Thomas A’Kempis on Temptation (Part II) with the Sixth Day Exercise

July 9, 2016

1 Corinthians 10:13

No testing has overtaken you that is mot common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Quote of the Week

All temptation begins with an irresolute mind and a lack of trust in God. If you are careless and wearing, you will be tossed to and fro on the wave like a ship without a rudder. In the same way that fire tempers iron, triumph over temptation demonstrates your strength of character. Often you do not know what you are capable of unless you are tested.

Be particularly careful at the beginning of temptation. Do not let the enemy enter the for of your heart…. Temptation works in this way: First, an unrighteous thought creeps into your mind. Next, your imagination takes hold of the idea. Then you begin to delight in the thought of the action. Finally, you consent. Little by little the enemy secures entrance into your heart if you do not resist at the very beginning. Over time, the less you resist, the weaker you become, and the enemy gains strength in your heart. Some suffer the greatest temptation at the beginning of their journey, while others struggle at the very end. For still others, temptation seems to be t heir constant companion all the way.

But in the midst of your struggles with temptation, never despair. Pray to God all the more fervently. As St. Paul says: “No testing has overtaken you that is mot common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Humble yourself before God in every trial and temptation, for God will save and exalt the humble in spirit.

(Excerpt from The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a’Kempis, as rendered by Paul Wesley Chilcote in The Imitation of Christ: Selections Annotated & Explained. p.17, 19)

Note to Readers. For the next season ahead I will be sharing excerpts from this book, one of the most significant writings in Christian history, and likely the second best selling book of all time next to the Bible itself.

DO THE 7.9.16 SIXTH DAY EXERCISE HERE.

In case you are just joining us, each week we share in an exercise called “The Sixth Day Exercise.” As Genesis 1 has it, God created human beings in his own image on the sixth day. Genesis 3 shows us the desecration of the image of God in our race which has only compounded itself across the centuries. It’s why the Image Bearer himself, Jesus Christ, came. His life, death, resurrection and ascension reversed the curse of sin and death and created a pathway whereby our broken race could be made gloriously whole again; restored to the Creator’s intent. Paul put it this way:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22. 

Given we were made on the Sixth Day, it makes sense that we might stop and assess how it’s going on the long journey of being “remade” on each successive sixth day.
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J.D. Walt serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief.  jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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