May 15, 2008
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15
Chocolate is good for you.
I remember the overwhelmingly positive reaction of many when that bit of information made the evening news a few months ago.
Now British researchers are calling for volunteers who are willing to eat a bar of chocolate, every day, for an entire year. Best of all, the volunteers can forget any guilt, because the chocolate will be consumed for the good of humanity and in the name of science.
Now, I should tell you, the test, which begins in June, is trying to see if it can reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women with Type 2 diabetes. So, if you don't fit the criteria, and you don't live in England, don't bother to apply.
Disappointed? Many people might be. Chocolate is a weakness for a lot of folks. Indeed, volunteers in this study might find themselves hard pressed to confine their chocolate intake to a bar a day. After all, the thinking might go, if one chocolate bar is good for you, why not a dozen?
Now, before I go any further in this devotion, I want to say that, as far as I know, eating chocolate in moderation is not a sin. Having said that, I'd also like to add this: the devil likes to use things that interest us to woo us away from the Lord.
When Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, she noticed it was good for food and pleasing to the eye. Hers was the first in a long line of sins finding its root in personal preferences.
James says it better than I ever could: "Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).
James wants God's saved people to realize what tempts one person will leave another person cold. Even so, each of us has an Achilles' heel and Satan works tirelessly to find it.
When he does, he tempts us to sin and that sin will bring forth our death. The deplorable condition of the world shows how successful the father of lies has been. There is, Scripture tells us, not a just man on the earth that does good and doesn't sin.
This is why we need a Savior. The Father in heaven, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, has also graciously given us His Son to save us from our sinful desires and actions. Jesus' life was dedicated to the single purpose of redeeming us from, how do pastors say it, "our sinful desires." In short, Jesus saves us from ourselves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for saving me from sin, death, devil, and me, I give thanks. Now I pray that the Holy Spirit will keep me from sinful temptations that are my weakness. In Your Name I ask for help. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries