San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word to The Little Flock Part Twelve

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

What amazing struggles we have been going through. Not only have we been isolated from each other and facing anxieties during this COVID-19 pandemic, but now we have been confronted with the barbaric evil displayed in Minneapolis where a grave injustice has been committed while an African American man was in police custody. Unbelievably, other police officers stood by watching this gruesome murder and did nothing to stop it. And then all this looting and rioting breaks out across the nation, as opportunists turn peaceful protests into more acts of injustice. All of this could certainly discourage a person and bring a believer to the brink of falling. Are you tempted to abandon the course, abandon your Savior? What can we say and what can we do about temptation?

He that labors is tempted by one devil; he that is idle, by a thousand.
—Italian Proverb

You know that temptation can be so deceptive. Observers have noted that certain kinds of ants have a passion for the sweet, glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. They can become so "addicted" to it that they even seek out "the supplier" and carry him to their nest with delight. But they unwittingly bring home an enemy in disguise, for the caterpillar gorges himself exclusively on ant larva.
Usually such a threat to the colony would be repelled with great vigor, but the adults enjoy the tasty secretions of their "guest" so much that they are oblivious of the fact that their young are being devoured in the process.

At times, things can seem so hopeless. The British Press Association reported this strange incident:
A British submarine lay disabled on the ocean floor. After two days, hope of raising her was abandoned. The crew on orders of the commanding officer began singing:
"Abide with me!
Fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens—
Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers
Fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless,
Oh, abide with me!"
The officer explained to the men that they did not have long to live. There was no hope of outside aid, he said, because the surface searchers did not know the vessel's position.
Sedative pills were distributed to the men to quiet their nerves. One sailor was affected more quickly than the others, and he swooned. He fell against a piece of equipment and set in motion the submarine's jammed surfacing mechanism.
The submarine went to the surface and made port safely.

Stewart Anderson, in preaching on temptation, reminds us that Bobby Leach, the Englishman, startled the world by going over Niagara Falls in a barrel without suffering serious harm. Some years later he was walking down the street, slipped on an orange peeling, and was taken to the hospital with a badly fractured leg. Dr. Anderson adds: "Some great temptations, which roar around us like Niagara, may leave us unharmed. But a little, insignificant incident may cause our downfall simply because we are not looking for it."

“Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation; but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life. Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves, and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.” {My Life Today, 94}

“To every Christian comes the word that was addressed to Peter, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:31, 32). Thank God we are not left alone. This is our safety. Satan can never touch with eternal disaster one whom Christ has prepared for temptation by His previous intercession, for grace is provided in Christ for every soul, and a way of escape has been made, so that no one need fall under the power of the enemy.” {That I May Know Him, 286}  

“When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ's love and under His protecting care. When sin struggles for the mastery in the heart, when guilt oppresses the soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that Christ's grace is sufficient to subdue sin and banish the darkness. Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.” {Ministry of Healing, 250}    

“Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul that walks with God in humility of mind. The promise, "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." In Christ there is perfect and complete help for every tempted soul. Dangers beset every path, but the whole universe of heaven is standing on guard, that none may be tempted above that which he is able to bear. Some have strong traits of character, that will need to be constantly repressed. If kept under the control of the Spirit of God, these traits will be a blessing; but if not, they will prove a curse. . . . If we will give ourselves unselfishly to the work, never swerving in the least from principle, the Lord will throw about us the everlasting arms, and will prove a mighty helper. If we will look to Jesus as the One in whom we may trust, He will never fail us in any emergency.” {My Life Today, 316}  

“If the soul is overborne, the person overpowered, this can never be charged to God, as failing to give strength in grace, but the one tempted was not vigilant and prayerful and did not appropriate by faith the provisions God had abundantly in store for him. Christ never failed a believer in his hour of combat. The believer must claim the promise and meet the foe in the name of the Lord, and he will not know anything like failure.--MS 6, 1889.” {Mind, Character, and Personality, 2:473}

Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. (Psalms 94:17-18 KJV)
Si no me ayudara Jehová, Presto morara mi alma en el silencio. Cuando yo decía: Mi pie resbala: Tu misericordia, oh Jehová, me sustentaba. (Salmos 94:17-18 SRV)

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV)
Mas á Dios gracias, el cual hace que siempre triunfemos en Cristo Jesús, y manifiesta el olor de su conocimiento por nosotros en todo lugar. (2 Corintios 2:14 SRV)

You know that Jesus could tell us first hand, a lot about injustice.
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18 KJV)
Porque en cuanto él mismo padeció siendo tentado, es poderoso para socorrer á los que son tentados. (Hebreos 2:18 SRV)

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2 Peter 2:9 KJV)
Sabe el Señor librar de tentación á los píos, y reservar á los injustos para ser atormentados en el día del juicio; (2 Pedro 2:9 SRV)

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24 KJV)
A aquel, pues, que es poderoso para guardaros sin caída, y presentaros delante de su gloria irreprensibles, con grande alegría, (Judas 1:24 SRV)

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7 KJV)
Mas el fin de todas las cosas se acerca: sed pues templados, y velad en oración. (1 Pedro 4:7 SRV)

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:1-4 KJV)
JEHOVA es mi luz y mi salvación: ¿de quién temeré? Jehová es la fortaleza de mi vida: ¿de quién he de atemorizarme? Cuando se allegaron contra mí los malignos, mis angustiadores y mis enemigos, Para comer mis carnes, ellos tropezaron y cayeron. Aunque se asiente campo contra mí, No temerá mi corazón: Aunque contra mí se levante guerra, Yo en esto confío. Una cosa he demandado á Jehová, ésta buscaré: Que esté yo en la casa de Jehová todos los días de mi vida, Para contemplar la hermosura de Jehová, y para inquirir en su templo. (Salmos 27:1-4 SRV)

Prayer is powerful! Consider this fact. The two most famous legions in the Roman army were the Tenth Legion and the Thundering Legion. The Tenth Legion was composed of Caesar's veteran shock troops. In every great emergency it was upon that Legion that he called, and it never failed him. The Thundering Legion was the name given to the Militine Legion in the days of the philosopher-emperor—and yet one of the worst persecutors of the Church—Marcus Aurelius.
Tertullian tells us how the legion won that name, the "Thundering Legion." In A.D. 176 the army of the emperor was engaged in a campaign against the Germans. In their march the Romans found themselves encircled by precipitous mountains which were occupied by their savage enemies. In addition to this danger the army was tormented by thirst because of the drought. It was then that the commander of the Praetorian Guard informed the emperor that the Militine Legion was made up of Christians, and that they believed in the power of prayer.
"Let them pray, then," said the emperor. The soldiers of the Legion then bowed on the ground and earnestly besought God in the name of Christ to deliver the Roman army. They had scarcely risen from their knees when a great thunderstorm arose, accompanied by hail. The storm drove the barbarians out of their strongholds; and, descending from the mountains, they entreated the Romans for mercy. His army delivered from death at the hands of the barbarians, all delivered from death by the droughts the emperor decreed that this legion should be thereafter called the "Thundering Legion." He also abated somewhat his persecution of the Christians.

The Bible teaches us that we can have victory over temptations by having Jesus rule in our hearts. Martin Luther was often very graphic in his description of the activities of the Devil. Asked one time how he overcame the Devil, he replied, "Well, when he comes knocking upon the door of my heart, and asks 'Who lives here?' the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door and says, 'Martin Luther used to live here but he has moved out. Now I live here.' The Devil seeing the nail-prints in the hands, and the pierced sides, takes flight immediately." It is surely good for every life and for every home to have Jesus as a permanent resident. This assured, heavenly blessings are sure to fall upon such bodies.

During these very trying times, let us lean on the everlasting arms more than ever before.

Pastor Richard Parent

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