12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.—1 Cor. 10:12-15 NASB
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.–Prov. 4:7 NKJV
41 “Your approval means nothing to me, 42 because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. 43 For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44 No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God—John 5:39-44 (NLT)
At the time Jesus was speaking, He, of course, was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures which clearly prophesy of the Messiah coming as the Suffering Servant. But the Jewish leaders didn’t want the Suffering Servant, they wanted the King. They did not understand that Jesus was both. People today are still reading the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament looking for confirmation of what they already believe instead of searching for the Truth. There had been impostors in the past, that the leaders had accepted because the impostors led rebellions against the Roman Empire. They had been led astray and deceived before. Today, we still have so many highly educated and/or charismatic leaders that lead people astray. People are searching for something or someone to believe, so they honor and follow after those they can see refusing to believe the truth about Jesus. The way we can show our love for Jesus is to spread the Truth to these poor souls who have been deceived. Will we win all of them to Jesus? No, but that should not keep us from witnessing to the lost. How can we do this? We can follow the example Paul set for us:
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.–1 Cor. 9:22, 23 (NLT)
We must have genuine faith to endure the trials and hardships here on earth. Our faith will be tested on many occasions. Through these tests and temptations we will grow stronger in our walk with the Lord. We must remember that we will never be tempted with anything that is not common to others, it will never be more than we can bear, and there is always a way out it we want to escape the temptation.
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.-1 Cor. 10:13 (NLT)
So we must press on to heaven. We will have our reward when Jesus Christ is revealed. “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus”. (Hymn by John H Sammis, circa 1887) We love and trust Jesus because He gave Himself for us. That hope is what brings us joy and peace.
Jesus came to set us free from the captivity of our sins. When we spiritually died with Christ and we were raised up again, we were set free from the powers of this world. Our lifestyles should reflect that death and resurrection. We should live our lives free from old laws and traditions. As Jesus instructed Peter in Acts 11: 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.” But we must never let our liberty be a stumbling block to outsiders or those that are weaker. We should use our liberty in Jesus to attract others to Him. We are to be filled with the Spirit of the Living God and led by His directions. Only the love of God and His Spirit abiding in us can stop us from doing the evil things that the flesh continues to want to do. We should be Spirit-fed and Spirit-led. Will we be accused of trying to be little “Jesuses”? Probably so, but is there anyone better for us to attempt to mimic than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?