Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 41”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are going to continue looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are looking at what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are going to continue looking at today is the sin of “covetousness”. This is the second sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
We have already looked at 9 passages on this topic. Today, we will continue looking at 1 John 2:15-17. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website GLHOPI.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
1 John 2:15-17:
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Robert South said, “The covetous person lives as if the world were made altogether for him, and not he for the world.”
We have talked extensively about three ways in which covetousness or greed is brought about in our lives — through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Through our sinful flesh, our lustful eyes, and our human pride, the devil tries his best to draw us into a life where we desire and pursue the temporary things of this world. But John gives us the ultimate reason why we should not allow ourselves to be overtaken by covetousness. He says, “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.”
Everything that is in this world — every physical object, all money, every natural life form, every human body — will one day be gone. It is the law of entropy. In the end, everything deteriorates. The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt thought they could fill their tombs with stuff to take into the afterlife. But all of their stuff decayed, rotted, and was left behind for grave robbers and archaeologists. This is what the devil doesn’t tell us when he tries to lure us into the world system. He doesn’t tell us that we can’t take our “stuff” with us; he doesn’t tell us that “stuff” doesn’t satisfy; and he doesn’t tell us that we will keep craving and wanting more.
But there is another way.
John says, “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Instead of pursuing money and possessions, we ought to pursue obedience and faithfulness to God. Doing His will builds up eternal rewards in Heaven. These blessings originate on the other side, therefore, they cannot decay or be taken away. Alexander Maclaren said the one who obeys God “shall ‘abide for ever,’ in the sense that his work is perpetual. In one very deep and solemn sense, nothing human ever dies, but in another, all that is not running in the same direction as, and borne along by the impulse of the will of God, is destined to be neutralised and brought to nothing at last. But the obedient child ‘abideth for ever,’ in the most blessed and profound sense, in that through his faith, which has kindled his love, and his love which has set in motion his practical obedience to God, he becomes participant of the very eternity of the living God. Unite yourself with the will of God, and you abide.”
If we covet anything, let us covet the eternal blessings and rewards of Almighty God, and let us do His will so that we may obtain them.
If you struggle with covetousness, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!