Take Courage: Lessons from the Example of Joseph (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from the book, Take Courage: Eight Lessons from Men of Faith.

Take Courage (cover)Joseph’s example provides several lessons for us.

First, we must maintain sexual purity in order to please God. We are to respect God’s arrangement for fulfilling these natural desires – marriage (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2). But even without marriage, we must resist temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). When Paul wrote to Timothy – a young, unmarried man – he told him to treat “younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2). He was not to flirt with sin and see how close he could get to it.

Second, we must be faithful to God, even if we must stand alone. Though he would later deny Jesus, Peter’s initial attitude was commendable: “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33). If brethren forsake, desert, or mistreat us, it is discouraging; but we must remain faithful anyway (2 Timothy 4:16-17).

Third, we must remain steadfast, even if temptation is persistent. Peter warned his readers: “Be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Peter 3:17). It is possible for one to be steadfast but eventually give in to error and sin and fall away.

Fourth, we must avoid sin, even if we think no one will find out. Even if it might be possible to sin with no other human being aware of our transgression, God will know. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).

Fifth, when necessary, we must be willing to flee temptation. Paul said, “Flee immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18), and, “Flee from youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). This does not necessarily mean we must run as Joseph did. But it does mean that we leave any situation that poses a great threat and temptation for us – whether it be a friendship, job, city, etc.

You can read more about the courage of Joseph and others in Take Courage: Eight Lessons from Men of Faith. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

The Root of the Problem: Chapter 7 – Arrogance (Excerpt)

The Root of the Problem (cover)Arrogance leads us to think that we cannot fall. In this study, we have been looking at how we can overcome sin with the understanding that we are capable of doing so. What if we are successful in giving up sin? Can we let our guard down? Should we boast that we have overcome sin and will never fall again? Certainly not. Even if one gives up sin, the possibility to sin again remains.

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Even after we repent and put away sin from our lives, we must be diligent to keep it out. If we begin thinking of our accomplishments – and repentance is an accomplishment, for many people fail in doing it – we risk ignoring the threat of sin and temptation.

You can read more about overcoming arrogance and learning humility in The Root of the Problem: Why We Sin & How We Can Overcome. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!