My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. (1 John 2:1 NRSV)

Each of us at one time or another has been tempted. Even Jesus was tempted. Jesus knew who was tempting him. When we are tempted it is important to realize the source of that temptation. God is not tempting us to do wrong, Jesus is not enticing us to sin, and the Spirit is not guiding us into temptation. Temptation never comes from God. I say that because it never fails to amaze me how people can rationalize temptation. They even credit it to God. They are fooling only themselves. "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

We can appreciate the story of a little boy named Bobby who badly wanted a new bicycle. His plan was to save his nickels, dimes, and quarters until he finally had enough to buy a new 10-speed. Each night he took his concern to the Lord. Kneeling beside his bed, he prayed, "Lord, please help me save for my new bicycle and please Lord, don't let the ice cream man come down our street tomorrow."

May God give us the strength to overcome temptation.

Dear God, keep me focused on you and not on the way of sin. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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