Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: Responding to Temptation (1 of 2)

STATE MISSIONS: Responding to Temptation (1 of 2)

         “And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored. And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me” (Gen. 39:1-7).

May we learn from this study to recognize the conditions of a storm of temptation, then know how to run for cover. Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” Temptation is a universal problem that cuts across all boundaries of race, religion and age.

         Some scholars believe King David was 50 years old when he desired Bathsheba. We need to understand that age often makes no difference. There is no one who is perfect, and we need to remember that being tempted is not a sin but giving in to temptation is. A simple thought is not a sin unless you spend time fantasizing about it, then it becomes a sin.

         The life of Joseph offers hope, encouragement and a strategy for those facing the constant attack of temptation. In order to be able to avoid temptation, we must recognize the conditions of temptation. Let’s look at two recognizable conditions found in verses 1-6:

         • Temptation will come when one is growing spiritually. Joseph was hit the hardest as he was growing in his walk with God. The Lord was walking with him (verse 2) and his master saw that the Lord was with him (verse 7). Satan hates to see the people of God growing spiritually. Why? Because you become an influence on others. Potiphar saw integrity and faith that motivated Joseph. Even though Joseph was a slave, he could be trusted. Here was a man making an impact for God, and Satan did not like it. I want to warn you that when you get serious about serving God, Satan and his demons are not far from your door. If you are truly growing spiritually, be alert for the storm of temptation.

         • Temptation comes when one is enjoying success. In the first six verses, we see that Joseph was enjoying a good measure of success. He had been raised from a slave to an overseer of all of his master’s possessions, and Satan did not like it one bit. Satan is jealous of the success of God’s people for it gives him a bad reputation. He’ll lead you to believe serving God leads to poverty while serving him leads to guaranteed success. Whenever a child of God becomes successful and respected in the church and the community, look out for the storm of temptation.

         We have looked at two of the conditions, now let’s observe the cause. What leads one person to lead another person to sin, and what causes one to yield to temptation:

         • Loneliness — Potipher was an officer of Pharaoh and a captain of the guard. This most likely meant long days at the office, resulting in Mrs. Potipher being a lonely woman. Couple after couple today confess over and over again that it was loneliness that drove them to adultery. We know there is never a reason to cheat, but we are not talking about reasons but causes. By now, husbands and wives should be aware of the danger of loneliness.

         Did you know that a person can eat, sleep and spend their life with a person and yet be lonely? One of the great causes of this is when we become so consumed in ourselves or others that we overlook our spouses, and that always spells bad news.

         • Lust — “And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favored. And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me” (Gen. 39:6-7). Now we can see this was the real cause of her actions. “Joseph was a goodly person and well-favored” means he was handsome in appearance. Then verse 7 tells us she cast her eyes upon him, literally with desire. Remember the Bible always proves itself. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15). These verses describe her actions. It was her uncontrolled lust that made her a beastly temptress. So don’t try and justify your sin by blaming someone else.

         Well then, how do I quench these raging desires within me? One, live what you profess to be — a believer; and two, just have open communication with your spouse for God is greater than any problem and He will hear us if we seek His help.

         So, as a Christian, recognize the negative potential of loneliness and lust, not only in ourselves but in others as well.

From Our Missionaries

Hispanic Coordinator: Michael Hight writes, “This week was an exciting week as we held a Zoom meeting with the Hispanic leaders from Central Arkansas. We met to discuss the plans for the cooperative work between the Spanish-speaking churches that have been planted and are being planted.

         “The main topic of conversation was the upcoming Bible Institute starting in the fall. We have some excellent men who will be teaching each course. I am praying that God will raise up a harvest of young leaders to be developed for future ministry. Please keep each of the pastors in your prayers and join us in asking for future leaders that will impact the kingdom of God!”

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “During the week, we met Zoila. She has three children, the oldest two had visited us in Sunday School — Stacy and Andrea. We took some things to their home and prayed for them. Zoila introduced us to Olga and her baby, to whom we gave diapers among other things, and we

also prayed for her home and invited them to join us. Olga connected us with Aura and her daughter, Marta. We visited them and met Marta and her two little siblings. In the same way we shared some things for their home, prayed for them and invited them to visit the church. These initial contacts will allow us, God willing, to create a relationship that allows us to share the gospel with them.

         “On Sunday, the church celebrated Father’s Day. The preaching was based on the example of Ezra, who was prepared to scrutinize the Word of God, to practice it and teach it to the people.

         “After the service, I approached Sergio, our first-time visitor, and invited him to talk aside. I shared the gospel with him, and he made his promise of faith. This is an answered prayer. We have been praying for him for about four months, since his wife, Rosa and his two children began to congregate with us. We are very grateful to God. Let us pray that God gives us the grace to help him settle in the faith.

         “In addition to worshiping God and the preaching, the children sang. Then we had a time of fellowship, in which we played and ate. We had food in abundance, as in addition to what the congregation brought to share, Patrick and Annabella Cabrera visited us bringing trays of food for the entire congregation. I ask for your prayers for this couple. They have supported this ministry from the beginning, at every VBS and many special occasions.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “On Sunday, June 19 we had a Father’s Day service. We talked about King David — how God was in David’s life, a man after His own heart. During moments of victories and moments of defeat, God was always faithful in David’s life. As it was Father’s Day, we focused on true masculinity.

        

         “As part of my commitment to Novo.org, last Friday, I visited some of our Hispanic pastors in Jonesboro. Part of what we do with Novo is to work with the leadership, encourage them, pray, be a friend in the ministry and have coaching time.

         “In the Berean Groups (home groups) we are going to take advantage of this summer to give training to our leadership. Let us pray that, during this time, God will bring a refreshing and encouragement to the leadership of the Berean Groups.

         “Thank you, brethren, once again for your prayerful and financial support so that each missionary can continue in the battlefield. You are our partners in ministry, to God be the glory!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had a great week at Faith Chapel! We had several out, traveling, sick children and recovering from surgery, but still had a great number with several return visitors. We have also been having more interest from online lately.

         “We are busy planning our July 3 outreach, and our mother church, The Bridge, is planning to join us at Faith Chapel in Flippin for that. We are praying for even greater success than last year. I think I told you we had two professions of faith and five were baptized as a direct result of last year’s outreach. This year our goal is 10 or more!

         “We are also planning to join our mother church in Mountain Home for a one-day VBS on July 23. There is a lot of interest from both members and visitors in that event, and from both communities as well.

         “Please join us in prayer for both events that they will, indeed, further the kingdom of God and be to His glory. Thank you all for all your prayers — for us, for our members and visitors, for Flippin and for fruit in the work that He has sent us to. They mean so much to us, and He is answering them.”

The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “It was so good to be done traveling for a few weeks. There were so many amazing conversations. Our Monday Night community event had several new people, and it is so nice to see the people building relationships. I had to make another drive to Conway on Tuesday to pick up DeAnna and the kids. They had made a trip to visit her parents in Northeast Arkansas.

         “Wednesday Night Men’s Bible study has added a few more faces. We are discussing becoming two different groups. The ladies have restarted their Wednesday morning Bible study, and we are very excited to see these increased connections between the people. Our newly married college couple is back and has started a children’s class for the 5-8 year old’s. I am about to take a few of our people through the Good Soil Training and helping position this as our evangelism tool.

         “I got to preach at Epic Church NWA on Father’s Day. Thank you for the opportunity to open God’s Word with you all. Continue to pray for this church and its leaders, that God would give them a great portion of wisdom.

         “Drew is doing so well through our Pastoral Internship program. I am very excited to see him growing and the great connections he has with the people of the Table. Continue to pray for him and his wife, Kaley.

         “Drew and I are beginning to disciple his fellow lay leaders. I am so excited to be writing these sentences because, a year ago, we were just beginning to discover who our mission field was and started finding ways to reach these people. Now we are discussing real plans toward an organized, healthy, discipling church. God is so good.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads! I hope everyone had a great day. Keeping with the spirit of this day, we studied Eph. 6:1-4. We spoke about how we are to honor our father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. The promise is that it may go well with you, and you may have long life on this earth.

        Who wouldn’t want tohave that promise? The Scripture also tells us to not stir up anger in your children but to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. I think, as Christian parents, we all strive to apply this in our homes when we are raising our children.

         “I started getting out into the surrounding neighborhoods this week to begin handing out our informational flyers about Faith Journey Mission. We were able to share this with about 75 homes in our area. We will continue this over the next several weeks and hope to connect with 1,000 homes and business with these handouts.

         “Please pray with us that we will be able to reach people who are lost, those who are seeking Jesus and people that may be looking for a new church home. We would love to be able to help meet their needs within our mission.”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “I was meditating on the book of Acts 16 this week. The Lord encouraged me, and I hope that those who read it also, that the missionary vocation of Paul is the same for every believer. In this case, to me the Word told me that we had been sent as a minister and witness so that we open the eyes of the people we witness to and

         turn from darkness to light and pass from the dominion of the enemy to God and in this way receive by faith the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance with all the saints. The Lord left us a wonderful and powerful message that frees us from the power of Satan. The gospel is so powerful that it gives life to a person who is dead. The mission the Lord entrusted to Paul is also the mission of his heirs, so let us not be silent about speaking the glorious gospel.

         “At NWA Sovereign Grace Mission this week we continued making friendships with unbelievers. I was able to share with four unbelieving men messages from the Word of God. We were able to continue discipling the woman who gave her life to Christ in our apartment. She is very eager to learn and is faithful to the appointments we have every Thursday. We were teaching her that a Christian is one who follows Christ and has been adopted as a child of God. We continue praying with her for her husband.

         “On Saturday, we volunteered in an event called ‘Mi Mercadito Latino,’ where we collaborated to collect funds for a foundation called Provida that supports poor children in El Salvador.

         “Sunday, we attended a Hispanic Baptist church in the area to meet with Hispanic leaders.”

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