Your heavenly Father watches your progress on the road to everlasting life and eagerly desires your success. He takes no delight in watching some fall away. Jesus urges you to ask the Father’s help in staying strong: “When you pray, say: ‘. . . Lead us not into temptation’” (Luke 11:2,4).
James 1:13 shows us that God never tempts anyone to sin; he hates the very notion. The five little words in this petition are shorthand for a plea that God would have mercy on us because of our many sinful weaknesses and keep us from committing spiritual suicide. We are all prone to becoming careless, stubborn, hard of hearing, and reckless in the way we live, and we must keep imploring God to send his angels of protection.
You can help God answer that prayer. The Bible is a mighty resource to keep us out of temptation. It is armor for our hearts and a helmet for our brains. I hope you read some of it each day. He also sends other Christian people into your life—listen to them when they speak words of warning to you.
One of God’s greatest gifts to you is your congregation. Cherish it and thank God for the strength you draw from it. Your pastor cares about your spiritual well-being, prays for your safe journey, and will help you watch out for the ditches.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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