Bible Text: James 1:9-18 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Living Godly Lives
James 1:12-18 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Genesis 22:1-2 Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. Abraham! God called. Yes, he replied. Here I am. Take your son, your only son — yes, Isaac, whom you love so much — and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains…
These tests are intended to strengthen us, NOT break us.
Faith does not suddenly disappear; Faith slowly dissolves away due to a lack of attention and development
1 Corinthians 10:13 But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
The secret to resisting and overcoming our temptations:
Honest and accurate self-awareness or assessment
Open communication (listening) to the Holy Spirit
Allowing accountability with other believers
Knowing the Word of God (standard & practice for faith)
Forgiveness is a powerful tool when we fall and fail
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
One of the great battles we face is the battle of isolation
Our natural tendencies are to isolate
We must reject isolation!
Others have resisted temptation and so can you
He is present with us and temptation can be resisted
God gives you a way to resist temptation by helping you
Recognize people and situations that give you trouble
Run from anything you know is wrong.
Choose to do what is right
Pray for His help
Seek friends who love God and can support you
Jesus is never indifferent to our times of temptation
Luke 22:31-34 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers…
Jesus says three things to Peter and reminds us that:
Satan’s mission is to kill, steal or destroy our faith
The Lord is interceding for us
We are going through a refining process
Temptations are never sent to make us fail; they teach us how to overcome and that we can overcome!
One the main reasons we are trapped by temptation is our ignorance and illiteracy of God’s Word
Mark 1:9-13 …Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately coming up from the water He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan…
Matthew 4:3-11 …the tempter came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
The fact is that there are times when we are going face challenging moments in life NOT because of our FAILURE(S) but because of our OBEDIENCE!
Romans 7:21-25 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Giving is good and God is unchangeable!
James 1:16-18 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
The giving character of God is written into His creation
…that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures…
We are called to live as firstfruits, God’s example of holy, healthy and wholesome living so the world around us will have hope of overcoming evil and not give in to unhealthy desires but live as a firstfruit and not rotten fruit!