Pastoral Exhortation

The Word – Key to Victory over Temptation

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 18 January 2015

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In Psalm 119:11, we read the confession of David which gives us understanding to the secret of His victorious life over sin – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This confession to the LORD reveals to us that he was very conscious of the possibility of being overpowered by temptation of sin. Temptation of sin is a terrible evil that lurks around every man to seek to destroy his testimony, peace and spiritual well-being. There is also a propensity in man to fall into this evil. So David sought for an effective precaution against sin. It was a very wise act by David to safeguard himself against sin. What a good desire it was to fight off sin!

Sin will weaken and degrade every man. Sin will ruin his nature, and destroy his happiness. We are all in danger of falling into it, especially if left to ourselves, and to our own ideas, inclinations and desires. We need to be ever on our guard. We must always be vigilant and pray for the Lord’s help to safeguard ourselves against sin’s assault.

David had found for himself an excellent precaution against sin in the Word of God. By its very nature, the Word of God is a counter-remedy against sin. Because it is God’s revelation of His truth and wisdom, it promotes holiness and prevents sin. It is the source of everything good and holy, which equips us to stand against sin.

Like David, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts. Having a copy of the Bible or occasionally listening to its preaching is not enough. We must lay it upon our hearts. It must be allowed to cast its light upon our desires, passions, motives and ambitions. If we give it the most prominent place in our hearts, it will teach us what is holy and acceptable to God, and thus will fortify our resolve against every sin.

God’s Word hidden in our hearts will alert us to sins’ stealthy invasions. If we know God’s Word well, we will be able to recognise those things that God abhors and detests. It will not only reveal what God’s will concerning us is, but will also expose the presence of sin. In fact, it will warn us before sin starts its assault. It will sound the alarm before rudes into our life – so we will have enough time to resist and thwart its attack. It will also teach us how to avoid sin and escape before it strikes. It will point us to the “secret” door of escape through which we may flee and be safe. God’s Word will also strengthen and steel our resolve in times of sin’s threats. So, let us hide God’s Word in our hearts like a sword in its sheath, ready to be drawn out at a moment’s notice to fight off sin’s attacks!

 

 

“We Have Sinned, O Lord!”
A testimony of a youth who regularly participates in the prayer meeting

 

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Testimony

 

I would like to give thanks to the Lord for enabling you to preach His Word in Gethsemane, which has been edifying to me. On occasion, your words seem to rebuke my spirit, and so it has been for today’s prayer meeting (16th December 2014).

Pastor, you asked the church if we were prepared to die for the Lord Jesus Christ. I was dismayed to find that I hesitated to raise my hand. I was ashamed of myself when I was reminded that the Lord had humbled himself and was so self-emptying that He came down to this sin-filled world to serve us! When I went back to hostel, I could find no desire to study - I wanted to understand where I had gone wrong. And in my prayer, the Lord showed to me sins which I have not yet repented of - sins which stop me from saying, “Yes Lord, I will obey Thy will with all joy in spirit, no matter how difficult it will be in the world.” But the Lord is merciful unto me, and I thank Him for His forgiveness, and that I am reminded to be constantly watchful against my own sins.

Pastor, I thank the Lord for the Word which you have preached to us. I am sure it has spoken not only to me, but to many of the youths in the church as well. I pray that they too would reflect on their hesitation and come to seek the Lord without fear of this world. Truly, nothing can be more difficult than going through what the Lord went through - the pain and humiliation. Jesus suffered and endured it all, in order to fulfil the Father’s plan! Pastor, I thank the Lord for sustaining you throughout your ministry in the church, and granting you perseverance and strength to overcome persecutions.

Praise be to the Lord!

Prayer

 

O Lord, we have sinned. We are not prepared. We look to Thee with hearts of joy – but solemn we are not. When Thou come to call us, are we prepared? In dismay, we find not. I look within, and I find not. I have sinned, O Lord, and so I dare not work in Thy name.

But merciful art Thou– that Thou shall cleanse us on the cross, that Thou stepped from Heaven’s glory, to save us; nay, to serve us! O Lord, what undeserved grace Thou give to us! When it comes, Lord, shall we come in meekness and Thy will obey, as the Son of man did on the cross? Shall we refuse to be intimidated by worldly authority, as the Lord Jesus opposed the Jews who jeered and mocked?

O Lord, guide us. Save us. Redeem us. We are prideful men. We are sinful men. We cannot do without Thee. Help us. Amen.

Poem

 

O Lord, O Lord!

So sinned, O Lord, this man of dust and clay.
So sinned, O Lord, this man whose heart has swayed.
So sinned, O Lord, this man who’s not prepared.
So sinned, O Lord, this man who wrongly fared!

So cry, O Lord, this man whose heart repents.
So cry, O Lord, this man who yearns amends.
So cry, O Lord, this man who searches through.
So cry, O Lord, this man who holds Thou true.

So guide, O Lord; this man shall learn to serve,
So guide, O Lord, as Thou had come to serve.
So guide, O Lord, this heart to cleanse itself,
So guide, O Lord, this heart whose pride it shelves!

Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou reject proud men,
Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou moved not Thy plan!
Thank Thee, O Lord; for Thou their hearts found fault.
Thank Thee, O Lord, for the Cross Thou came down not.

Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou looked up to Heav’n.
Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou art gladdened to save!
Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou died so meek and still.
Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou Thy will fulfilled!

Thank Thee, O Lord, for love so undeserved.
Thank Thee, O Lord, for grace Thou showed and served.
Thank Thee, O Lord; for Thou showed mercies still.
Thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou have us renewed. Amen.

- Tan Yeh Wen -