Summary: Temptation is everyone's battle, James gives some very practical advice on how to defeat it.
Real Faith is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus and it results in a new life, a new purpose and a new identity (as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ)!
Real Faith turns trials into triumphs.
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. – James 1:13-18
HEY– I want to begin today by taking a look at the stuff on this table. UNDERSTAND – what you see on this table, are instruments of death. I picked them up at Lowes this week.
NOW – most bugs don’t know it… BUT – they have an enemy.
AN ENEMY – that is bigger, smarter, faster, stronger and more determined than they are. AN ENEMY – that stays up late at night and invests large sums of money to figure out ways that they can lure little bugs and other pests to their death.
AND – on this table are some of the methods that this enemy has come up with.
AND UNDERSTAND – bugs will choose to enter into these things. THEY - will choose the very things that will lead to their death. QUESTION – why do they do that? WHY - would they choose to enter into something that is designed to kill them.
WELL YOU SEE – their enemy has done extensive research and in that research they have discovered that you cannot say to a bug or any other pest… “Choose death” and have them choose it… THEREFORE – everyone of these things involve deception… THEY – involve the promise of life. YEAH – a bug looks at them and thinks, “boy that sure looks good, it smells good… and I bet it tastes even better.
OKAY – let’s take a look at some of these instruments of death…
(I PUT IMAGES OF THESE PRODUCTS ON THE SCREEN)
MaxAttrax Ant Bait
HOME DEFENSE FLY BAIT DECAL
TOMCAT GLUE TRAPS
these really work…
TOMCAT MOUSE KILLER II
ROACH MOTEL (Roaches check in… but they don’t check out)
Stinger Outdoor Insect Killer…
“A 40 watt ultraviolet light excites insects and lures them into the electric grid, where they are electrocuted and fall harmlessly to the ground.” Got to love it.
YOU SEE – bugs look at the light and they think, “wow, that really is a cool looking light, it’s awesome, so beautiful. YOU KNOW - I think I’ll just cruise on over for a closer look… then zap. They are toast, literally…
OKAY – humor me for a minute…
(like you haven’t already, right? Or like you don’t every Sunday)… BUT – anyhow let’s walk down that ‘humor Steve’ path again… LET’S TRY - to get inside a bugs head and think like a bug.
NOW – you would think that after awhile, these bugs would wise up. I MEAN - you’d think, that they would notice that lying in the tray underneath the light, are the bodies of hundreds of their little friends… Other impulsive bugs who have gone before them.
AND UNDERSTAND – being electrocuted… dead… toasted… on the bottom of a bug ZAPPER is not, anywhere close to where they intended to end up.
BUT – as we know from a pervious study (many years ago)
It’s DIRECTION not intention that determines our destination.
BUT STILL – you would think that there would be at least one thoughtful bug, who would say, “Whoa!!!! Wait a minute. I’m not just going to blindly follow my desires.
YEAH - I’m starting to see a pattern here, All my friends who have flown that way, they never come back. NO - I’m not going to fly any…closer….. but it really is a beautiful light…. ZAP!!!
BUT – no bug ever does…
APPARENTLY – they all say to themselves,
“I know what I am doing. I’m strong enough. I’m smarter than they others guys lying in the bottom the bottom of the tray. I’m much too clever. I can handle this attraction without getting ZAPPED.
YEAH EVEN IF - everyone else gets ZAPPED – I never will.
AND – we know what happens, don’t we.
WE KNOW - the rest of the story, they like their friends end up at the bottom of the tray, dead – electrocuted, crispy fried - by a 40 watt ultraviolet light bulb… YES - there are ways that seem right to a bug, but they only end in death…