April 29    
Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 6
     Psalms 40
     Song of Solomon 4
     Hebrews 4
            ''For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
            Before our salvation, we understood the kind of temptation mentioned in James 1:14.  ''Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." Now, following our regeneration, we face new kinds of temptations, the kind our Lord faced. Our temptations are on a different realm from His until we are born into His family and become His brothers.
            Satan's temptations toward us are not just to make us do wrong things. He now tempts us to challenge what we have experienced through regeneration. He wants to shift our point of view away from the Spirit of God and into worldly things - the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
            Following His baptism, Jesus faced the testing devices of the devil in the wilderness, yet He did not become weary or exhausted. He went through the temptation ''without sin." He retained all the possessions of His spiritual nature completely intact. Now, because we have experienced Christ in us, we can face Satan's temptations with the same kind of victory.
            It is possible for there to be good in temptation. Temptation itself is not sin. It is something we are bound to face simply by virtue of being human. Not to be tempted would mean that we were already so sinful that we would be beneath contempt. Temptation is not something we can escape; in fact, it is essential to the well-rounded life of a person. You may be thinking that you are tempted as no one else, but what you go through is the common inheritance of the human race. It is not something that no one has ever before endured. God does not save us from temptation - He sustains us in the midst of them. ''No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (I Corinthians 10:13)
            Expect the temptation to come today, realize that it does not take God by surprise, but will provide a way for you to not only survive, but overcome victoriously. Praise Him now for the victory, and do not allow the enemy to win.
            Another Pacific island with great needs is New Zealand with some 4 million in population. There has been a rapid secular rising of this culture, and that has led to declines among the major structured denominations here with growing interest in New Age religions and the church is criticized with being too traditional. Many believers are sorely divided over moral and social issues such as the practice of homosexuality. There has been great growth among Pentecostal groups, but that has begun to wane. Many Christians there are praying for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit - pray with them for this.
           In my recent visit to this beautiful and prosperous country, I found a growing number of fervent evangelicals who desire to win their people to Christ. Pray for God to give them boldness and fruit that will last.
''Just because temptation knocks, it does not mean you have to open the door."