Just a Nibble of Sin Will Get You Hooked

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When you’re tempted, you may think you can’t help it. You can help it! You start by changing the way you think.

“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” James 1:14 (NLT)

For my dad, a day without fishing was a wasted day. He would manage, no matter what was going on, to go fishing for at least 30 minutes every day. As I watched my dad catch fish after fish (while I caught nothing), I learned really quickly that no fish bites a bare hook.

You can't just throw a hook out in the water and expect to catch fish. You have to put bait on the hook, and a good fisherman knows different fish like different kinds of bait. 

Just like a fisherman knows how to bait different kinds of fish, Satan knows just how to bait you. He knows your favorite flavors and what gets your attention. He knows exactly where your weak spot is -- that unmet emotional need, that empty tank, that deep desire. 

That's why you’ve got to think about what you're thinking about. The hook is sin, but the bait is whatever lie Satan wants you to believe he knows you’re vulnerable to: If you do this, you'll feel better. If you do this, it will be rewarding. If you do this, everything will be okay.

Even when you know there's a hook beneath the bait, you may still keep nibbling. Why? Because you buy whatever lie Satan is feeding you. If you think you can keep nibbling without getting hooked, you’re just fooling yourself. The idea that you won’t get hurt is another one of Satan’s lies.

One of the most common lies is that, whenever you’re tempted, something outside of yourself has tempted you. But the real problem is not external. 

James 1:14 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (NLT). 

Temptation starts with our inner desires -- those vulnerable spots Satan uses for bait. Those desires lead to sinful actions, and those actions lead to death. What you think determines how you feel, and what you feel determines how you act.

Don’t get in the habit of blaming your circumstances. When you’re tempted, you may think you can’t help it. You can help it! It starts by changing the way you think.

When you’re tempted, stop and ask the question, “What lie am I believing?”

Then replace it with God’s truth. It will always lead to life. 

Talk It Over

What lies do you think Satan knows you’re vulnerable to? 

When was a time you thought you could control yourself when you “nibbled” at temptation? What was the result?

How can you remind yourself of God’s truth when you’re tempted?

God loves you, no matter what you’ve done.

Because we’re human, we’ve taken Satan’s bait and been hooked into sin more times than we can count. But no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, you’ve got a place in God’s forever family ready and waiting for you. The invitation is wide open. Just believe and receive. 

Are you ready? Here’s a prayer you can start with: “Dear God, I know that when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess I have ignored you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins toward you.

“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all that I’ve done wrong so I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know only your grace can save me, Lord.

“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from the sins and the habits that are messing up my life right now. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

If you prayed the prayer above, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d like to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.

Premium Resource: Daily Hope Advent Calendar and Devotional Set 

This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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