The Single Most Important Thing I Didn’t Do
I want to thank Terry and Molly for the opportunity to contribute to the series on the Lord’s Prayer. My “assignment” is to share some of my experience with the first part of the scripture verse from Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation.”
One of the reasons that Jesus prays for us not to be led into temptation is because temptation leads to sin. One of the most powerful temptations for Christian youth today is peer pressure. One reason that peer pressure is so challenging is because it brings on so many temptations, and potentially leads to so many sins. Perhaps the “saving grace” about temptation is that we have the opportunity or ability to stop and not to act on it before it leads to sin. It means that we have a choice, and it’s at the point of making the choice that can make all the difference.
Sometimes the choices we make regarding temptation have life-changing consequences. I had one such life-changing experience with temptation back in high school. Had I known then that it would be life-changing, and not for the better, I certainly would have made a different choice.
The memory is still so clear in my mind, that even 40 years later it seems like only yesterday. Baseball was my greatest love and passion growing up, but by senior year, due to some bad experiences, the love and passion had faded. One night, just before the start of a baseball game, I was on the pitcher’s mound standing at attention for the National Anthem. As I looked out at the flag in center field, I noticed all the kids behind the fence, partying and having a good time. Before then, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the crowd in the stands. But at that moment, I wanted to be part of the crowd. I envied them. I wanted to be them! I wanted to be with them. I didn’t want to be inside playing baseball. I wanted to be out there playing with them!
It wasn’t too long after that night that I tried alcohol for the first time. Again, I remember the moment so vividly. I was sitting alone in my car with a bottle of wine. I hadn’t fully made up my mind yet, and was struggling with what I know now as temptation. The thing is I knew, I absolutely knew what I was about to do was wrong. And yet, I didn’t resist, and gave in to the temptation. Looking back now, the single most important thing I didn’t do at that night was pray and ask God not to lead me into temptation.
There is a saying that once you cross a certain line you can never go back. And that was certainly true in my case. Again, unknowingly, I had opened a door that in the future would lead to so many bad consequences, and so many other temptations and sins, and would cause tremendous pain to myself and others. Not long afterward, I started dating a sophomore girl, and basically introduced her to alcohol as well. Several years later, perhaps not coincidentally, I saw her at an AA meeting. Then several months later I heard that she had died. It was heartbreaking of course, but the manner in which she died made it even more so, for it was her alcoholism that caused her to literally drink herself to death. I couldn’t help but think, “Was I the cause for her pain, suffering and death?” Not directly mind you, but hopefully you understand how it felt.
I believe that when Jesus prayed, “And lead us not into temptation”, He also meant, “Let us not lead others’ into temptation”.
I want to leave you with some encouraging words. The good news is that there are also many “good” temptations in life, such as being “tempted” to attend a LOG participant weekend! LOG is an amazing ministry, and among other things, LOG provides a wonderful safe haven to help us resist the bad temptations and evil influences of the outside world. Please know that for all the sorrow I experienced earlier in my life, it is you amazing young people that have helped bring such incredible joy to my later years. I am so abundantly blessed to have you in my life! Let me end with scripture found in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”.
God bless and thank you!
Participant Update – Getting Better But Still Room For More
What a blessing it is to share the love of God with someone! It can change a person’s life forever. Think how glad you are that someone invited you to LOG. Now it is your privilege to pass it on …
LOG #89 – two confirmed and three not confirmed
LOG #90 – six confirmed and four not confirmed
LOG #91 – four confirmed and six not confirmed
Send your friends this link: www.michianayouth.org/events
Blessings for LOG weekends
Please send your blessing to Terry as soon as possible. Share a favorite passage of Scripture, quote or song lyric and tell us why it is meaningful to you (and hopefully, to those attending the weekend). Let’s surround the participants with love.
Important dates – mark your calendars:
– February 17-18 – – LOG #89 overnight
– February 24-25 – – LOG #90 overnight
– March 3-4 – – LOG #91 overnight
– March 10-12 – – LOG #89
– March 17-19 – – LOG #90
– March 24-26 – – LOG #91
– March 28 – – Five Guys Reunion Night
– June 23-25 – – LOG #92 at Bashor Home
– June 29 – July 2 – – SOS at Bethel College
– July 22 – – 20 Year LOG Reunion
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