Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sermon Highlight: You Can Win Over Temptation

Sunday, September 28th I had the tremendous opportunity to bring the afternoon message at the launch celebration of New Century Fellowship Christian Church under the leadership of Pastor Syvoskia Bray Pope and her husband and ministry partner Larry Pope.  The Little Flock Baptist Church led us in praise in worship.  The kids sang "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me," and I could have shouted. 
The sermon message came from a short devotional/Bible Study series on 1 & 2 Corinthians I posted in the Jesus Saves Ministries, Louisville group on Facebook and on the Jesus Saves Social Network over the summer called "Walking With Jesus."
My sermon, was entitled "You Can Win Over Temptation,"  from 1 Corinthians 10:13.  

Everybody wants to be on and cheer for the winning team. Heartwarming stories of two winning teams came out of little league baseball this year of teams that advanced to the World Series.  The two  teams were the 2014 United States Little League World Series Champions Jackie Robinson West from Chicago, IL, and Taney Dragons from Philadelphia, PA.   
In an era where black youth are constantly being denigrated, and where less and less sportsmanship is being displayed among athletes, and fans, for children to emulate, we found coaches, parents, and mentors stepping up to show young black males out of Chicago how to win with excellence and integrity  and how to be good sportsmen.  Little League phenomenal pitcher Mo’ ne Davis redefined what it means to “throw like a girl” by helping her team, the Philadelphia Taney Dragons advance to the Little League World Series.  She became only the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series in 68 years.  Mo’ne earned a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and was the first little leaguer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Though the spotlight was on her as the only girl on the team, she constantly talked about how the team's success was a team effort.

With their daughter in the spotlight,  though, the question now is will the parents of Mo'ne Davis be tempted to cash in on her new celebrity?  There is an increasing tendency not only in sports, but in society, and even in the church to give in to the temptation to take money, to cash in,  to play dirty, cheat, cover up, intimidate, and do whatever it takes to win.    I told the church "don't give in," to be careful not to fall prey to temptation as they move forward in their pastor's vision. The Blood of Christ takes the "I" out of sin.  Jesus was wounded for our transgressions.  He was bruised for our iniquities.  The chastisement of our peace was upon Him.  With His stripes we are healed.
You can win over temptation with devotion, decision, discipline, denouncement, and diligence.
A Prayer to Win Over Temptation
Heavenly Father,
We thank you for your Word.  It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway.  We pray today, Father for the power to win over temptation.  We pray that portion of the Lord’s Prayer, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  So many have given in and are entangled in sin.  Help us in our battles against the world, the flesh, and the devil to win.  Help us to win over the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.   For your word declares that each one of us is tempted when, by our own evil desires, we are dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (John 1:14-15).  Forgive us, oh God, for times we gave in to temptation and sin. Forgive us for the times we ran ahead of you and your will for our lives.  Empower  us, Heavenly Father, with greater determination to submit to you, resist evil and do what is right.  Help us to hide your word in our hearts so we won’t sin against you (Psalm 119:11).
Father, we thank you that in the time of testing that you will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.  Father, we thank you that you will provide a way of out so that we can stand up under it (2 Corinthians 10:13).  We stand now on your promise that you will bless those who patiently endure testing and temptation and give us the crown of life (James 1:12).  Most of all, we thank you for your son Jesus who resisted the devil in the wilderness, and endured suffering and all manner of temptation and did not sin (Heb 2:18 & Heb 4:15).  We thank you that He paid the wages of sin at the Cross that we might have relationship with you and eternal life (John 3:16).  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.


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