From ‘A Slice from the Heart’: Dealing With Temptations – Dr Ken Boa, President, Reflection Ministries, USA


Saturday, November 29

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT – Part 2 (C)

John 8: 11 “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Lessons from Dr Ken Boa’s teaching of ‘Dealing with Temptations’ Part 2 (C)

http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-2

The Anatomy of the Solicitation to Evil: Lead Us Not Into Temptation but Deliver Us from Evil

Part 2 (A): The Thought Life (Tuesday, November 25)

Part 2 (B): The Principle of Replacement rather than Extinction (Wednesday, November 26)

Part 2 (C): Flesh Signatures: We live in a struggle. No two people have the same deceitfulness of sin. Certain besetting sins plague us throughout life and we need to be brutally honest with ourselves what they are. One person may be tempted in certain patterns while another along other lines. One may have a seductive pull towards one aspect of temptation while another to something else. The Scriptures warn us to be on guard and take care less we fall into the trap of the evil one that comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). The danger is always when we can sin in impunity without remorse as a result of the plague in our own heart, then our souls are in danger of extinction and eternal damnation. Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The deepest you as a child of God is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’. (Colossians 1: 27) If one is struggling to walk right before God, it is a good sign explains Ken Boa. God’s desire is for our best good. We need to internalize fully that we are forgiven. God loves us even when we fail but the LORD God is still the judge of the consequences of the choices we make in our lives. This is the dilemma we face as Christians. In our innermost being we want to follow Christ yet in outer flesh we yearn to follow the things of this world. So we live in a hostile environment for spiritual growth but if ‘Christ is in you’, then the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit is what Jesus declared to the woman in John 8: 11 “Go now and leave your life of sin.” The outpouring of the Spirit of God at Pentecost had not yet taken place at that point in time but the very presence of the Son of God Himself who did not condemn the woman but showed her the grace of God in the face of Christ was enough for her to leave the temple courts a freed prisoner of sin and delivered from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light.

The Power of Habits: Bad habits do not need any power to form. They just happen. Do nothing and they will come upon you and no energy is required to acquire them. But good habits require intentionality, effort and perseverance. Good habits give rise to good works that are the product of the saving faith in Christ Jesus.

Grace to You and to Me: “Go Now and Leave Your Life of Sin.” John 8: 11 The world is not a friend of grace. We are saved by grace through faith in God and in His Son, Jesus of Nazareth. Growth towards holiness is in God’s sovereign hands as we respond to His overtures. The grace of God is also the key to sanctification. We are sanctified by grace and not by works and God’s desire is we are a people for His good pleasure to bear fruit, fruit that will last. Good deeds do not earn us any standing and merit before God but is the by-product of our right relationship with God that God Himself gives us through faith in His Son, Christ Jesus. This God-given grace allows us to be brutally honest with ourselves in regards to the allures of this world that we have within us – 1 John 2: 16.

# Key Fact 1: God will never violate the picket fence of our own unwillingness to change in our desires for the patterns of this world.

# Key Fact 2: There is a need to be willing to surrender on our part to the process of repentance and contrition that requires a mindset of a true, authentic understanding of ourselves in order for change to take place. This process of transformation will be painful and at times terrifying but we have the blessed assurance that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us on this journey to make it right with God.

# Key Fact 3: Authentic discipleship to Jesus involves this journey of reconciliation with God on a long road of obedience in one direction that ultimately leads us to glory with God.

Reflect: 1 John 2: 16 For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.

Colossians 1: 27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Dealing with Temptations – Part 3: http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-3

Wednesday, November 26

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT – Part 2 (B)

James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Lessons from Dr Ken Boa’s teaching of ‘Dealing with Temptations’ – I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT – Part 2 (B)

http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-2

The Anatomy of the Solicitation to Evil: Lead Us Not Into Temptation but Deliver Us from Evil

B. The Principle of Replacement rather than Extinction (James 1: 21: Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.) A person is seduced by his or her own lustful thoughts and weaves his own net of destruction because when sin is fully conceived brings forth death, an alienation and separation of self from God. The Apostle James then encourages us to put away those damaging thoughts and options of temptation to sin and replace them for something better. In humility, receive the Word that is planted in order to save your souls. The ‘Principle of Replacement’ produces vitality and life. God’s desire is for us to have life, prosper, flourish and finish well according to His will and purpose for our lives. One small compromise leads to another one and makes it possible to reduce ourselves to a level that only surprises us. This then will pull us into these illusionary patterns of deception that brings about only death and destruction. 

We are living in a culture that is moving away rapidly from the authority of the truth in God’s word. We are then called to be ‘counter-cultural’ agents in this world moving forward, flourishing and finishing well. Sin is deceitful and after it has taken root as a plague in our own heart can in turn harden our hearts to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and turn away from the living God. We then arrive at a position where we are not listening to the convicting ministry of the Spirit that gives life and become more stubborn and move away from  fidelity and obedience to God.

temptation

I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT: How does one get rid of moral filth? Submission to God. How does one stay away from the things that allure us to do evil and displease the Lord? Submission to God. Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tempts us in order to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration through the power of the Spirit that enables us to be born again into the kingdom of light.

Oswald Chambers writes: After Jesus in His baptism had accepted the vocation of bearing away the sin of the world, He was immediately put by God’s Spirit into the tempting machine of the devil in the wilderness, but He did not tire. Jesus went through the temptation “without sin”, and He retained the possessions of His personality intact. Can we do the same? Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is that mentioned by the Apostle James – “Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Again the Apostle gives us the way out of temptation and get rid of all moral filth: James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

# Key Fact 1: Sin is deceitful and after it has taken root as a plague in our own heart can in turn harden our hearts to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and turn away from the living God.

# Key Fact 2: God’s desire is for us to have life, prosper, flourish and finish well according to His will and purpose for our lives.

♦ Reflect:

Hebrews 3: 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

John 6: 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you–they are full of the Spirit and life.

Tuesday, November 25

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT – Part 2 (A)

James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Lessons from Dr Ken Boa’s teaching of ‘Dealing with Temptations’ – I AM GOD AND YOU ARE NOT – Part 2 (A)

http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-2

stock-photo-you-are-now-entering-fools-paradise-59124265

A Fool’s Paradise: We have this delusion that we are the masters of our fate, the captains of our own souls and that we control our destiny. The allures of our life go ahead of the development of our character and we can be swept downstream by the currents of our culture and the plague within our own hearts. King Solomon of Israel was an exemplar of the seductions of modernity – money, sex and power and later writing in the Book of Ecclesiastes proclaims: Meaningless! Meaningless! All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Deuteronomy 17 was the prescription given by the Torah that the king was to be a man of the Word and accountability. He would have a biblical perspective of humility and that God had chosen the king for His purposes and planted him there to be a witness of integrity and character. However Solomon chose to live in a fool’s paradise and later reaped what he sowed in his own life. In 1 Kings 11: 9 The LORD became angry with Solomon because hus heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel who appeared to him twice. A constant reminder to my own heart and soul.

It was king Solomon of Jerusalem who knelt before God and declared in prayer: “What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest.” 1 Kings 8:38 – 39, KJV

The Anatomy of the Solicitation to Evil: Lead Us Not Into Temptation but Deliver Us from Evil

A: The Thought Life (James 1: 13)God does not solicit us to evil: A solicitation to evil is an inside-out process that begins with the thought life. James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. God does not solicit us to evil. In the Lord’s Prayer (Disciple’s Prayer): Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (the evil one). However, the Apostle goes on to say in verse 14: but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. That is the anatomy of the plague in one’s own heart. Consider the dialogue between the LORD God and Cain (Genesis 4:6-7). God tested the heart of Cain but Cain followed after the lawlessness of the plague in his own heart and committed murder against his own brother.

The ‘Deception of Temptation’ only presents its pleasures but never its consequences. A wise person will be prudent and consider and think through the consequences in advance before acting on the thought of the option to sin if is not pleasing to God. Especially in an area where we are most vulnerable to fall into and how I fail in this aspect of my life if not for the saving grace and power in the knowledge of Christ Jesus as my personal Savior and advocate in heaven.

When we begin to entertain an idea as a possible practice and this becomes more and more an option for us, then lust is conceived and gives birth and gets concretized into action that leads to sin and death. The wages of sin is death – a total separation from the holiness of God.

Awaken The Dawn

Do you truly love Me? Like Ken Boa, the allures of modernity are very much more alive in my own life today than they were years ago. It begins with our thought-life. Options to go back to the old ways and sinful cravings of the flesh are at every nook and corner of my daily walk and the struggle is real. I am reminded of the same stupid rationality of how I can reason and rationalize in my own mind that the option offered is alright, we are only human. If we entertain options that tempt us to follow the allures of this world, they will become real. Grace teaches us to follow after the man Jesus of Nazareth. ♦ Remember: This world is no friend of grace.

The process of authentic discipleship to Jesus of Nazareth is to meet every option that constantly wars against our soul with this question Jesus proposed to Simon Peter on the shores of Galilee (John 21:16): Do you truly love Me? Let me paraphrase this question: Do you truly, really love me more than this option to temptation to sin against Me? We need to recognize the brevity of this sojourn in this world and act justly, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8) before our sovereign God, Jesus of Nazareth. Amen!

Reflect: Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Dealing with Temptation: Part 2 (B) The Anatomy of the Solicitation to Evil : B: The Principle of Replacement)

 

Saturday, November 8

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – MONEY, SEX AND POWER – Part 1

Dr Ken Boa, President, Reflections Ministries, USA

Dr Ken Boa, President, Reflections Ministries, USA. APCOD 2001, 2006 Plenary Speaker

♦ Lessons from Dr Ken Boa’s teaching of ‘Dealing with Temptations’ – Part 1

http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-1

Key Fact 1: Although Money, Sex and Power have a downward pull of gravity towards the World, Flesh and Devil, nevertheless they can be used and leveraged for good and Godly purposes.

  • We can desecrate the altar of Mammon and use it for kingdom purposes.
  • We can use Sex in the context of marital union that is a blessing and honour to God.
  • We can use Power in a way that serves others instead of self-aggrandisement.

Seduction of Modernity: All three are not neutral and they have a downward pull of gravity but we can leverage them when we walk by the Spirit of God. God can give us positions of influence, authority and power but we need the wisdom of God to use it wisely and well. We are called to pursue our vocation and calling in the marketplace with excellence and integrity. We need to guard our hearts against the ‘Seduction of Modernity’ – money, sex and power and not to conform to the patterns of the world but by the renewing of our minds serve another Master, Ruler and King. This will in turn inform the quality of our work in such a way that it is done as a sacrifice, as an offering, as an oblation to the King of kings – playing to an invisible audience of One rather than seeking to impress or manipulate a visible audience of many.

Led by the Spirit: The challenges of living this life to the glory of God must be seen as in tension between the things of the world, flesh and devil against submitting to the righteousness of God in His kingdom. We are called to walk with shrewdness and at the same time with innocence.

 Key Fact 2: The allures of life can often get ahead of the development of our character. They NEVER quit. The World, Flesh and the Devil brings about a constant gravitas, downward pull away from heavenly aspirations, but  the Spirit of God brings that levitas, levitation, an upward pull against gravity and the things of this world. We are now defined by our identity in Christ as a child of God and no longer a slave to the prince of this world and all that it offers.

≠ Key Fact 3: We need to internalize fully the empowered Word of God that is in us. We are called to be counter-cultural and not to be conformed to the patterns of this world. Now in Christ we are a new creationSin is below dignity in the new person we have become in Christ. John 8: 11 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Awaken The Dawn

My Gratitude Journal: Yesterday, November 7, reflecting on Deuteronomy 17: 18, I wrote in ‘A Way of Escape’ that Moses had instructed the people of Israel hundreds of years earlier that when they chose a king over them, like other nations had, he was instructed to write down the Torah, the Law of Moses in the presence of the Levitical priests as an act of accountability. One of the greatest blessings having started my Gratitude Journal is that I get to write down Scripture every morning in my own handwriting before typing them on the computer. This has left a mark on my soul because it convicts me before the face of God instantly when my heart starts to deceive and manipulate any situation or challenge I am faced with to my own advantage and pleasure. Only then, after many years now, I can see the plague in my own heart and acknowledge how much it cost the Savior of my life suffering on the cross for my sins.

♦ Reflect: Key Scripture : “You are not to go back that way again.” Deuteronomy 17:16

Walk by the Spirit: Galatians 5: 16-18 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

A New Creation: Galatians 6: 14-15 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.

A Living Sacrifice: Romans 12: 1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Do No Go There Again: 1 John 2: 15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

(To be continued: http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-2)


Friday, November 7

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – MONEY, SEX AND POWER – Part 1

♦  http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-1

The king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself,…He must not take many wives, or his heart will lead him astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. Deuteronomy 17: 16 – 17

Inseparably Intertwined: Money, Sex and Power are major sources of temptation. The Scriptures are timeless – in a sense that human nature does not change, and God’s revelation does not change in that it reveals human nature perfectly. It exposes and manifests all the manipulations of human endeavour and all the ways we deceive ourselves. Richard Foster in Money, Sex and Power writes: ‘Throughout history and in our own experience, these three issues seem inseparably intertwined. Money manifests itself as power. Sex is used to acquire both money and power, and power is often called the best aphrodisiac.’  None of these three issues are neutral, they have a gravity that pulls us down, a downward pull as it were, towards the world, the flesh and the devil. This downward pull is part of the gravity that we encounter on a daily basis in this fallen world, in the shadowlands we dwell as aliens and strangers as we continue as sojourners and pilgrims towards the celestial city of the New Jerusalem. In this journey we find ourselves in this constant battle against the soul, pulled by these three temptations.

Regardless of our culture, regardless of how sophisticated or primitive the times, the human nature is still the same. Circumstances may change, civilizations may come and go but human nature is still bent on the same kind of objects and passions of the world, the flesh and the devil on a consistent basis.

“You are not to go back that way again.” Deuteronomy 17:16

temptation

Do Not Go Back That Way Again: The prophet Moses predicts hundreds of years in advance that the people of Israel will encounter three distinct principles of the world, the flesh and the devil in Deuteronomy 17: 14-20 and they were told to avoid these three basic downward pulls of gravity:

1. The king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself – POWER

2. The king must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astraySEX

3. The king must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold – MONEY

♦ Way of Escape: However, they were also told of two things they should do and pursue as a way of escape: Deuteronomy 17: 18 – 20:-

  1. The king was told that he should write out his own copy of the Law of Moses – The TORAH: A Man of the Word of God and learn to revere and fear the LORD God. By doing so he will learn to act justly, walk humbly and love mercy and judge the people with prudence and understanding.
  2. The king should write his own copy of the Law of Moses in front of the Levitical priests. – Accountability to both man and to God. To read the word of God all the days of his life so that his heart might not be lifted up.

Matthew 6: 33: But seek first his kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Job 7.16: “Let me alone, for my days are a breath.”

Pleasures Are Meaningless: Vanity of vanities: King Solomon of Israel did not ask for money, sex and power and instead asked the LORD God of Israel for wisdom. The Book of Ecclesiastes portrays life as meaningless. The lesson here is that in life we are best to persevere and pursue as our primary goal to seek after the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else we need will be added to it. Our hearts are defined by that to which we aspire. Pursue the one thing that is necessary and most needful and that is knowledge of the one, true living God. (John 17:3)

(To be continued)

http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-2


Thursday, November 6

DEALING WITH TEMPTATIONS – MONEY, SEX AND POWER – Part 1

The king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself,…He must not take many wives, or his heart will lead him astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. Deuteronomy 17: 16 – 17

Awaken The Dawn

Unholy Trinity: Money, Sex and Power sound like three names of a lawyers company ‘Lee, Chan and David Advocates & Associates’ but in reality it is true – this is an unholy trinity we will do well to learn about and rule over them because at the root of this ‘company’s’ mission is temptation with a motive to kill, steal and destroy. In biblical terms, the love for this threesome non-profit alliance is to submit and conform to the patterns of the world and its desires that are in enmity with God. I have personally engaged this ‘threesome company’ and can testify in court that this team of ‘lawyers’ are not exclusively committed to protect my rights as a citizen of heaven.

Our Advocate in Heaven: The writer to the Hebrews in Hebrews 2: 18 encourages us that Jesus ‘Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, and He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.’ And again, the Apostle John in his first love letter to all of us writes in 1 John 2: 1: ‘I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

temptation

So That You Will Not Sin: Yes we will, at some crossroad in our life’s journey as sojourners on earth fall into the unwholesome company of these three principles of the world that advocate the temptation to sin. But we have an Advocate in heaven, Jesus of Nazareth, who will meet with us, and the Holy Spirit will teach us and show us a way of escape through  the conviction of our sin so we may enter the gates of our heavenly courts with praise and thanksgiving and abide in the presence of our heavenly Father in heaven. Yes we can by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, approach the throne of mercy and seek forgiveness from God. ‘God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.’ 1 Corinthians 10:13

♦ In the next few days I will be reflecting on a series of messages titled ‘Dealing With Temptations’ by Dr Ken Boa who is one of the APCOD Faculty of Plenary speakers I invited for two Asia Pacific Consultations on Discipleship- APCOD 2001 in Malaysia and APCOD 2006 in New Zealand. You can find his teaching on this important subject at:  http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-1

How I wish I had met these few honest bible-based teachers of the Word of God early in my life who would have not only pointed me to the Scriptures in my daily walk to get it right with God but more importantly shared their own sacred journey of faith in God. None of us are immune to the seduction of modernity or postmodernity in all its  different masquerades bearing only one invitation – temptation to sin. So let us learn the art and science of mastering the skill to rule over it because at the foot of the cross of Christ we are all equal.

† Let us listen to this message from Ken and tomorrow let us share our notes and reflections and if you have not started a Gratitude Journal, start one today and together let us walk in victory on the road called ‘Pilgrims Progress’ from this world to that which is to come. We will progress, we must and we will through Christ our Lord. Amen!

♦  http://www.kenboa.org/dealing-with-temptations-part-1

♦♦ Key verses in Scripture: Deuteronomy 17: 16-17: 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

A Slice of Infinity

A Slice of Infinity

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