Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "Momma Says..."
Series: Momma Says… (James)[#3]
DON’T TAKE THE BAIT
[Items needed: Mousetrap.]
(Hold up the mousetrap as you ask the question.) What is this? That’s right, it is a mousetrap. And, what do you do with a mousetrap? Right again. You catch mice. Now can you just sit this mousetrap somewhere and catch a mouse? No. If you want to catch a mouse, you must put some bait on the trap. Someone tell me what kind of bait works on a mousetrap. I knew you would all say cheese. When we lived in Wildorado, TX around all of those farms; we had to learn how to catch mice. We found that Peanut Butter worked better than anything else.
So how does this mousetrap work? (Place the trap on a table and set it. Then take a stick and hit it as you are speaking.) You put your bait right here and as the mouse comes up to take the bait, POW! The mouse is caught.
The devil sets traps for us. He places your favorite thing as the bait on the trap. Momma says, “Don’t Take The Bait”.
James 1:12 (TEV)
“Happy is the person who remains faithful under trials, because when he succeeds in passing such a test, he will receive as his reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.”
The person that does not fall to temptation will be happy. He will be rewarded with a joyful and fulfilling life that can only come from being obedient to God. So what do we do to stay out of the devil’s trap?
Don’t Be Fooled
“When tempted…” (James 1:13a). Does it say “if”? No, it says, “when”. Just like trials, you will be tempted. There are no exemptions. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the devil won’t tempt you. Hey, if he will tempt Jesus, he is going to tempt you. Remember the sin is not being tempted, it is falling to the temptation.
To stay out of the devil’s trap, don’t be fooled; but when you get caught in his trap…
Don’t Blame Others
James 1:13 (NIV)
“When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;”
When you fall to temptation, whose fault is it? It is yours. Don’t blame God. Don’t blame me. Don’t even blame the devil. The devil just puts the trap out. No one makes you do anything you don’t want to do. Stop blaming others for what you have done.
To stay out of the devil’s trap…
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
James 1:14 (NIV)
“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
James 1:16 (NIV)
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.”
Circle the word deceived. You need to be on guard. Temptation is subtle and it sneaks up on you. If you are not paying attention you will take the bait and never notice that there was a trap. You need to be prepared for temptation. How do you prepare for temptation? You need to know how it works and there is one thing I can say about the devil when it comes to temptation. He’s consistent. He has the same old bag of tricks that he has been using for years and James outlines his process here in our text.
“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire…” (James 1:14). The 1st step in his plan to catch you is…
“…he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14). The 2nd step in the devil’s plan to catch you is…
6. Deception. The devil knows what the right bait is. He’s not going to bait the trap with spinach if you hate spinach.
“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…” (James 1:15). The 3rd step in the devil’s plan is to catch you is…
7. Disobedience. See the progression here. Temptation starts in the mind, but ends up in sin.
“…and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). The last step in the devil’s plan is…
8. Death. Sin leads to death. The wages of sin is death. Now I realize that Christians fall to temptation; but I want you to see that when you get caught in the Devil’s trap your joy and peace as a Christian are gone. Sin is a joy killer.
To stay out of the Devil’s trap…
Don’t Focus On The Bait
James 1:17-18 (NIV)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”