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What Do You Value?
Theme of the week: Escape the Trap of Temptation
Friday, January 18, 2013

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Key Bible Verse: 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. (James 1:12) Dig Deeper: James 1:2-18

I want us now to consider a hugely important question. The answer to this question will predict how well you will do with temptation in the future and how serious you are about battling temptation now. It's also the explanation for how well you have been doing in the past. This question is of paramount importance because, as James K. A. Smith notes, the question implies something at the heart of humanity: "we are defined by … and made distinctive by what we love."

Here's the question: Around what or whom are you seeking to structure your life?

That question is the only possible gauge by which one can know what to do with thoughts, feelings, impulses, and drives. What makes the question so important is this: If temptations are rooted in things that God created good, but our disordered desires are the principal problem, how do we rightly order them so that we do not distort what God created good? If you are shooting for a life shaped by Christ and building a life of obedience into Jesus-loving and others-loving maturity, that intention, that commitment alone, will set aside and screen out the vast majority of sinful thoughts and feelings that come your way.

—Todd D. Hunter in Our Favorite Sins

My Response: What's my answer to the question in the second paragraph? If my life isn't centered on Christ, what steps can I take to change that?

Thought to Apply: The focus of Satan's efforts is always the same: to deceive us into believing that the passing pleasures of sin are more satisfying than obedience.—Sam Storms (pastor, theologian)

Adapted from Our Favorite Sins (Thomas Nelson, 2012) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, set me free from any sinful desires and help me to seek only you with all of my heart.

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