When Jesus was in the wilderness experiencing he met the devil with the Word. The Word is the best way to handle temptation. He whittled off three portions of God’s Word and jabbed the devil with it. Twice Jesus said “It is written.” The last time He said, “Thus Faith,” What is written must be personally spoken to you before it is effective. We do not just have three verses of Scriptures; we have the entire Book! What a weapon again temptation. If God said it, that settles it.
By T. F. Tenney
Some Water is Only There To Be Passed Through
The word “water” is found 442 times in the New International Version of the Bible and 363 in the King James Version. It is an important component in Scripture. One part of salvation involves water: baptism. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The very terra firma we all love and call home was formed out of water. “The earth was formed out of water and by water” (II Peter 3:5, NIV). There were many miracles in the Holy Writ involving water such as, the bitter water turning to sweet in Exodus 15:25, the water from the rock to quench the thirst of Israel when they were in the wilderness (Exodus 17:6), Moab being defeated because the “country was filled with water” (II Kings 3:20), and of course we all know the great story of Naaman receiving his healing in the water of the Jordan River (II Kings 5:1). Probably the story of water that stands out most in my mind is the parting of the Red Sea for Israel to pass through when fleeing Egypt (Exodus 14:21-22).
Most of the water examples in the Bible involved waters to be passed through on the way to something else. However, if you stay in water too long you may drown! You use the water for sustenance or salvation and then move to the next level. Water is to be passed through! Such are many tough situations and circumstances in life. They are not to be “camped” on. They are to be learned from and then moved beyond.
Isaiah 43:2 proclaims, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” God has promised victory. This victory was finally won in Christ and is perpetuated by His church. Our message must be one of victory in spite of our trials and even our defeats. We must move past these.
I would never infer we do not have problems. However, victory is not dependent upon our abilities as much as it depends upon His power. It is not built only on our sacrifices, but also on our obedience. It was the Old Testament prophets who found it necessary to periodically slash through the enveloping red tape of the rules of the “do-it-yourself” salvationist of that day by proclaiming God’s desire of obedience above sacrifice.
The only religion that is meaningful is the religion of victory built upon a love relationship. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind” (Luke 10:27). Pleasing God is not simply trying harder but loving more. It would be cruel mockery to those who are enslaved by pagan religions and weakened by moral failure to tell them they had to work their way into salvation. The gospel is a proclamation of what God has already done in Christ and the promise of forgiveness and cleansing to those who accept that provision. Jesus Christ did it, therefore, He enables me to do it.