 2:7, 8) Scripture says: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil”, “for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God”. – Exodus 23:2; Luke 16:15