August 30

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13No 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.

Paul always gives a Scriptural passage to back up what he is teaching. Just before this passage he reminded the reader about Israel's sins in the wilderness and how God dealt with them. He concludes by saying that those things were examples to us. This shows us how valuable the Old Testament is to us today. Paul is clarifying thoughts that he addressed from the beginning of this letter. Divisiveness and immorality should not have any place in the church of Jesus. Take a warning from God's dealing with Israel. God has not changed.

The warning continues with those powerful and humbling words, "... if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" The Proverbs of Solomon tell us that pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). It is easy for us to think of someone else when it comes to these issues. Paul is saying that we need to take a look in the mirror before we look anywhere else. Pride is at the root of the sin of divisiveness. A realization of the weakness of mankind should keep us all cautious of becoming spiritually proud.

Then he gives us an encouraging and sobering truth. Every temptation we experience is common to mankind. Every time a believer is tempted, the faithfulness of God provides a way of escape so that we can stand up under that temptation. We can never claim that we just couldn't do it. We can never say we were overpowered and had to surrender. When we do, we are saying God was not faithful, but it is we who were not faithful. We did not take the way out that He provided.

Remember: Take time to read those examples God so faithfully recorded for us. Take the way out of temptation that He provides.