Twelfth Sunday after Trinity – Monday
And lead us not into temptation. – Matthew 6:13.
There are two kinds of temptation: temptation for good and temptation for evil. Temptation for good is sent by God; temptation for evil comes from the devil, the world, and our flesh.
Temptation for good consists in this, that God tries and tests His children in order to purify and strengthen their faith. Thus “God did tempt Abraham” (Genesis 22:1), and thus Jesus tempted the “Syrophenician” woman (Mark 7:26; see also vv. 27-29).
Temptation for evil consists in this, that the devil, the world, and our flesh would deceive or seduce us into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Thus the devil tempted Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-6), our Savior (Matthew 4:1-11), and “Judas Iscariot” (John 13:2). Through such temptation “Cain” and “Judas” fell into despair (Genesis 4:13; Matthew 27:4-5), and “Peter” into the grievous sin of denying his Lord (Luke 22:54-60).
What, now, should be our response when we say to our heavenly Father: “Lead us not into temptation?“ We should then pray that God would so guard and keep us that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us, nor seduce us into false faith, or into despair, or into great shame and vice, and that, though we be sorely tempted, we may finally overcome and obtain the victory. And if we pray thus, we shall surely be heard. Hence this petition is for us a powerful and victorious shield and weapon in this earthly life, which is so full of temptation.
PRAYER – Dear heavenly Father, I cannot in any way, by any power of mine, withstand the temptations with which I am assailed by the devil, the world, and my own depraved flesh. Very soon I would be lost, but in the name of Thy dear Son, my Savior, I cry to Thee, that Thou would guard and keep me in all temptation. And thus, by Thy grace alone in Christ Jesus, I am confident that I shall finally overcome, obtain “the victory” (I Corinthians 15:57), and through true faith in my dear and only Savior, enter eternal life. Amen.
Into temptation lead us not,
when evil foes against us plot
and vex our souls on every hand.
Oh, give us strength that we may stand,
firm in the faith, a well-armed host,
through comfort of the Holy Ghost!
(Hymn 458, st. 7; TLH)