10 February 2011

James: The Temptation Talk

James 1: 12-18

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. 

 Have you ever blamed God or gotten angry with God because you messed up and you felt God kind of set you up or wanted you to fail?  I can't think of a particulary instance right now but I'm sure I've been angry with God before about the sin that I allowed in my own life.  Often times we need someone to blame, and it is very difficult to look inward and much easier to play the blame game.

I found comfort in these verses knowing that God can't and doesn't tempt us because he can't be tempted by evil.  He is a holy God.  The temptations that we face are just a part of life and temptation in and of itself isn't wrong.  Money isn't bad when used properly.  S*x isn't bad when saved for the marriage bed.  But when these things (and countless other temptations) are taken out of the context that God ordained them to be, and when temptation gets the best of us, our own evil desires (because we all have wicked,sinful hearts that desperately need cleansing from a Savior) entice us to go farther than we should go and we stop looking to God as our authority and we begin to lust after the flesh-filled things of the world.

"Don't be deceived" this verse says.  We need to constantly be in God's truth so we aren't deceived.  The world has all of it's answers about sin and temptation and desires, but God has created the world and is our authority, not the god of this world (you know who he is).  Every thing good comes from God, God wants what is best for us, that is why He gives us parameters and laws and rules, to protect us not to stop "our fun".  He only wants what is best for us.

In verse 15 it says "when desire is conceived it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full grown brings forth death."  Not a happy series of events...our wicked hearts have these evil desires that when we allow them to control us and don't bring those things to God for help then those temptation will lead to sin and when sin is full grown in our life it brings forth death!  It just reminds me that something as little as a thought or desire can ultimately destroy part of me or even all of me if I don't tap into the power of the Holy Spirit and ask for help.

God wants us to "endure temptation", He loves us and will give us the strength we need just when we need it if we are willing to ask for it.  I don't know what your struggles might be, but you and God do.  I pray that we will be wise and seek God's truth so that we are not easily deceived by this world.  We constantly need to re-program our minds and renew our minds with God's Word.

1 comment:

  1. I am enjoying this walk through James with you. Very insightful!


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