Jesus, the example we must follow
“Since the children have flesh and blood He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14
“Because He himself suffered when He was tempted He is able to save those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18
This is a profound realization that Jesus was willing, because of His love for us, to take on our nature just to be able to die the death for sin for us so that we would not be subject to death. The fear of death is the only real weapon the devil has, and as long as he can threaten us with it he can manipulate us. He is as (like) a roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour. But he is not a real lion.
There is One who is the Lion, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and He is able to and has defeated this pretender to power. He has stripped him of his fierce roar and left him a toothless wonder that can only stalk us and threaten us by whispering his vile deceits in our ears to make us fear him. But Jesus Christ knows his ways and He reveals them to us and shows us by His example how to avoid him.
Thanks be to God, Jesus understands how we are tempted because he felt the same passions and suffered the same struggles and pressures of temptations yet without sin. And He shows us the way to follow Him in overcoming every temptation.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example…” (1Peter2: 21-24)
The pathway from sin is first to heed the right voice.
1) Listen to the Word. Listen to Jesus not to the world or even our own hearts because they can be deceitfully wicked.
2) Heed the voice of Jesus through His word. Don’t listen to the liar, read the word, meditate on it continually, let it not depart from your mouth.
3) Talk the Word and talk about the Word often.
4) Then walk the Word. Do the Word commands us to do. JUST DO IT! The idea didn’t originate with Nike. It is God’s secret weapon. Do the word, nothing more nothing less. It pays off in amazing benefits.
5) Turn from sin and reacting to every offense. We don’t have to sin. That is a deceitful lie from the devil. Yes, we are human and our flesh does tend toward sin first but we are more than our flesh. We are also reborn spirits with souls (minds, heart and emotions) that are being renewed by the Spirit of God, the Word and the gifts of God.
6) Love God and love others. If you love first you won’t willfully do acts of unkindness and offense. Yes, we can all blow it now and then unintentionally and God has made provision for that. But when we are motivated by love we will do what is right almost instinctively because that’s the nature of love, to do what is good.
7) Be faithful. Don’t give up until the will of God is accomplished, until the righteous desire is achieved until the work of ministry is complete. We are not called to mediocrity, second rate-ness, barely satisfactory or cheap, tawdry and shoddiness. We are called to excellence. The common saying among musicians on studio session after a marginal or less than remarkable take was, “Well…it’s good enough for gospel.”
Well, the Bible teaches us that our very best is still not good enough to measure up to God’s excellence but when bring the very best that we can produce to Him and offer it with thanksgiving He perfects that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) He makes it worthy to stand in His presence.
When Jesus was reviled He did not revile again but submitted Himself to God who judges righteously. Let God handle it. If they offend you, pray for them and keep your eyes (your heart, your mind, your hope) on Jesus. He endured so we can. In the world, you shall have tribulations but be of good cheer He has overcome the world. (John 16:3) Therefore in Him we have overcome the world.
So, let us worship God remembering His goodness. Psalm 103 is great to have ready on our lips to remind us and teach us continually that God is good all the time.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psa. 103:1
O taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)