Read TruthInConviction at

Sunday, April 19, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

One Thursday morning the parsonage phone rang.

When I answered it, I found it was Mark, a young man who had started attending our church.

"I would like to talk with you about a matter in my life," he commented.

A couple of hours later, we met in the sanctuary.

"What's up?" I asked this good-looking fellow.

"I have decided to become a Christian. But it is so hard to live for Jesus, especially in this world."

"Yes, it can be rough going at times," I agreed.

"Being a new believer, I'm finding it especially hard," he added. "I'm beginning to realize how vulnerable I really am when it comes to temptations."

"I can understand that. Many people wrestle with the same battles you are facing," I assured him.

"I wonder if you and I could have some prayer time together. I feel that might give me more of God's power to withstand Satan's enticements," he leveled.

"It would be my pleasure. Why don't we kneel here and tell God about the dark moments you're facing? Let's ask Him to shine His light into your life."

I pointed to the altar at the front of the sanctuary where we could spill our cares before the Lord.

The next Sunday, when the congregation was given the opportunity to share, Mark was the first to testify.

"I want to thank God for being so real in my life," he began.

The rest of the worshipers beamed. They were doing all they could to support this young
man. They wanted him to know victory in his spiritual life.

"This last week I got a call from a girl I once knew. She said a lot of other friends of mine were at her apartment. She invited me to join them," Mark continued. "So I drove across town and climbed the stairs to her apartment. I rang the bell. She came to the door. Then I saw what she was up to.

"No one else was there. She was all alone.

Mark hesitated, caught his breath and then went on.

"She looked at me and whispered, 'April fool, Mark. Come on in.'

"At first, I felt a tug inside. It would have been so easy to accept her invitation. But even though it was April Fool's Day, I knew I would not be a fool for Satan.

"I looked at her and simply said, 'No thanks.'

"Then I walked to my car. I am so glad I did. I have now proven to God, Satan and myself I can resist temptation if I really want to. I am determined to live for Jesus Christ, regardless."

As Mark sat down, excitement filled God's house.

We were all enraptured with his victory as we were all reminded that through Jesus' power, we can resist the baits of hell.