Luke 17:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 17:1 

“And he said to his disciples, temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” – Luke 17:1        

Jesus is speaking here to the disciples regarding temptation.  He is telling them that, because of the depravity of man, there will always be something that tempts us to sin.  It may come in the form of an illicit desire, an offense someone does against us, or simply in the calling of our flesh.  Such is the flesh that there will always be someone or something that attempts to make us sin.  Matthew writes that we must rid ourselves of anything that causes us to sin.  “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30.  This is a difficult idea, but in essence it is saying that if anything causes us to sin, we must do what we can to remove it from our lives.

Now, this verse specifically addresses people who cause others to sin against God.  Therefore, in the process of eliminating all temptations from our lives, we may have to part ways with those who constantly work toward the goal of causing us to fall.  If they will not stop in their aberrant ways which causes us to desire things that constitute sinful behavior, whether that be in actions or thoughts, then we need to separate ourselves from them.  They are only attempting to counter the work of God in our Christian walk.  Satan is using them to cause God’s people to sin where possible. However, based on the next verse, God does not look favorably on this.  “But woe to the one through whom they (temptation) come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:1b-2.  In other words, it would be better to die by drowning then to cause a Christian to sin.

It is important that we examine our lives also, as Christians, praying and asking God is there any way we may be causing our brothers and sisters to fall?  Do we wear immodest clothing when we go out?  Do we engage in improper conversations that may incite improper thoughts?  Or do we do things that are acceptable to us but may not be to some Christians?  “Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.” Romans 14:13-16.  If what we do, which we consider good, can cause a brother or sister to fall, then we must abstain from doing it.  And if there is any doubt, err on the side of caution and do not do it.  God will hold us accountable if we are the cause another Christian stumbling.  So, be careful and build up your brothers and sisters in the Lord and take no chance in tempting them to think or do something that they believe is wrong.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

1 Corinthians 10:13

Verse of the Day – 1 Corinthians 10:13

“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 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

It’s me again, Christiaan, if you missed yesterday’s study, you can reference it here: Ecclesiastes 3:1 as I want to build on some of the things I covered yesterday.

If you grew up in church, ever had a sunday school, been to youth group, or if you’re a guy been to any sort of men’s group, you’re familiar with this verse. It’s almost exclusively used in terms of temptation. And that’s not surprising. Almost every translation (28/31) uses the term temptation.

But what if temptation isn’t really the best term? The bible that we have is largely translated into our native language from either Hebrew or Greek. Tools like the Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE) give us a better idea of what was really intended because it’s the most literal translation out there. It takes the individual words in Greek, factors in the tenses, and gives us an exact English phrasing. The biggest problem is that it’s not always readable.

“No trial has overtaken you that is not distinctively human; and God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear, but with the trial [He] will also provide the way through, so that you will be able to endure it.” – 1st Corinthians 10:13 (MOUNCE)

The word that’s translated in Trial/Test/Temptation is the Greek word, Peirasmos, which when used in scripture can mean anything from “direct temptation to sin,” being put on trial or suffering a “trial, calamity, and affliction.”

This is much deeper than just a temptation to sin, which while true isn’t the complete and total truth. Paul is telling us that nothing we go through is ultimately unique, and this can provide comfort in the fact that we know we’re not alone. It also tells us that that no matter what trial, calamity, or affliction we face, God will provide us a way to get through it so we can endure.

When paired with the two translations of Ecclesiastes 3:1 from yesterday: “Everything has a season, and a time for every matter under the heavens.” (Alter) and “Everything that happens in the world happens at a time God chooses.” GNT we can agree upon the following truths:

  • Trials, calamities, afflictions, temptations and everything we go through has a season. Just as they began at one point, they’ll end.
  • You’re not alone in your suffering, others have and will go through suffering like you are at some point.
  • God won’t prevent you from going through these seasons, but he will ensure that you can endure them and one of the ways that God does this is by his choosing the time to have you go through it.

And that is an encouraging thought.