Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
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Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 128 (Envy)”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are looking at what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are looking at today is the sin of envy. This is the fifth sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
Today, we are looking at Proverbs 3:31-35. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website Gospellighthouseofprayer.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
Proverbs 3:31-35: “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”
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Jerry J. Panou said, “What you have is what you have. Be content whilst working hard and believing God for more. Envy no man for no reason no matter what.”
Basketball coach Pat Riley in his book The Winner Within tells about the 1980 World Championship Los Angeles Lakers. They won the NBA Championship that year, and they were recognized as the best basketball team in the world.
They began their 1980-1981 season considered likely to win back-to-back championships. But within weeks of the season opener, Magic Johnson tore a cartilage in his knee, and he needed a three month recuperation period. The team and the fans rallied, and the remaining players played their hearts out. They determined to make it through that period without losing their rankings. They were winning seventy percent of their games when the time began to draw near for Magic Johnson to return to action.
As his return grew closer, the publicity surrounding him increased. During time-outs at the games, the public address announcer would always say, “And don’t forget to mark your calendars for February 27th. Magic Johnson returns to the lineup of your World Champion Los Angeles Lakers!” During that announcement, the other players would look up and curse. They’d say, “We’re winning now. What’s so great about February 27th?”
As the day approached, fewer and fewer things were written or said about the players who were putting out so much effort. All the media attention was focused on the one player who hadn’t been doing a thing. Finally the 27th came, and as they clicked through the turnstiles every one of the 17,500 ticket holders was handed a button that said, “The magic is back!”
At least fifty press photographers crowded onto the floor while the players were introduced. Normally only the starters were introduced, and Magic Johnson was going to be on the bench when the game began. But he was nevertheless included in the introductions. At the mention of his name, the arena rocked with a standing ovation. Flashbulbs went off like popcorn. Magic Johnson was like a returning god to the crowd that night.
Meanwhile the other players who had carried the team for three months and who were totally ignored, were seething with jealousy, resentment, anger, and envy. They were so resentful that they barely won the game that night against a bottom-of-the-bucket team, and eventually the morale of the entire team collapsed. The players turned on each other. The coach was fired. And they eventually lost their opening game of the play-offs, having of the most disastrous records ever.
Riley said, “Because of greed, pettiness, and resentment, we executed one of the fastest falls from grace in NBA history. It was the Disease of Me.”
Moody made this application: if you are envious of others, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself.
Let’s continue looking at why we should not be envious of the wicked.
Second, “the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” The wicked may have a mansion and many material blessings, but they are cursed of the Lord. As an example, Psalm 106:15 says “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” This is what God does to the wicked: he may allow them to be rich and powerful, but their souls do not have any rest and most importantly, are not assured of salvation through the blood of Christ. On the other hand, even though the righteous may live in a hovel, they have the blessing of a relationship with God and the assurance salvation that they are doing His will.
Third, “he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” This verse parallels 1 Peter 5:5: “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” God will ultimately scorn those who arrogantly scorn His will and His power. Even though they may be in control for a short time on earth, their shame will ultimately be laid open to the world. On the other hand, God will show favor to those who humble themselves before Him. They will be accepted before God and respected by men.
If you struggle with envy, take this passage to heart and take heed to it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.