beware the hook

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    Lesson 9: Beware the Hook

    Thedevilmademedoit!

    No,hedidn't!Youdidit,andyouareresponsibleforit.Thedevilmayhavetemptedyou,butYOUmadethechoice.

    There'snothinggoodaboutsin,butthedevildeceivespeopleintothinkingit'sgood.Ineverytemptation,thereisthiselementofdeception.That'sthewaythedevilgoesabouthisworkofdestroyingpeoplehedeceivesthem.It'sthesamethingafishermandoestocatchafish.

    Thinkofyourfavoritefishinglake.Initisagreatbigfish.Foryears,thefishermenhavewantedtocatchthisbigfish,buttheyhaven'tbeenabletodoit.Why?Becausethatfishhasaplaceofsafetyunderabigstump.Nobodycangethimthere.

    Howdoesthefishermangoabouttryingtocatchthatfish?Doeshegooutthere,buildanicefire,putafryingpaninit,dangleahookinfrontofthatfishandsay,"Comeon,fish,bitethathook,soIcancatchyouandeatyou?"Ofcoursenot!

    Whatdoesthefishermando?Heslipsupquietlybehindthatstumpsothefishcan'tseehim.Heputssomethingonthathookthathe

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    thinkswillappealtothatfishanicejuicywormhedanglesthatinfrontofthefish.

    Thebattleison!Thefishishungryhehasn'teatenfordays,andthatwormsurelooksgood.Butsomethingwarnshimofdanger.He'sbeentangledupwithahookbefore.Finally,hisdesiregetsthebestofhim.Heconvinceshimselfthathecanrunoutthere,grabthatworm,andrunback

    underthestump.

    Hegrabsit!He'sgottheworm.Yes,buthe'sgotsomethingelsethehook!

    That'sthewaythedevildeceivesus.Hedanglessomethinginfrontofusthatappealstous.Heknowsus,andheknowsexactlywhat'bait'touseforeachofus.Thedeviltemptsmeatmyweakpointhetemptsyouatyourweakpoint.TheBiblesays,

    "each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged awayand enticed." (James 1:14)

    Now,it'snosintobetempted.EventheLordJesuswastempted.TheBiblesaysthatHe"has been tempted in every way, just aswe areyet [he] was without sin."(Hebrews4:15)Justbecauseyouaretempteddoesn'tmeanthatyouhavetosin.Whendoessincomein?Sincomeswhenwegiveintothetemptation.Wesinwhenwesay,"Yes"toit.

    Eachtimeyouaretemptedyoumustchoosebetweentwothings:God'swillandyourownlust.Certaindefiniteresultsfolloweachchoice.Ifyou

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    chooseGod'swill,theresultwillberighteousnessandlife.Ifyouchooseyourownlust,theresultwillbesin.TheBiblesays,"thewages of sin is death"(Romans6:23)TheBiblealsosays,"Then, afterdesire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, givesbirth to death."(James1:15)

    Remember,ineverytemptation,thereisahook.Thereisnothinggoodaboutsin.Itmaylookgood,butsinceitcomesfromSatan,itisnotgood.

    TheBiblesays,

    "Don't be deceivedEvery good and perfect gift is from above, comingdown from the Father" (James 1:16-17)

    GetthatEverygoodgiftandeveryperfectgiftisfromGod.AnditcomesinGod'swayandinGod'stime.Ifitdoesn'tcomeinGod'stimeandinGod'sway,it'snotfromGod,andit'snotgood.

    Actually,itisthePURSUITofsinthatissoappealingtous.Assoonassiniscommitted,itisnolongerattractive.Satanhasyouhooked,andhenolongercarestohideitsugliness.

    Forexample,2Samuel13tellsthestoryofAmnon,oneofKingDavid'ssons.Amnonwasinfatuatedwithhisbeautifulhalfsister,Tamar.Helustedafterher.Finallyheconceivedaplantogether.HepretendedtobesickandaskedTamartocomeandcookforhim.Whentheywerealone,heforcedhisattentionsonherandrapedher.

    Afterward,howdidhefeelaboutTamar?His'love'turnedtohate.Butthestorydoesn'tendthere.Lateron,AmnonwasmurderedbyTamar'sbrotherinanactofrevenge.

    Wecanlearnavaluablelessonherethereisalwaysahookinsin.SexisawonderfulgiftofGodand,inGod'swayandinGod's

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    time,itisagreatblessing.But,ifyoureachoutandtakeitoutsideofHiswill,itbecomesacurse.Ifaboyreallylovesagirl,hewon'ttrytotakeadvantageofherandifagirlreallylovesaboy,shewon'tlowerhermoralstandardsforhim.It'safoolishgirlwhogivesintoaboy'tokeepfromlosinghim.'

    Butyouask,"HowcanIovercometemptation?"First,acceptthefactthatyouwillbetemptedweallare.Next,realizethatthereisahookineverytemptationtherealwaysis.Remember,ifitdoesn'tcomefromGod,itisn'tgood,nomatterhowgooditmaylook.

    Godwillprovideyouawayoutofeverytemptationifyouchoosenottosin.HepromisestodothisinHisWord.Youshouldmemorizethisverse,Itwillhelpyouwhenyouaretempted.

    "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. AndGod is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you canbear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so thatyou can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

    Areyoutempted?TelltheLordaboutit.TellHimthatyouchoosenottosin.AskHimtokeepyoufromsinning.TrustHimtomakeawayofescapeforyou.Then,takethatwayofescape.

    ESCAPE!

    "No temptation has seized you except whatis common to man. And God is faithful; hewill not let you be tempted beyond whatyou can bear. But when you are tempted, hewill also provide a way out [an escape] so

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    that you can stand up under it." (1Corinthians 10:13)

    Godhasatremendousmessageforusinthisverseandeveryteenagershouldgetit.Let'slookattheversecarefullyandseewhatGodissayingtous.

    You will be tempted.TheChristianlifeisnotalifefreefromtemptation.WhenyoubecomeaChristian,thedevildoesn'tdecidetotakealongvacation.Iwishhewould.Iwouldpayhisexpenses!Aslongasweareinthisworldwewillbetempted.Butrememberthistemptationinitselfisnotsin.TheBiblesaysofthesinlessSavior,He"has been tempted in every way, just as we areyet [he] was withoutsin."(Hebrews4:15)Sincomeswhenwesay,"Yes"totemptation.

    Everyone is tempted.Rememberwhenyouaretemptedthatsuchtemptationis"commontoman."Christiansarenotaneworderofangelicbeings.Theyaremadeofthesamestuffasotherpeopleandaresubjecttothesametemptationsandtrials.Often,whenweasChristiansaretemptedwithuncleanthoughts,wearepronetothinkthatwemustbethemostwickedorweakestofallpeople.Thedevillikesforustothinkthatway.Helikesforustothinkthatourcaseishopeless.Butthisisnottrue.Othersaretemptedinthesameway.Manyofthemhavecomethroughwithflyingcolors,andyoucantooifyoureallywanttodoso.

    God will not let you be tested beyond what you canbear.Hereisafactthatwecancounton.[God]"willnotletyoube

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    temptedbeyondwhatyoucanbear."GodkeepsHisword.Ifwegodownindefeatitwillbeourownfault.Therearethree

    stepsdownintosin,andthelasttwostepsareours.

    Someonehassaid,"Temptationislikeaneggeasilybroken,butalsoeasilyhatchedifwegiveitawarmreception."

    There is a way of escape."But when you are tempted, he [God] will also provide a way out [anescape] so that you can stand up under it."

    Whenanoldblackpreacherwasexplainingthisversetohiscongregation,hesaid,"WhattheLordsayshereisthatHewillneverletthedevilhemyouupinacornerwithoutleavingsomelittleknotholethatyoucansqueezethrough."Thisistrue.

    Sometimesthewayofescapeistoavoidasituationthatyouknowwillbedangerous.Sometimes,thewayofescapeistobreaksomefriendshiporassociationthatisleadingyouthewrongway.Keepbusy.Findsomethingconstructivetodo.Idlenessisthedevil'sworkshop,andifyoudon'twanttodobusinesswithhim,stayoutofhisshop.Becarefulaboutwhatyoufeedyourmind.Youcannotkeepapuremindifyoufeeditonallthefilththatisprintedandshowntoday.Don'tneglectyourBible.AnoteinD.L.Moody'sBiblereads,"ThisBookwillkeepyoufromsinorsinwillkeepyoufromthisBook."

    God is faithful.Ourversesays,"GODISFAITHFUL."WhenGodsaysHewillnotallowyoutobetemptedbeyondwhatyoucanbear,Hemeansjustthat.WhenHesaysHewillmakeawayofescape,Hemeansjust

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    that.WemayfailHim,butHeneverfailsus.

    But,supposeyoudofail.Oceanlinerscarrylifeboatsforuseinemergencies.Godhasmadesuchaprovisionforus.1John1:9says,

    "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sinsand purify us from all unrighteousness."

    Whenyoudosin,cometoGodatonceandconfessyoursinopenlyandfrankly.

    Butyoumustnotbeexpectingtofailallthetime.Ifyouexpecttofail,youwillfail.DetermineinyourheartthatyouwillsucceedintheChristianlife.

    JonathanEdwardsmadetwowonderfulresolutions:

    "Resolvedfirst,thateverymanshouldlivetothegloryofGod.

    Resolvedsecond,thatwhetherothersdothisornot,IWILL!"

    TheyoungpersonwhodeterminesinhishearttoglorifyGodinhislife,nomatterwhatothersdoorthink,ismoreprecioustoGodthanallthestarryuniverse.