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I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT...THE TEMPTATIONS WE FACE

What is it about temptations that make them so appealing; enjoyable, and attractive!? I think that the power of any temptation is the anticipated belief that it will make me happier if I follow through.

I’m reminded of the words of Paul in the 1st book of Corinthians:

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to (all). And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Cor 10:13).

Here is a fun story that highlights the meaning of this verse, about Toad, and his neighbor, Frog.

Toad baked some cookies. "These cookies smell very good," said Toad. He ate one. "And they taste even better," he said. While chewing on another delicious cookie, Toad hopped next door to Frog's house.

"Frog, Frog," cried Toad, "taste these cookies that I baked." Frog munched down one of the cookies, "These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!" said Frog.

Frog and Toad ate lots of the cookies, one right after another. "You know, Toad," said Frog, with his mouth full, "I think we should stop eating. We’ll soon be sick."

"You’re right," said Toad. "Let’s both eat one last cookie, and then we’ll stop." Frog and Toad ate one more cookie. They noticed that there were still many cookies left in the cookie jar that Toad had brought from his house.

"Frog," said Toad, "let’s each eat one very last cookie, and then we’ll stop." Frog and Toad both ate one very last cookie. "We must stop eating!" cried Toad as he ate another. "Yes," said Frog, reaching for still another cookie, "we need some willpower!!"

"What is willpower?" asked Toad.

"Willpower is trying hard to NOT do something that you really want to do," said Frog. "You mean like trying hard to not eat all these cookies?" asked Toad. "Right" said Frog.

Frog took the last of the cookies that Toad had baked out of the cookie jar. Frog then put the cookies in a box. "There," he said. "Now we’ll stop eating cookies." "But we can open the box," said Toad. "That is true," said Frog.

Frog tied some string around the box. "There," he said. "Now we’ll not eat any more cookies." "But we can cut the string and open the box." said Toad. "That is true," said Frog.

So next, Frog got a ladder, and put the box up on a high shelf.

"There," said Frog. "Now we’ll be sure to not eat any more cookies." "But we can still climb the ladder, take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box," said Toad. "That is true," said Frog. Together, they debated how to overcome temptation with willpower.

They agreed on a solution. Frog hopped up the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box, and he took the box outside.

In a very loud voice, Frog shouted: "Hey, birds, here are some really good cookies!" Birds flew from every direction. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.

"Now we have no more cookies to eat," said Toad sadly. Not even one." "Yes," agreed Frog, “That is true. But we have finally proven that we have lots and lots of willpower." -- The End.

Each of us face temptations, some of them are light-hearted, and others are very serious in nature. God can show the way to overcome our temptations, when we seek God’s help. Asking for input, support and encouragement can reveal the way out… one day at a time.

~Pastor J

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