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Summary: Facts are facts, but not all facts are helpful in life.

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INTRO.- Facts are facts, but not all of them are helpful to us in life.

ILL.- For example, consider this fact about fleas. A flea can jump well both vertically and horizontally. Some species can jump 150 times their own length. To match that record, a human would have to spring over the length of two and a quarter football fields—or the height of a 100-story building—in a single bound. The common flea has been known to jump 13 inches in length and 7.25 inches in height.

I know that you found this flea fact to be utterly fascinating and helpful. It’s nice to know some things, but knowing certain things won’t do much for us when we’re out of work, out of money, or are having serious problems in life. Facts are not facts, but not all facts are helpful in life.

Heb. 4:12 "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

II Tim. 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Since we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, living and active, we know that the words are not just a bunch of facts to be learned, but rather they are words of life. Words that give life and give meaning to our lives.

ILL.- It seems that famed scientist Albert Einstein had more trouble finding his way home from work than he did finding the key to atomic power. One evening as Einstein sat deep in thought aboard the train that brought him home each night, the porter approached to collect his ticket. Einstein rummaged around in his coat, through his pockets, in his shirt, and everywhere else he could think of, growing alarmed at his inability to find the ticket.

"That’s okay, Dr. Einstein," said the porter. "I know you ride this train every day. I can collect tomorrow." "That’s fine for you, young man," Einstein replied, "but how am I supposed to get off the train without my ticket?"

Albert Einstein could do many intelligent things, but he couldn’t figure how to get off a train. Likewise, there are many intelligent people in the world, but when it comes to spiritual matters or how to cope with life, they are lost.

ILL.- I’d love to know some of the things that Bill Gates knows about computers, but I’d put my spiritual knowledge up against his any day of the week. He may well be a spiritual man, but I haven’t seen any indication of it. And his knowledge of the computer may make him a ton of money, but that knowledge won’t help him when it comes to spiritual matters, such as life and death or how to cope with life’s difficulties and how to cope with a person’s death.

Facts are facts, but not all of them are helpful.

PROP.- In this message I want to share basic Biblical facts for life; facts that will actually help us in life.

1- Temptation is inevitable - be on your guard (13-15)

2- God is good - be grateful (16-18)

3- Anger is not good - be aware (19-21)

I. TEMPTATION IS INEVITABLE - BE ON YOUR GUARD

James 1:14 "But each one is tempted..."

Temptation is inevitable. It will come our way. It will knock on our door or the door of our hearts. It will pass down our street and pass by our eyes.

ILL.- Drew Anderson, in Reader’s Digest, wrote, "While my wife and I were shopping at a mall, a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. My eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, my wife asked, ‘Was it worth the trouble you’re in?’"

ILL.- Mr. Toad baked some cookies. "These cookies smell very good," said Toad. He ate one. "And they taste even better," he said. Toad ran to Frog’s house. "Frog, Frog," cried Toad, "taste these cookies that I have made."

Frog ate one of the cookies, "These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!" said Frog. Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another. "You know, Toad," said Frog, with his mouth full, "I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick."

"You are right," said Toad. "Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop." Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl.

"Frog," said Toad, "let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop." Frog and Toad ate one very last cookie. "We must stop eating!" cried Toad as he ate another. "Yes," said Frog, reaching for a cookie, "we need willpower." "What is willpower?" asked Toad.

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