Don't Take the Shortcut

April 19, 2018





(Part #9)




Be thankful that I was not the one sent to be your Saviour.  If I had been in Jesus’ position, knowing what I’d have to endure to save the world, I don’t think I would have given this miserable human race a second chance.


The Cross alone was horribly painful for Jesus, but He also went through some terrible things on His way to the Cross.  For example, the flogging (scourging) was gruesome.  Many prisoners would lose consciousness at some point during that beating.  If there was anything worse than the physical pain Jesus suffered, it was the emotional pain.  Jesus was mocked and ridiculed by the people He created.  They even spit in His face!  Considering He had the power to destroy them all, His self-control was remarkable.


What is self-control?  We normally use that term to describe holding back in some area of our lives.  I exercised self-control by not eating that donut.  I held back, and did not lose my temper.  While self-control often includes a measure of self-deprivation, it goes beyond that.  It also means that we stay on track with God’s course for our lives, and don’t take Satan’s shortcuts.  For example, we don’t walk away from a difficult marriage, but we stay on course and work it out together.  We don’t lie and cheat and steal to get ahead in life.


Jesus is the best example of self-control.  He showed it at all times in His life, but it was especially noticeable when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  I encourage you to read about it in Matthew 4:1-11.


Satan’s strategy was to offer Jesus a shortcut:  You can have a crown without a cross!  He was trying to get Jesus to abandon the Cross.  He didn’t mind Jesus being a king, as long as He did not become our Saviour.


Jesus could have done a lot of good in the world had He taken the throne that day.  He could have solved a lot of the world’s problems, and still be in power right now.  But He would only be helping us for this life.  Had He taken the throne, we could have had a great time on this planet until we died, but then we’d be lost in Hell forever.


Notice how Jesus resisted the temptation every time – He quoted Scripture.  We need to know our Bible, so that it can help us in times of temptation.


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  (Hebrews 4:15 NIV)


No 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.  (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)


We normally think of temptation as an enticement to do something wrong.  But temptation can also be an enticement to accomplish something right in the wrong way, or at the wrong time.  How do we exercise self-control and stay on God’s track when Satan offers us a shortcut?  We need to pray and ask God for the strength to stay on course.


The term is self-control, but we don’t have this type of strength within ourselves.  The only way to exercise true self-control is to be Spirit-controlled, which means that we are being led by God’s Holy Spirit.  That is what I’d like to talk to you about tomorrow.


I love Jesus’ Self-control.




Today’s Good News is that Jesus did not take the shortcut.  He stayed on course and endured the suffering, so that He could make the necessary sacrifice for our salvation.


Now, go share the Good News…




We have now completed our study on these nine character qualities of Jesus.  However, there is one more lesson to come in our series on What I Love about Jesus.  By now, you have likely figured out what I have been teaching for the last nine days.  If not, don’t worry.  The Lord willing, I will explain it all tomorrow…




If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.



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