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Triumphing Over Temptation

Written By: Daniel Gregory - Jun• 11•12

Triumphing over Temptation
PDF of 7 Day Devotional

Something every person faces in life is temptation. In the world in which we live we are tempted everywhere we go. From being tempted to lie or steal at work to get a little further ahead in our careers, or to gossip and spread rumors about a friend or loved ones.. However, if you are like me, you notice some people seem to be less effected by the enticements that inevitably pull us down. I think that this happens because certain people have learned to manage the many temptations that are thrown our way. To help us learn to be triumphant over temptation, I have written a week’s worth of short devotionals that I hope will both inform and help you triumph over the temptations in your life.

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Day 1

Realize what Temptation is…

Reading for Today: ;

 

1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”……….4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

& 4 (ESV)

Here in Genesis we have recorded for us the very first time anyone was tempted to do wrong. Yet, in looking at this first temptation, we can also notice that it bears no difference from the temptations we face today. In this passage, the “Serpent” (Satan) tempts Eve into partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had expressly said not to do this because when Adam or Eve partook of the tree they would die (spiritually). This was the truth God had revealed. Satan simply told a lie that said you will be better off if you believe the lie instead of what God said. To this day temptation is still built on the same framework. Temptation, at its very core, is simply this; it is the push for someone to believe something contrary to the Scriptures. The temptation was “Don’t believe what God said! Believe something different and you will be better off.” Adam and Eve both did this and plunged the entire human race into a time of death, pain, sickness, and sorrow. The lesson for us today is that we face the same type of temptation. Over and over again the whisper comes within our minds “Did God actually say?” This question comes at us when faced with moral issues, relationships issues, issues of law, issues of whether or not to lie, cheat, or if we are younger, to disobey parents, or to indulge in something that we know will hurt our spiritual life and walk with God. Where we mess up is when we believe that lie that goes against everything the Bible teaches and directs us to do. Millions have believed that it is okay to lie only to have the truth bring to light their folly and bring them trouble and heartache (ask any teenager and you’ll get plenty of stories).

But what do we do to get onto the road of triumphing over temptation? Seeing that the makeup of temptation is a lie, the only way we are able to fight against a lie is by saturating ourselves in what is true, reviewing in our minds what is true, and living in that truth. The psalmist cries out in  “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The psalmist knew the value of truth. For when we have truth filling our lives it is that much harder to be led astray by the lies of temptation. Let us commit our lives not only to know the truth of the Word of God but also to live by it.

 

Dear Lord please help me to remember that Your Word is truth. Help me when I am tempted to remember what Your Word says concerning the situation I am in that I might not be deceived. Help me to learn and grow in my knowledge of Your Word that through Your Truth and Your power I may be triumphant over the temptations that I face. Amen.”

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Day 2

Recognize where Temptation comes from…

Reading for Today: ; ;

14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

(ESV)

 

I remember reading a story once of a young boy in trouble with his mother for kicking and biting his younger sister. The mother asked, “Did the devil make you kick and bite your sister?” The child thought for a while and said, “The devil made me kick her, but biting her was my idea.” Truth be told, whether it is a friend, an enemy, or the devil himself that tempts us at the end of the day we are the ones to blame for our own actions. In this world that is so fixated on shifting blame and pointing fingers at others for the problems they are in, the Word of God is clear, if we fall into temptation it is not anyone’s fault but our own. Now this might sound harsh and somewhat cruel to say to someone who is battling a tough temptation but the medicine we need is not always pleasant. If we are serious about triumphing over temptation we must be honest before Almighty God and take responsibility for our own actions. We must understand that when we fall we are the ones that need to hold up our hands and say, “God, I messed up and need forgiveness. It wasn’t my parents, my environment, or my genetic disposition; I believed the lie and acted on it.”

 

The silver lining of this passage comes in knowing where our weaknesses lie. The passage says that we are drawn away by our desires. This means that they are unique to us but they are also identifiable and able to be attacked. What are the desires in your life? Interestingly the word used in for “desire” is epithumia which means desire, craving, and longing especially for what is forbidden.

 

In our lives, the Scriptures implore us to take responsibility for our actions and commit ourselves to attacking our temptations head on instead of making excuses for why we falter and fall. Let us give ourselves over to identifying our weaknesses and taking the steps we need to avoid and conquer those temptations that come our way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I am the one to blame for the wrong that I do. My own desires and lusts draw me away to believe lies and fall into sin. Help me to identify my weakness and attack these temptations that I might live for You.” 

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Day 3

Remember Temptation has no backbone…

Today’s Reading: ;

13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
ESV

 

In looking at this verse, two very important truths come bursting through about temptation. First, temptation has no backbone. What I mean by this is that Scripture says every temptation, big or small, is able to be overcome. There is not one single temptation that comes into our lives, grips hold of us, and forces us kicking and screaming into sin. That’s what the “overtaken” part of the verse is saying. The other truth is that God is with us faithfully through temptation. The second part of this verse comes with a wonderful truth that brings comfort and joy. When this verse states that God, “will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” it is saying that when we are tempted God has made a channel, a trapdoor, or a pathway we can take to get through the temptation. It could be as simple as the power button on the remote control, or the dial on the radio to be used so that we might avoid hearing or seeing something we shouldn’t. It could be stopping a conversation with a “gotta go” and avoid the gossip that is to come. Whatever the case, God is always faithful in providing the way of escape. The difficult part is, so many times, because of our own lusts and desires, that “way of escape” is the last thing on our minds. However, if we truly desire to beat the temptations that draw us into sin, our eyes must be sharp and looking for that way of escape, we must always remember temptations have no backbone, that they can be beat.

I remember back in elementary school my parents had a rather large tree cut down in our yard. For my sister and I, this was better than any jungle gym, as it provided hours of fun filled climbs and jumps. One day my older cousin came over and jumped from the fallen trunk of the tree to the exposed stump that lay a few feet away. This was a jump I thought I could never make. For me, small and short compared to my older cousin, this seemed an insurmountable distance, yet my cousin encouraged me and I tried and tried until one time I jumped and I got one foot on that stump. After that my mind was made up. I knew this enemy was able to be beat. The next jump was all that it took. My mind was set and I knew this foe was beatable. Today you might not be trying to jump onto a stump in your yard, but the temptation you face might be staring you down like an unbeatable foe. Be encouraged, the Word of God says temptation is able to be defeated and escaped from.

 

Dear Lord, thank you for your faithfulness in placing ways of escape before me as I face temptation. Help me to see these ways of escape and be willing and ready to take these pathways that I might not give into the temptations that are before me. Amen”

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Day 4

React properly to Temptation…

Today’s Reading –

12she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.”
But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
( ESV)

 

In Scripture there are few individuals that have squeaky clean records. David gave into temptation many times over and in the end found himself a murderer and adulterer. Jonah, a prophet of God, found himself running from God and ending up in the belly of a great fish. Even Peter, who traveled with the Lord Jesus, denied Him three times to his own shame. Joseph’s character, however, is superb and one of the reasons is that he reacted properly when faced with temptation. Here in , the temptation was to lie with Potiphar’s wife, a lady that probably was very attractive and used to getting what she wanted. Her priorities were simple, to get pleasure by any means necessary. This meant tempting Joseph, seducing him, and when she didn’t get her way, indicting Joseph on false charges. Joseph’s priorities were greatly different. He desired to please God and to keep his life pure. When faced with a temptation, he reacted the only way he could, he ran! In order for us to react properly to temptation, we need the same attitude in our lives. First and foremost, we need our highest priority to be Jesus Christ. Notice Joseph didn’t say, “what if we get caught?” His concern was his relationship with God (). Far too often our relationship with God is an afterthought to giving into sin. To our own demise, the first thing on our mind is “Will we get caught?” or “Who’s looking?” rather than the fact that God is always watching us and desires our lives to be pure. Let us commit our hearts to keeping on that strait and narrow path that God has laid out for us in order to keep our hearts and minds spotless before the Almighty. Let us make our relationship with God our passion, and pour our lives into maintaining that relationship, for it is more important than any other relationship we have!

Then, when we are faced with a temptation, our reaction will be proper and right as we defend our spiritual lives in such a way that it remains pure and holy. Sometimes it might be that we have to be like Joseph and run away from a person that is trying to drag us down into sin. However, we will find that keeping our life right with God is a reward far greater than any passing pleasure this world has to offer.

 

Dear Lord, please help me to have a heart that puts the relationship I have with you first. Let the concern of my heart, when faced with temptation, be that I might not do anything that would harm the relationship I have with You. Help me to react properly to temptation and give me the courage even to run from temptation.”

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Day 5

Return to Scripture in battling Temptation…

Today’s Reading: ; ;

4 But He answered, “It is written,…

(ESV)

 

One of the best ways I can show that everyone and I mean everyone, faces temptations is to open a Bible up and show how Jesus Himself was tempted in the wilderness after fasting for forty days. Along with this passage comes one of the best examples of how we are able to deal with temptations, as Christ, our example, demonstrates how we can fight temptation head on. When Christ was tempted He quoted Scripture to the face of the devil shooting down the temptation that was placed before Him. In the same way, we are to take the truth of the Scriptures and defend our lives when it comes to temptation. As we learned earlier, temptation’s framework is made up of lies. We also saw that the best way to combat those lies is with the truth of the Bible. When we are faced with the temptation to believe that God doesn’t love us or that He is not near, we claim the promise of , that He is with us and that He will help us. When we are tempted to believe that our prayers are worthless we claim . Whatever the situation, we draw the truth from the Word to combat the temptation to believe the lies of this world. I know what is probably going on in your mind right now. You’re saying, “There is no way I can ever know that much Scripture. I’ll never know enough to battle the temptations in my life like Jesus did.” Nothing could be further from the truth! We learn and excel at those things we work hardest at, the key is perseverance. You might currently be just like I was in middle school when it came to the Bible. I knew what a Bible was and that the words Jesus spoke were in red. I didn’t know Peter from Paul, but what little I knew I built from. Over the years, little by little, my knowledge grew. Yours can too. I would recommend grabbing hold of a single verse and branching out from there. is good or or . Learn one verse and know it by heart, claim the truth that it tells you, and learn a little more. Also, don’t think that because you can’t quote chapter and verse that you can’t claim the promises of Scripture. Live your life by the truth of the Word and continue studying the Word. Don’t worry, soon you’ll find yourself looking a lot like Jesus when temptation comes your way!

 

Dear Lord, I need to know Your Word. Only by Your help will I have it placed within my heart. Today, with your help, I will learn more of Your Word by reading, memorizing, and hearing Your Word preached. Help me build that knowledge that I need and help me as I continue to know more. May You place within me the riches of the knowledge of Your Word, that I might have a storehouse of truth to defend myself against the temptations that come my way. I praise you Lord for the gift You have given in Your Word, let me cherish it and use it for Your honor and glory.”

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Day 6

Red flag points in your life that Temptation hits you hardest

Today’s Reading:

26But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
ESV

 

I remember back in high school when my church’s youth group had a night where we played capture the flag in a large barn. We played it a little bit different that night as we had one team defending a wooden shield that we used as a team flag, and one team trying to capture it in a twenty minute time frame. I was a senior then and president of the Sunday School class, so my mission was clear, be the first one to lay hands on that shield. Well, try as I might, I could not get to it. Defender after defender was in my way, and even when I got close to the shield the opposing team shone flashlights in my eyes, held me back, and did everything they could to stop me. Needless to say, I never got to touch that shield and we ended up losing the game. However, in looking back, that game taught me the importance of safeguarding the weak parts of our lives. You know, when it comes to temptation we usually fall where we are weakest. In the passage you have already read, we see Lot’s wife looking back upon the place she loved, Sodom and Gomorrah. She did this after she had been warned not to look back, nevertheless, for some reason she gave in to that want to see her city one last time. Her weak point was that she wanted to stay even though it was filled with wickedness and debauchery. Even to the point where, as the city was being burnt up with fire and brimstone, the city was able to call “look back one last time,” and she gave in and turned into a pillar of salt.

Friends, we all have weak spots and they are unique to each and every one of us. Your weak spot might be shopping and buying that unneeded and unbudgeted item that will end in debt and arguments at home. It could be that you love to be lazy and when the couch cries out, procrastination kicks in. Men, it could be when your eyes are tempted to look at things you should not or saying things that are not Christ honoring. Ladies, it could be that you have a weak spot for needing everything perfect, in giving into the temptation of overworking, you hurt the relationship you have with your family, friends, and Heavenly Father.

What should we do in the midst of all this? We should all take a lesson from playing capture the flag, shield, yes I know. The one thing the opposing team did better than anything else was guarding that shield. They knew that was their weak spot and the game would be lost if it was captured. So their strategy was to build as much of a barricade around that shield as they could. You know what? It worked. No matter how hard I tried, even with my team behind me, I could not get to that shield. It was protected with blockades of people, it was hidden from sight, and it even had kids with flashlights blinding others from seeing it. Whatever your weak spots, put a red flag on it, and build a barricade around it that temptation will have to fight to get to it. If you spend way too much money inside the convenience store every time you pay for gas, refuse to go in and pay at the pump. If you have a tough time controlling your tongue around certain people, get away from them! If you have to be around them speak as little as possible. Identify and protect those weak spots so that you might be triumphant over temptations.

 

Father, I confess I have weak spots in my life that are attacked by temptation, and I need to guard myself so that I might not give in to them. Help me Lord, to identify them and show me the way to put a defense against these temptations. Help me to have a willing heart to give up, throw away, and rid my life of things that give power to the temptations that attack my life, so that by your strength these temptations may be overcome.” 

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Day 7

Rejoice in the Lord to reduce Temptation’s power to tempt…

Today’s Reading:

8Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
ESV

 

I am North Carolina born and North Carolina bred. In fact, I have lived within the same 40 mile area all of my life except for the three years I spent at Liberty University. Needless to say I am a pork barbecue, Brunswick stew, Duke’s mayonnaise, Stan’s pimento cheese, Texas Pete, and Pepsi person. That was what I was raised on, it is what I know, and love to eat. On the other hand my beautiful wife is from Texas. There the barbecue is not pork, everything is called coke, and there is not a bottle of Texas Pete to be bought in the entire state (last time I checked)! However, I am thankful to say, I have never starved or been close to being malnourished while visiting the greater Dallas, Fort Worth area. In fact, I found some things that werte quite good. One particular place comes to mind is a Restaurant by the name of Tia’s. I must say it was the best Mexican food I had ever had, in fact, if had a choice that would probably be the only place I would eat while in Texas. You know what broke me of that desire, coming back to North Carolina and having a wonderful meal of good home cooking. Biting into a nice barbecue sandwich with Texas Pete and Cole slaw and washing it down with an ice cold Pepsi took away all desire for chips and salsa. When we indulge in sinful temptations, we dull our senses to the taste of the wonders of Almighty God. When we find ourselves worshipping the Lord and growing in Him, the tempting power of our own lusts and desires will have little power as we feast on the riches that God has for us. When the psalmist proclaims “taste and see that the Lord is good” it is an invitation to know God, to be surrounded by the presence of God, and to know all the things He has done for us and has for us. My encouragement for you today is to be a part of what God is doing, to worship Him will all your heart, and actively serve Him. One of the greatest support groups and places of opportunities in which we have to do this is the local church. The local church gives us an outlet to work together with fellow believers and allows us to have a deeper relationship with God. In serving God we will find this that the temptations we face will be less powerful and easier to fight as we do it with help of our Heavenly Father as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Lord, please help me to know You more and be active in serving You. I know the temptations I face are more difficult to fight when I am away from You, but when I am close the battle can be won with hardly any effort. Lord guide me to your church that I might worship You there, serve you with my life, and be active in the fellowship of other believers. Lead me in my pathway of life, that I might be triumphant for You.”

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”


3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.


14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.


He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

119:1  Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

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