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Remind yourself of God's Gifts

There was a businessman who was not doing well in business.

Even though he put in every penny he and the bank had, he owed everybody. It was so bad he contemplated suicide. As a last resort, he went to a pastor and, with many tears, asked for help.

The pastor had advice for this man, "Here's what I want you to do: Take a beach chair and your Bible and head down to the beach, sit at the water's edge when you get there.

Next, open your Bible. Look down at the page and read the first thing you see. From that, you will know what to do."

A year later, the businessman went back to the pastor. The man pulled up in a new car; he was in a new custom-tailored suit and was a completely new man.

The businessman pulled out an envelope stuffed with money and gave it to the pastor as a thank-you gift.

The pastor asked: "You did as I suggested?"

"Absolutely," replied the businessman.

"You went to the beach?"


"You sat in the beach chair with the Bible in your lap?"


"You let the pages rifle until they stopped?"


"And what were the first words you saw on the page?"

"Chapter 11."

We want everything that the world calls success, and sometimes we are willing to do whatever it takes to get it, even if it's outside the will of God.

Temptation is a real thing and a tactic the enemy uses to trip us up.

Temptation is Satan's offer to give you something he claims God hasn't given you.

The most remarkable example of temptation was when Jesus was face to face with satan.

In Matthew 4, when Satan tempted Jesus, he suggested, "Your Father just said you were his beloved son. If he loves you, why are you hungry?"

He tempted Jesus with food because it had been 40 days since Jesus had eaten. He was offering to give Jesus something that he claimed God was withholding from Him.

There could be things in your life right now that you question why God hasn't provided. But you have to remember that God has given you precisely what you need right now, even if it's not exactly what you WANT.

James 1:12–15 (NLT)

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

What a warning against temptation! He follows up this warning with a reminder:

James 1:16–18 (NLT)

16 So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true Word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Temptation is Satan's cheap substitute for the real gifts from heaven the Father has given us.

The devil wanted Jesus to transform stones into bread so He could eat. He wanted Jesus to believe the lie that God didn't give Him what He NEEDED to live.

How did Jesus respond? It's essential because this is how WE need to respond to temptation.

Matthew 4:4 (NLT)

4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Jesus preferred the nourishing bread of life, the Word of God.

Is this what we prefer when we are struggling for answers in life's difficult situations?

1 Timothy 2:14 (NLT)

14 And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.

This Scripture reinforces that Satan deceived Eve, but when Adam showed up, he sinned with his eyes wide open because he wanted to remain with his wife.

His deliberate disobedience plunged the human race into sin and judgment (Rom. 5:12–21).

We have all been deceived. In this battle we call life, we will be deceived again. We have tools to fight, but our greatest strength is actually acknowledging our weakness and need for a Savior.

Without Jesus, we have no hope of living a victorious life.

Our Lord's obedience and death on the cross saved us from condemnation and made us the children of God.

We must trust in this Gift of God called Salvation.

The greatest weapon we have in defeating the enemy is that we have been saved from him. We have been saved, redeemed, and set free.

The enemy only has as much power over us as we allow.

James 4:7 (NLT)

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Because we are children of God, have been given certain gifts.

Ephesians 6:17 (NLT)

17 Put on Salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

We defeat the enemy first by not allowing a foothold, closing our ears to his offers, and remembering God's gifts.


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