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Fireproof Your Marriage Temptations Ja.1

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FIREPROOF YOUR MARRIAGE: BREAKING FREE OF TEMPTATIONS

JA. 1:12-18

INTRO: (EX: EXCUSES—AUTO ACCIDENTS) WE GET GOOD AT MAKING EXCUSES—SOMEONE TO BLAME—ALSO TRUE IN MARRIAGE. WE START OUT INTENDING “TILL DEATH DO US PART” THEN THE HARD ISSUES OF LIFE SET IN—EXPECTATIONS FAIL & DIFF. SURFACE—ANGRY WORDS & HURT FEELINGS: MANY SONGS REFLECT THIS STRUGGLE:  (NEIL DIAMOND & BARB STREISAND “YOU DON’T SAY YOU NEED ME—YOU DON’T SING ME LOVE SONGS—YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE”---GORDON LIGHTFOOT—“I DON’T KNOW WHERE WE WENT WRONG BUT THE FEELLINGS GONE & I JUST CANT GET IT  BACK”)  TRIALS/TEMPTATIONS WEIGH US DOWN—WE WANT TO BE STRONG BUT SOMETIMES TEMPTATIONS SEEM STRONGER. IF WE DON’T RESIST SIN WILL DAMAGE OR DESTROY RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD/SPOUSE/OTHERS. IN THE MOVIE CALEB STRUGGLES WITH TEMPTATIONS—THEY CONTRIBUTED TO HIS MARRIAGE TROUBLES  

          (EX:  SHOW MOVIE CLIP—COMPUTER)

CALEB WAS READING FROM “LOVE DARE” BOOK HIS FATHER GAVE HIM TO HELP SAVE HIS MARRIAGE WITH CATHERINE—BOOK COMPARED SINFUL HABITS TO PARASITES—PARASITE IS ANYTHING THAT LATCHES ONTO YOU OR YOUR MATE & SUCKS LIFE OUT OF YOUR MARRIAGE. THEY PROMISE PLEASURE BUT GROW LIKE A DISEASE & COMSUME MORE & MORE THOUGHTS/TIME/MONEY. THEY STEAL LOYALTY & YOUR HEART FROM THOSE YOU LOVE.  TEMPTATION WORKS LIKE A PARASITE IN OUR LIVES—TEMPTATIONS ARE COMMON TO ALL OF US TILL WE DIE (1 COR. 10:12)  BUT WE CAN STAND UP TO THEM & WE CAN SAY NO TO SIN EVEN WHEN WE WANT TO SAY YES.  LOOK AT SOME PRINCIPLES:

I.                  REALIZE TEMPTATIONS ARE COMMON TO EVERYONE

A.   LIVE IN THE WILL OF GOD & STAND UP UNDER THEM—V.2 SAYS WE ARE BLESSED (HAPPY) WHEN WE PERSEVERE (STAND  UP UNDER; ENDURE) UNDER TRIALS/TEMPTATIONS –IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRUTH OF GOD TO BE WORKED OUT IN OUR LIVES.  SO WE LEARN TO LIVE IN WILL OF GOD—DEVELOP DISCERNMENT TO KNOW GOOD & EVIL.  NOTICE THIS PROMISE IS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM. IT’S NOT A MATTER OF “IF” BUT “WHEN” WE ARE TEMPTED—EVERYONE!  AND WE ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO OUTGROW IT.  (EX: YOUNG PRIEST WAS SERVING AT CONFESSIONAL BOOTH FOR 1ST TIME WITH OLDER PRIEST OVERSEEING HIM.  AT END OF DAY OLDER PRIEST TOOK THE YOUNG PRIEST ASIDE & SAID “WHEN PERSON FINISHES CONFESSION YOU HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING OTHER THAN “WOW!”)  JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST & BEEN BAPTIZED DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE IMMUNE FROM TEMPTATION (1 COR. 10:13)—WE DON’T NEED TO BE SURPRISED OR SHOCKED BY TEMPTATIONS (HEB.4:15—JESUS WAS TEMPTED BUT WITHOUT SIN) 

1.     MENS’S TEMPTATIONS:  BIG ONES IN AREAS OF PRIDE/POWER/LUST—MEN ARE ABOUT ACHIEVEMENT WHICH CAN LEAD TO GAINING STATUS/WORKAHOLISM. OUR ADDICTIONS COME IN DRUGS/ALCOHOL/PORN. WE SLIP INTO THESE WITHOUT MEANING TO. WE DON’T NOTICE WE HAVE BUILT HABITS THAT ARE HARD TO BREAK. THESE ADDICTIONS COMFORT & SATISFY A NEED.  WE CUT-OFF TIME/ENERGY FOR GOD/FAMILY/FRIENDS—WE GET DESINSITIZED TO WHAT IS GOOD/RIGHT—LOSE ABILITY TO LOVE/CARE FOR PEOPLE

2.     WOMEN’S TEMPTATIONS: WOMEN DRAWN MORE BY EMOTIONS/RELATIONSHIPS—IF YOUR HUSBAND DOESN’T TALK MUCH TO YOU & MALE CO-WORKER TALKS & LISTENS ITS EASY TO MAKE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION—TAKES ROLE THAT BELONGS TO HUSBAND—DANGER OF CHAT ROOMS

THESE ARE PARASITES THAT CAN LATHCH ON TO YOU & SUCK LIFE OUT OF MARRIAGE

 

II.               BE RESPONSIBLE

JAMES WARNS WE SHOULD NOT SUGGEST GOD HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH TEMPTING US. GOD MAY TEST YOU TO STRENGTHEN FAITH BUT HE WILL NEVER TEMPT YOU TO DAMAGE YOUR FAITH—GOD IS HOLY/GOD IS LIGHT—THERE IS NO DARKNESS IN HIM.  (EX: WILL RODGERS SAID THERE WERE 2 GREAT MOVEMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY—PASSING OF BUFFALO & PASSING OF BUCK. WE ARE IN A BLAME SOCIETY. (DRIVE BY SHOOTING/AIRLINE CRASH/DRUNKEN DRIVER KILLS FAMILY/TERRORISTS BOMBS—IS IT DEVIL/FATE OR GOD?) MANY TRIALS ARE RESULT OF OUR OWN SELFISHNESS & POOR CHOICES THAT BRINGS ON SORROW. BUT FEW WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY (ADAM BLAMED EVE & EVE BLAMED SERPENT)  PROV.19:3 “A MAN’S OWN FOLLY RUINS HIS LIFE YET HIS HEART RAGES AGAINST THE LORD”  ---IN OUR DAY “COFFEE TOO HOT; FAST FOOD MADE WE FAT; VIOLENCE ON T.V. MADE ME KILL; CIG. CO. DESTROYED MY LUNGS—WHETHER A TEMPTATION BECOMES AN ACTION OR A WAY TO HELP US MATURE DEPENDS ON OUR RESPONSE.  I BRING ON MOST OF MY PROBLEMS—STOP PASSING BUCK & BLAMING GOD OR OTHERS.

III.           BE READY  (V.14-16)

WE MUST UNDERSTAND HOW THE DEVIL WORKS—HE LOVES TO SET UP STRONGHOLDS IN MIND/HEART. HE HAS MANY SCHEMES—TEMPTATION IS PROCESS—AS CASTING CROWN SONG SAYS—IT IS SLOW FADE—IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.

1.     DECEPTION—WE ARE “DRAGGED AWAY” (ENTICED) BY OUR DESIRES. THE REF. HERE IS TO HUNTING/FISHING—SETING TRAP OR THROWING OUT LURE. NOW THE SAME BAIT OR TRAP WONT CATCH EVERY ANIMAL—MANY DIFF. TRAPS & LURES.  BUT WHEN ITS SET RIGHT IT CAN CATCH THEY PREY BEFORE THEY REALIZE IT. SATAN TAKES NORMAL HEALTHY DESIRES & PERVERTS THEM (FOOD/WORK/MONEY/SEX/POWER)  HE KNOWS THE BAIT TO USE FOR EACH FOR US---SEE THAT PICTURE---USE THE CREDIT CARD—LET MIND WANDER. HE KNOWS WHAT WE WILL FALL FOR.  AND OFTEN WE SEE THE HOOK—BUT LIKE THE FISH OR ANIMAL WE KEEP NIBBLING AND THINK IT WONT GO TOO FAR. THAT IS DECEPTION

2.     DISOBEDIENCE:  JA. USED ILLUS. OF PREGNANT WOMAN—AT CONCEPTION PROCESS IS STARTED THAT RESULTS IN BIRTH OF CHILD IN 9MO. –SO THE CONCEPTION OF SIN & DISCOVERY OF SIN MAY BE MONTHS APART BUT PROCESS STARTED IN MIND. DEVIL GETS OUR ATTENTION THRU DECEPTION THEN GETS US TO ACT. WHEN STARTS OUT IN MIND USUALLY COMES OUT IN LIFE (LOSE TEMPER; RATIONALIZE; FOLLOW CROWD; SIGN YOUR NAME; WALK INTO HER ROOM; BREAK PROMISE; TELL THE LIE; DEMAND YOUR WAY)  SIN IS AN UGLY PARASITE THAT CAN CONSUME (EX: PICTURE OF HOOKWORM PARASITE) THAT IS NASTY & WE FORGET HOW UGLY/DANGEROUS SIN CAN BE. WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN YOU BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT.

3.     DEATH: WHEN YOU OVERCOME YOU RECEIVE CROWN OF LIFE.  SIN EATS AWAY AT RELATIOINSHIP WITH GOD/MATE/OTHERS. WE CAN CONVINCE OURSELVES IT WILL NOT HURT ANYONE THIS TIME—IT’S A LIE—SIN WILL TAKE YOU FARTHER THAN YOU WANT TO GO—KEEP YOU LONGER THAN YOU WANT TO STAY—COST YOU MORE THAN YOU WANT TO PAY. 

IV.           REMEMBER GODS GOODNESS (V.17)

THEN WE MUST REDIRECT THE MIND/HEART BACK TOWARD GOD. WE CANT WIN THESE BATTLES IN THE FLESH. WE CANT JUST GRIT OUR TEETH & HOPE FOR THE BEST. WE MUST CHOOSE TO FILL OUR MINDS WITH RIGHT THINGS (EX: A MASTER TRAINING HIS DOG WILL PUT MEAT ON FLOOR NEAR THE DOG AND THEN MASTER WILL SAY “NO!”—THE DOG KNOWS HE IS NOT TO TOUCH IT SO THE DOG TAKES HIS EYES OFF THE MEAT—TEMPTATION TOO GREAT—AND FIXES HIS EYES ON MASTER’S FACE)  SO DON’T FOCUS ON TEMPTATION BUT REFOCUS—BACK TO MASTER—TURN YOUR EYES ON JESUS.  THIS MAY MEAN WE HAVE TO REMOVE OURSELVES FROM THE TEMPTATION (LIKE JOSEPH DID), MAKE NEW FRIENDS—CHANGE CHANNEL—CHANGE JOB.  WE MAY HAVE TO LET GO OF SOME THINGS TO FOCUS ON THOSE WITH LASTING VALUE.  STOP & READ WORD/PRAY/GET AROUND FAITHFUL PEOPLE/ JOIN SMALL GROUP/ GET INVOLVED IN MINISTRY

V.               LET GOD HAVE CONTROL

JESUS MUST BE LORD!  IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE!  HIS POWER IS THE KEY TO VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION. WE CAN SAY YES TO HIM  --THERE IS NOTHING THAT COMES TO US THAT IS NOT COMMON TO ALL (1 COR.10:13) AND THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OF ESCAPE.  THERE IS ALWAYS OPPORTUNITY TO STAND UP UNDER THE TEMPTATION. BUT WE CANT DEPEND ON OURSELVES—WE HAVE TO DEPEND ON  HIM!  YOU CAN BREAK FREE FROM THE PARASITES—TAKE RESPONSIBILITY & REFOCUS YOUR HEART/MIND ON LETTING CHRIST BE LORD IN EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE (EX: LITTLE BOY SAID “WHEN TEMPTATION KNOCKS AT THE DOOR SOMEBODY HAS TO ANSWER. IF I LET ADAM ANSWER I WILL SIN SO I SEND JESUS TO ANSWER AND HE ALWAYS WINS!)

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