Sunday, August 14, 2016

Overcoming Temptations

All people will be tempted. Both Saints and Sinners will suffer temptations. God will allow Satan to tempt you to try your heart to see if you will be faithful in your obedience to His instruction. When you hear the instruction of God, do not reject it, or dismiss it, or act against it. The instruction of God is your life. Your salvation is wholly dependent upon your obedience to the understanding which God will give to you. God is faithful to teach; Christians are faithful in their obedience; and, sinners are persistent in their disobedience.

Proverbs 4:13-15
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Every child of God ought to keep himself from the pathway of temptations. Some things will lead you into temptation. Don't intentionally walk down that path. If you realize that a certain way of thinking is going to lead you into temptation; then, go to prayer and ask God to lead you out of that line of thinking. There are some people and some activities which are best to avoid. Resist the Devil and don't follow him into the snare of a temptation.

Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

If Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted, will you not also be tempted? You can not avoid all temptations. You can avoid some temptations. Pray for grace and understanding to control the thoughts which enter into your mind. God will allow Satan to take your mind on a tour of temptations. If Satan can’t cause you to sin, he will then accuse you of not resisting him at the very first thought he put into your mind.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
When Satan tries to turn your thoughts to evil things and sinful imaginations, resist him with the word of God. Think of things that are good, pure, holy, just and lovely. Resist the devil in your mind, and don't allow him to just push you over with his evil temptations.

James 1:2-3
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

It is OK when you “fall into different temptations.” Don't willingly walk into the way of temptations. Make sure that the temptation you are fighting against is not of your own making.

James 1:12-16
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Don't believe the Devil when he tells you that you are a sinner just because you are fighting against a temptation in your mind. Sin is not committed on the thought level. Sin is committed when you consent and accept those sinful thoughts as something you are willing to do. Although a temptation may be desirable (appealing) to you, it is not sin until it becomes your will.

Sin is the fruit of a disobedient and rebellious heart. What is fruit? Fruit is the finished product of the nature of some thing. James said, “...and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death.” The finished product of sin is spiritual death. The nature of sin begins with the seed of an evil temptation. The power and strength of this temptation may affect the emotions and thoughts. It may influence certain outward actions by hindering thoughts or compelling enticements. When the power of a sinful temptation produces a conscious desire to disobey God’s word, sin is finished. It has produced the fruit of sin and death to the soul.

Is there anything that a person can do to avoid temptations? Yes, Jesus said, “Watch and pray.”

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

There is a time to sleep and there is a time to pray. Don't sleep when you should be praying. Sometimes you may be too tired and exhausted to pray, but that should not be every time you pray. You not only must resist the Devil, you must also resist the weakness of the flesh. Do not allow a lukewarm attitude and a lack of zeal to cause you to be sleepy every time you pray.

Matthew 16:21-23
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Sometimes Satan will use a person to come to you with counsel which is contrary to the will of God. They may say: “Oh you don't have to do that. God knows your heart and He loves you just like you are.” Or, “Things are different today.” Or, “That is just the preacher's idea. He does not know everything about your situation.” Satan is the artful master of knowing how to tempt you in your most vulnerable area. Remember, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Revelation 3:9-11
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

God has promised to keep you from that hour of temptation which would be more than you can bear. He knows your ability and he will not allow the Devil to tempt you beyond what you are able to stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

It is a great comfort to know that we serve a faithful God who will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able. We must have the determination that we will resist temptation and stand against everything the Devil brings against us. We know that God will help us and keep us.

Hebrews 12:22-29
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Can Satan's temptations shake your fruit of obedience and holiness and make you fall?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Theresa Storts Cancer Report

Dear Readers,

For historical purposes, I am posting this report of my wife's diagnosis of Papillary Serous Carcinoma of the Endometrium.  The following report was posted on Facebook on August 10, 2016. 

To all the Saints of the Kingdom of God who have faith to believe in the promise and gift of divine healing, I ask you to pray and intercede for my dear wife of 45 years. A week ago today, she was in unbearable pain and asked me to take her to the hospital. She was examined and spent three day in the hospital. The final diagnosis was Papillary Serous Carcinoma of the Endometrium. She is at stage IIIC2 with metastasis to both the pelvic lymph nodes and the para-aortic lymph nodes. She has a malignant tumor sitting on her bladder. When the malignant tumor invades the bladder she will be at stage IVA (stage 4A) The staging and survival rates are listed as follows:

UPSC [Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma] is staged like other forms of endometrial carcinoma at time of surgery using the FIGO cancer staging system.

Stage IA: tumor is limited to less than half the myometrium
Stage IB: invasion of more than half the myometrium
Stage II: cervical stromal invasion
Stage IIIA: tumor invades serosa or adnexa
Stage IIIB: vaginal or parametrial metastasis
Stage IIIC1: metastasis to pelvic lymph nodes
Stage IIIC2: metastasis to para-aortic lymph nodes
Stage IVA: invasion of the bladder or bowel
Stage IVB: distant metastasis, including intraabdominal or inguinal lymph nodes

In 2009, the journal of "Gynecologic Oncology" reported the following 5-year survival rates based upon stage of cancer:

Stage I: 50% - 80%
Stage II: 50%
Stage III: 20%
Stage IV: 5% - 10% [4]

I believe that these rates are based upon the stage of cancer at time treatment begins. Theresa has chosen to not have treatments. Without treatments her life time and condition is entirely in the hands of God. If I am reading this information correctly, at stage IIIC2, she has less than a year to live. With treatments (the doctor prescribed a regime of Chemo then Surgery then Radiation then follow-up as needed) she has a 20% chance of living 5 years.