12 March 2011

Three aspects of temptation

I love it when the Bible carries a theme from the Old Testament to the New Testament---and it is clear enough for me to see it!  It is like a thread weaving them to together for me.

In Genesis 3:6, we read:

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

There they are...the three aspects of temptation.  We read about them again in I John 2:16, which says:

"For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world."

The three aspects are repeated again, although a little differently.  We can definitely correlate them though.

"Good for food" would be "the lust of the flesh"....don't we just love to have some little delicacies that please our flesh?  Maybe it is food, or maybe it is something else that our flesh loves...

"Pleasing to the eye" and "the lust of the eyes".....don't really need an explanation there, do I?  I think of the children's song that says, "Be careful little eyes what you see..."

"Desirable for gaining wisdom" would be related to "the pride of life."  We can we prideful creatures thinking that we are so wise that we can tell God what He should do in our lives, can't we?  I know I am guilty of that.  I think that my simple, earthly wisdom is right, when ultimately God knows what is best and He sees the full picture, unlike me.  This is evident sometimes in my prayer requests.  I "ask" God to help in a situation and then I give Him some pointers on how He could do that!!  How arrogant am I?  My wisdom is nothing compared to His.  The quicker I remember that, the better off I am!

That's my thoughts on that passage.  I'll be back soon with some more thoughts from Genesis.  I'm starting to read through the Bible, beginning to end, again, so I will be writing on things that the Lord shows me this time through.

Have a wonderful day!!

02 March 2011


I've been giving this word more thought recently...  What do you think about when you see (or hear) the word "epic"?  You might think about current uses of the word, like, "That was epic!" when something is really awesome.  Perhaps, "epic fail" comes to mind...that is a major failed attempt at something.

When I hear "epic," my mind always conjures up things like Beowulf (ugh!).  Here is a typical quote from that epistle:

"Nor have I seen a mightier man-at-arms on this earth than the one standing here: unless I am mistaken, he is truly noble. This is no mere hanger-on in a hero's armour." 

Also coming to my mind are more current "epics" like Braveheart and even the Narnia series.  Some people enjoy these "epics," but I am NOT among them.  What I say around my house is, "Epics are not my genre!"  This quote gets me out of attending showings of these films that hold no interest to me.  To me "epic" means long, drawn out, often bloody battle scenes.  I just can't bear watching them.  I find them on one end of the spectrum boring and the other end unsettling.

How does Webster define "epic"?  It has several definitions, so here they are:

(1) an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero, (2) a literary or dramatic composition that resembles an epic (My thoughts interrupt here....aren't we defining "epic"?  So why is "epic" part of the definition???  Anyway...)  (3) a series of events considered appropriate to an epic  (There they go again!)

Well, that didn't help me much, how about you?  As I have been pondering this for the last few days, I have come to a realization.  It has been shocking for me though.  Each of our lives could be seen as an "epic"!!!  What???  My life is now the genre that I can't stand???  In a word, yes.  Maybe that is why I am finding life challenging right now.

When you really look at epics, the main theme seems to be good versus evil, thus all the battles.  Each of us are surrounded by that battle daily, but we especially notice it when we become Christians and begin to grow in our relationship with Jesus.  We notice because not only is the battle going on around us...we are now engaged in that battle.  I think that is why I have finally come to this new realization.  My life has many battles right now, and I am becoming fatigued.  I find myself almost daily calling for back-up from my My Lord and Savior, Jesus.  He will have the final victory, but I'm praying that He will continue to help me through each of my daily battles, too.

Scripture comes to mind...  Ephesians 6:12 says:

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Lord, help me to remember that even though there are actual flesh and blood people confronting me, it is really the forces of the Evil One (Satan) that I need to be battling.  That is truly the epic battle of life--the ultimate Good (Jesus) versus evil (Satan) battle.  Sometimes I think I am doing okay with it, then Satan takes a cheap shot at me...and sometimes he lands that shot in a very painful place.  I must call on my Savior to help me get back up and stay in the battle.  With Jesus in my corner, I, too, will be a victor!!! 

Here is a large chunk of Scripture from Ephesians 6 that helps us know how to continue on with our personal EPICS!!
The Armor of God
 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 

Standing strong in my EPIC life!!!