Summary: God is steady in his dealings with us. He does not deceive us or try to draw us into sin. We make the choice to stand with God or give into temptations.
A politician was running for re-election and was talking at a campaign stop to his constituents.
"My opponent has called me a liar. I want you to know that I have never lied to you. The only problem I have is that the facts don’t always match up with what I believe or say."
Not all politicians are guilty of lying or deception but some are. Or else they make a lot of promises that they can’t keep. We do know, however, that the world is full of people who try to deceive others.
2. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1.16-18
3. Don’t be deceived!
a. Adam and Eve
b. James 1.16, 22, 26 – “Don’t be deceived”
c. Temptation & deception go together – [Monkey Trap/Lure
4. We make changes when we learn enough or hurt enough
Recently I heard about a middle school in Oregon that faced a unique problem. It seems that a number of girls there were going into the bathrooms and putting on their lipstick. After they put it on their lips, they pressed their lips to the mirrors leaving dozens of little lip prints. I guess they thought it was kind of cute, but as you can imagine it was a nightmare for the janitors. Finally the principal decided something had to be done. She called the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the custodian. She explained that the lip prints caused a major problem for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors every day. To demonstrate how difficult it was, she asked the custodian to clean one of the mirrors. As the girls watched, the janitor took out a long-handled brush, dipped it into the toilet, and scrubbed the mirror. That little demonstration had amazing results. Since then there have been no lip prints on any of the mirrors in that school. (from PreachingToday.com)
What that principle was doing for those girls was little bit like what James is trying to do for us in the passage we are going to look at this morning. He wants us to think about what we are doing. He is convinced that if we understand a little more about the nature of sin, we are going to be less likely to be so cozy with it. Let’s look at what he has to say.
5. Trials Vs. Temptations
I. The Steady Nature of God
6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Malachi 3.6-7
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13.8
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1.5
Donald Trump is worth about 3 billion dollars. Where did he get all of his money? Donald was the fourth of five children of Fred Trump, a wealthy real estate developer based in New York City. Donald was strongly influenced by his father in his eventual goals to make a career in real estate development.
Perhaps Trump’s father gave him money to get started in his real estate business. His daddy funded his operation. And whether you realize it or not your Father has funded your operations as well!
Your earthly father may have helped you quite a bit. We fathers tend to do that kind of thing. However, it’s your Father in heaven who is funding your whole life and operation. DON’T BE DECEIVED! You wouldn’t have anything good were it not for Him!
A. God is Not Deceptive
The story is of a poor guy, with dark glasses and his little tin cup was standing on the street corner, patiently waiting for a small contribution. A kindly man passed by and generously dropped a dime in the poor old fellow’s cup. Then for some reason he turned around, and to his surprise saw the blind man’s glasses pushed up on his forehead, looking at his recent gift.
“I thought you were a blind man,” said the disgruntled donor. “Oh, no,” was the answer, “I am only substituting for the regular blind man today. I’m not really blind at all.”