August 24, 2014
READ: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall (v.12).
Writer and media consultant Phil Cooke was on a business trip to Calgary, Canada. More than a thousand miles from home, he thought he was walking around in total anonymity until someone tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “Aren’t you Phil Cooke?” The man who made the inquiry had read Cooke’s books and followed him through social media. Phil wasn’t doing anything that could have damaged his reputation, but the interaction did remind him of the unfortunate stories of executives, pastors, politicians and others who have crossed a moral line when they thought no one was watching.
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul warns us not to become arrogant—to think we’re strong enough to withstand any temptation (v.12). Rather, he urges us to be on our guard against four temptations:
• Idolatry (v.7). In 2012 well known evangelist Billy Graham referred to modern-day idolatry as an obsession with money and worldly possessions. The Bible warns us to steer clear of the love of stuff (Luke 16:13; 1 Timothy 6:10).
• Sexual immorality (v.8). Paul told us to sprint away from sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18).
• Testing Jesus (v.9). We test Him when we intentionally disobey Him and presume on His grace (Matthew 4:7; Romans 6:1-2).
• Grumbling (v.10). Paul urged the church in Philippi to do everything without complaining and arguing (Philippians 2:14-15).
The things that tempt us today are the same as the things which tempted the believers in Jesus who’ve gone before us (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thankfully, God doesn’t allow temptation to overwhelm us. When we feel its pull, He’ll show us a way out so we can endure and stand firm (v.13). Let’s stay alert and follow Him.
365-day plan› Mark 10:17-31
Read 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 and consider Paul’s message to the church at Corinth. Note what it says about staying alert in our faith.
As the old adage goes: character is who you are when you’re alone. What’s the state of your character? What do you need to do to stay more aware and alert in your faith in Jesus?