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Daily Devotion

Not the Bait, but the Bite

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
The problem with diets is that they are fine until you are hungry. Anyone can go on a diet when they have a full stomach. But when you're hungry, food is a lot more tempting.
In the same way, the enemy knows how to package his wares to make bad things look good. That is because things forbidden have a certain charm. Case in point: at the beginning of Genesis 3, we find Eve at the very tree God told her to stay away from. We are attracted to the things that we should avoid.
As a result, we sometimes feel guilty when we are tempted. But we need to know there is no sin in being tempted. It is not the bait that constitutes temptation; it is the bite. It is when you give in to the temptation that it is a sin.
Matthew Henry said, "The best of saints may be tempted to do the worst of sins." So if you are being barraged by temptation of late, it just may be an indication that you are doing something right, not wrong. The enemy sees you as a threat to his kingdom, and thus he is trying to bring you down.
Temptation can actually have a positive effect in the life of a Christian. It can actually make us stronger. The Bible says, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12). As Martin Luther said, "One tempted Christian is more profitable and useful to other Christians than a hundred, I may add, than a thousand, that have not known the depths of Satan, that have not been in the school of temptation."
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