John 12:25-26: The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
The battling temptations surround all of us - daily, constantly. We can experience the triumph of obedience one moment and the defeat of disobedience the next and so it is important in the moments of being tossed by the waves of temptation to stand on the solid Word of God.
Jesus, in John 12, gives direction and hope as he tells his disciples not only of his coming death but also of what the believer's life must consist.
1. Learn to hate your life and value the life to come (While that man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life) When Satan tempted Jesus it was about the here and now - you can have bread now, you can have the kingdom now and without the cross. Jesus' answer? Man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God; worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Jesus practiced what he preached as he valued the life to come and the life he would give to all who would follow him.
2. Learn to be a servant - this life is not about you (whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be) Even in the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve with words that would make her the master and put God in His proper place. But Jesus states: you are my servant. That one line or that one heart attitude helps us understand temptation and what is constantly bombarding us: will we serve Christ or our desires? Will Christ be master or will we?
3. Learn to be satisfied with God's approval (My Father will honour the one who serves me.) God will honour the one who serves Christ. Will I be satisfied to let go of the praise of men and women and simply long to hear the words of God: I honour you, my servant and my child? I sometimes wonder if the most precious moments in Jesus' life on earth were when he heard His Father say: This is my Son, in whom I delight. The servant of Jesus, as he battles temptation, must have a greater longing for God's approval and honour.