Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Consider God’s Goodness
A very easy way to fall into temptation is to forget how good God is to us. If we ever get an eye for the far country…eventually, it will seem so much better than our “boring” Christian life. “It is better to be hungry in the will of God than full outside of the will of God.” Once we start to doubt God’s goodness, Satan’s offer will entice us all the more.
Handle your Temptation – Consider God’s Goodness:
God gives only good gifts. Everything good in this world comes from God. If it didn’t come from God, it isn’t good. If it comes from God, it must be good, even if we don’t see the goodness in it immediately.
The way God gives is good. It’s possible for someone to give us a gift in a manner that is less than loving. This can diminish the value of a gift. When God gives us a blessing, He does it in a loving, gracious manner. What He gives and how He gives are both good.
He gives constantly. God does not give occasionally; He gives constantly.
God doesn’t change. It is impossible for God to change. He cannot change for the worse because He is holy; He cannot change for the better because He is perfect. We should never question His love or doubt His goodness when difficulties come or temptations appear.
The first barrier against temptation is a negative one: the judgment of God. This second barrier is positive: the goodness of God. Fear of God is a healthy attitude, but the love of God must balance it.
Consider God’s Nature
- Look ahead and consider God’s judgment
- Look behind and consider God’s goodness
- Look within and consider God’s nature in the new you.
It is gracious. We didn’t earn it nor do we deserve it; God gave us spiritual birth because of His own grace and will.
It is divine. Nicodemus thought he had to reenter his mother’s womb to be born again, but he was wrong. This birth is not of the flesh: it is from above. It is the work of God.
It is through God’s Word. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to bring about the miracle of the new birth.
It is the finest birth possible. We are “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures,” The word firstfruits would be meaningful to those converted Jews being written to. The Old Testament Jews brought the firstfruits to the Lord as the expression of their devotion and obedience. “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase” (Prov. 3:9). Of all the creatures God has in this universe, Christians are the very highest and the finest! For this reason, it is beneath our dignity to accept Satan’s bait or to desire sinful things. A higher birth must mean a higher life.
A Sunday School child explained the matter in simple terms. “Two men live in my heart: the old Adam and Jesus. When temptation knocks at the door, somebody has to answer. If I let Adam answer, I will sin; so I send Jesus to answer. He always wins!”
Pastor Chance Strickland
Harpeth Baptist Church
Kingston Springs, TN