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Just Say No

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NIV

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the U.S. government launched the "Just Say No" campaign as part of the War on Drugs. Initiated by First Lady Nancy Reagan, the goal of the initiative was to discourage children from engaging in illegal drug use. The slogan "Just Say No" became an American catchphrase, symbolizing a movement that encouraged children to reject drugs by simply saying "no."

Nancy Reagan's efforts included traveling nationwide, appearing on television, and visiting drug rehabilitation centers to promote the campaign. The movement also involved the creation of "Just Say No" clubs within schools, where students pledged to avoid drugs and gangs.

Sadly, though, despite the best of intentions and limited success, the drug problem in America continues at an alarming rate. Over one million Americans have died from drug overdoses since the late 1990s, with more than 100,000 per year in recent years. According to a study by John Hopkins, in 2023, the preliminary numbers remained near historic highs, with about 108,000 estimated deaths.

But today's devotion is not solely about the allure of drugs but of all temptation. We are tempted by the "seven deadly sins": lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. These things have been "common to mankind" since the beginning. No sin is lesser than the others. 

Today's scriptures assure us that God helps us resist temptation by ensuring we are not tempted beyond our ability to withstand it. Moreover, they assure us that God provides a way of escape or endurance with every temptation. God's help may manifest itself in various forms, such as strength of character, support from a community, or an unforeseen change in circumstances that removes the temptation.

The key takeaway is that God is faithful and aware of our limitations. He supports us by helping us say "no" to temptation and providing the means to endure and overcome it. This passage encourages self-awareness and vigilance, reminding us that no one is immune to temptation and reassuring us of God's constant presence and help in times of need.

Heavenly Father,

We come before You, acknowledging our human frailty and the temptations that so often beset us. We are grateful for Your promise in Your Word that no temptation that is not common to all has overtaken us. We take solace in Your faithfulness and will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.

In Your infinite wisdom, You provide a way out—a path to safety—so that we may endure the trials that come our way. May we always be vigilant, standing firm in the faith, and cautious not to fall into complacency. Let us be ever mindful of Your presence and the escape You offer in our moments of temptation.

We pray for strength to "Just Say No," for eyes to see Your provided exit, and for hearts courageous enough to take it. May Your Spirit guide us in every challenging moment, and may we emerge victorious, not by our power but through Your grace.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Pastor Tim

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