“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” — Matthew 26:41 (KJV)
This passage conveys the idea that we need to be watchful lest we enter into temptation. Let us look at a few areas that need watching.
We always should watch our temper, which in many is hard to control. I am reminded of the words of the song “Angry Words” that warn against letting anger control us. Many a person who was trapped in the use of vulgar language finds temper a great enemy in their battle with the tongue.
James wrote concerning the tongue, “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind. But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:7-10). Left unchecked, one’s temper can lead to many problems in life. Problems in school, at home with both children and spouse, and prisons have plenty of residents who simply could not control their temper. God’s word teaches us to have love one for another. We must learn to control our temper.
Our thoughts are important parts of our makeup as individuals. The Proverb writer put it this way: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
Knowing this should make us all be careful with what we put in our minds and hearts. If we fill our minds with wickedness, then that is what will show forth in our lives. We must work to enrich our minds with those things that will help us to be more Christ-like so we can portray him to the world.
Notice the words of the Apostle Paul: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report. If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
It seems there is never enough time to get everything done. We must learn to “watch our time.”
Some put off obeying the Gospel, saying they will have time for God later. Christians who have gone back into the world have said they plan on coming back to the Lord one day — when they find the time. How tragic it is when one who has made these statements has their time run out.
All should heed the warning given in God’s word when it comes to time. “See, then, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
The idea that we can put God aside until some future date is, indeed, a risky business. James said of the future, “Go to now, ye that say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain,’ whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.’ But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:13 17).
TESTIMONY OF YOUR LIFE
What does your life say to those about you? What will it say to those who look back at your life after you have crossed the Jordan?
The influence each person has on those around them and generations to come is not measurable. Parents must be keenly aware of their example put before their children and their children’s friends. Perhaps one of the greatest statements made about Abraham had to do with his “testimony of life.”
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19).
Will our generations know us as faithful Christians serving God to the best of our abilities? Or will they know us as someone who had little or nothing to do with the God?