Daily Bible Reading: Hebrews 2:9 – 18
I love this passage of Scripture for so many reasons. I love that it tells exactly what Jesus did for each one of us. Jesus, the Son of God, became “a little lower than the angels” so that He could die in my place. He didn’t become an angel to save me, He became a man, to face the trials, the temptations, the joy, the fear, the sorrow… everything we feel, He felt.
I want to zoom in and focus on verse 18: “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
In this verse, the word “succour” comes from the Greek word boēthéō which literally means, “to help, come to the aid of.” See that? He *knew* we were going to be tempted. He himself was tempted so that He could come to our aid and help us through our temptations.
I truly believe this has to do with every type of temptation we face. Whether it’s the temptation to covet our neighbor’s house, sexual temptation, or food temptations, He wants to be there for us. He wants to help us face the temptation head on and win. And we *can* win, because we aren’t doing this alone.
Now, I want you to look at James 1:14 – “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
When are we tempted? When we see something we want, and we just can’t stay away. Sounds like every time I open the pantry door. Living in a home with 8 kids and a husband, there is more junk in my house than I even want to admit. I have a husband who loves ice cream, and because he walks about 10 miles a day at work, he can enjoy his ice cream and not reap any consequences. I have a teenage daughter who PMSes every month and has the metabolism to binge on chocolate when she wants to. And then I have seven other littles who love anything sweet. I’ve made the mistakes of bribing my children with M&Ms to get them to go potty. Little Debbies have become rewards for good behavior. All things I’m trying to change, but it’s a long, slow process, and often I just give in and buy the junk to make everyone happy. And then it sits in my pantry, and I have to look at it every time I grab something to make a meal.
I lust after food. I crave sweets and chips and all the things I shouldn’t have because I know it will taste good in the moment. But, I’m quickly learning that after that moment is up, it doesn’t taste so “good” anymore. There’s guilt, frustration, and anger that I gave in and allowed my temptation to grab hold of me.
Then, I turn to James 4: 7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
If I am so submitted to God, the devil can’t get a hold on me. If I am so focused on my relationship with Christ, I won’t even blink when my eyes scan past those boxes of Little Debbie treats. The Bible promises that if I submit myself to God, resist the devil (and all the worldly temptations!), and the devil will have to flee. We can trust that.
There’s one more verse in James I want you to look at: James 4:17 – “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Ouch. I know that’s a rough way to end this devotional, but if we want to make a difference in our actions, sometimes we have to come under a little conviction. That verse right there is convicting to me. If I know what’s right, and I choose not to do it, I’ve sinned. Food related, family related, life related… doesn’t matter. If I know the right choice, and I choose something else, I’ve sinned before God.
I can promise you, I’ll be recalling James 4:17 the next time I open the pantry door and think I need a sugary snack.
1. Are you tempted throughout the day? Is there a food choice that tempts you above everything else?
2. How can you face that temptation head on? Will you quote Scripture, pray? What will help you say no and walk away?
Workout at least 30 minutes and drink at least 8 glasses of water.
To print out today’s copy of the God Before Goodies Challenge, click here.