Krispy Kreme, Pizza, & Ice Cream Sandwiches
Near the end of May, my wife Kim and I decided that we were going to eat healthy for the month of June. If it looks good, tastes good, and you want it…it’s off limits! (Not really, but it is quite restrictive.) Even still, we have many wonderful, nutritious things to eat. Some of the biggest sacrifices have been no Diet Coke for her and no chocolate or sugar for me.
Needless to say, this has been a major adjustment for me. At times the temptations have been quite strong. Exhibit A: I came home one evening to the scintillating smell of pizza, the sight of a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts the kids got for their good grades, and the prospect of mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich dessert night for the kids. Please remind me why we’re doing this! Are we really committed to it?
Temptation. We can’t escape it. It bombards us from all angles and in all varieties. Even Jesus was tempted. How do we battle and overcome it like He did?
We continued our Curveball sermon series on the life of Joseph this past Sunday, and we looked at Joseph’s good example of how to deal with temptation (sexual temptation, to be more specific). The wife of his master Potiphar ruthlessly and relentlessly, “day after day,” sought to lure Joseph to bed with her (Genesis 39). But Joseph hit the curveball and did not compromise. How did he do it? How can we do it?
- Joseph predetermined to obey God.
Temptation doesn’t play by the rules. Satan knows our weaknesses and seeks to exploit them through surprise attacks and ambushes. But before Potiphar’s wife’s first advance, Joseph had already made up his mind. His immediate and practically involuntary response was “No!” Joseph resolved in advance that he would not violate God’s commands.
- Joseph recognized sin as a serious offense before a holy God.
Culturally we may make light of sin, but Joseph understood how serious it truly is. Every bit of pain, suffering, injustice, and death is a direct result of sin. Adam and Eve started the rebellion and we’ve all joined in ever since. Eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire with Satan awaits all who do not have their sin washed away by faith in Jesus and His completed work on the cross…yes, it’s that serious! Joseph recognized the affront that sin is to God, and refused (Genesis 39:9). We must not take sin casually as our culture does.
- Joseph was resolved.
Potiphar’s wife relentlessly pursued Joseph “day after day.” He did not waver. He did not wear down. He did not give in. His mind was made up and would not be changed.
- Joseph, as much as he could, ran from the temptation.
Joseph “refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (Genesis 39:10). Joseph did everything he could to not be anywhere near Potiphar’s wife. He set up boundaries of protection as far away from the danger as he possibly could (considering he was a slave serving in Potiphar’s house).
Joseph’s example speaks to us today of how we can overcome temptation: predetermine, loathe sin, resolve, and run. However, the message isn’t to be like Joseph but rather to be like Jesus. Victory over temptation can be ours as we saturate ourselves in God’s Word (Psalm 119:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 10:13), battle in God’s strength (Ephesians 6:10–18), and keep pace with God’s Spirit in us (Galatians 5:16–26; Romans 6–8).
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Jonathan Wiley is the Community and Connections Pastor. A native Buckeye from northeast Ohio, Jonathan met his wife, Kim, at Grace, where she has been connected since childhood. Jonathan studied business (Grace College) and theology (Grace Seminary) before working in management for a leading multi-national corporation in northern Indiana. In addition to spending time with his family, Jonathan enjoys the outdoors, water sports, handyman projects, and commiserating with Cleveland Browns fans. Jonathan and Kim have three young children.
Tags: Christian Life, Curveball, Genesis, Sermon Follow-Up, Skillful Living