A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 2012

“I wish my stove came with a Save As button like Word has.
That way I could experiment with my cooking and not fear ruining my dinner.
Jarod Kintz, Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life

As a writer, and a wanna-be cook, I couldn't agree more! And as a Christian, I sometimes wish life would have a Save As button too, especially when I fail to ward off a temptation and fail to do God's will. Sometimes a temptation is evident, other times we fail to recognize it when it comes our way. The Bible does give us some help though in recognizing temptations, which is like the the grammar program on Word that alerts us when we have misspelled a word, which makes living - and writing - a lot easier. It's too bad it doesn't help with the cooking department.

Susanna Krizo


Board of Directors, CCI


The Soul of an Apprentice

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. (1) The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.'" (2) The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" (3) The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. - Luke 4:1-13, NIV

Everyone gets tempted, we cannot avoid it. But what we can avoid is falling flat on our faces every time we are tempted, for we do not need to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor 2.11). The tempting of Jesus by the devil gives us a blueprint of how Satan works.

1. The first level of temptation is the easiest to overcome, yet the most difficult to detect – especially for young believers. It involves a legitimate human need, but in a way that causes us to ignore God, and our reliance on God alone. For example, food is a legitimate human need, but it can also become more important to us than doing God’s will; instead of fasting when needed, we head to the fridge - hey, we are hungry, and humans need to eat, right? And then we wonder why our spiritual lives are so flat and powerless.

Cure: The ability to listen to the Spirit is a talent every Christian must learn. Although the Spirit deals with us as individuals, the Spirit is usually loud enough when temptation comes along for all to hear. In addition, if you plant the Word in your heart and mind, you will know what God’s will is in every situation, even when you are tempted.
Instead of using his powers to please himself, Jesus waited for God to provide for him.

2. The second level of temptation is material goods. After all, the world is a harsh place to live in, and if we only have enough of gold and silver, we will be able to take care of ourselves. Who needs God?

Cure: Realize that you live for God, and not for yourself. If you think you can do it on your own, God will let you. Then you will really find out how harsh the world can be.

3. The third temptation is the hardest to resist, for it involves avoiding suffering and getting what you want without pain. Life involves a lot of pain, but also a lot of joy, love, and happiness. Had Jesus accepted the offer, he would’ve avoided the cross, since everyone would’ve seen he was the Son of God and worshiped him, which would’ve ended his mission as no one would’ve allowed their Messiah to be crucified. But had he done so, it would have been the end of humankind since we would never have received eternal life without the death and resurrection of Jesus. Because he chose to do the will of God, Jesus chose to save us instead of saving himself.

Cure: When pain and suffering awaits, lean on God and surround yourself with faithful friends who can carry your burden with you (1 Peter 4:19). Trust that God will see you through even the darkest of your earthly hours. Remember also that the temptation to avoid suffering is a temptation that God uses to purge you from sin, for when you run to God for shelter, you become aware of sin that is still in you. The closer you cling to God, the purer you become.

The best part about knowing how to overcome temptation is the assurance that God has not left us to fend for ourselves - God is with us every step of the way.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” - 1 Cor 10:13, NKJV