Summary: This is the second of six on James. Tony Miano (Sermon Central contibutor) is quoted and several of his points incorporated. James speaks about temptation and how it is used by God and Satan to accomplish totally different ends. Let me clarify. We cho
Resisting Resistance Makes You Strong
Many of us here today have made the decision to follow Jesus. That decision involves living as He taught us and showed us. Some of you are here because you are considering that decision. And there are some here today that aren’t considering that decision at all today and you are here for other reasons – perhaps because you know it pleases your spouse, or perhaps because you like the music, or other reasons – and that’s ok. Today’s message is important to all no matter where you are at because it applies to every person.
James speaks about temptation and how it is used by God and Satan to accomplish totally different ends. Let me clarify. We choose to live uprightly before God and man and Satan resists that decision through his use of temptation. God uses the same temptation to help us get stronger and to resist the resistance to following the ways of Jesus.
Still not clear? I’m not surprised. It is a bit confusing and James says it much better than I. Let’s explore the wisdom of James together today.
Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. - Jam 1:13 CEV
The Blame Game
“There is an interesting mentality in the world of street gangs—one that I know is not uncommon to the rest of the world. But in the world of criminal street gangs, this mentality carries with it an almost perverse exaggeration. It’s the idea of blame shifting."
"...among criminal street gangs, …a code of ethics dictates that if you stare at me, I have to punch you. And if you punch me, I have to hit you with a bat. And if you hit me with a bat, I have to stab you with a knife. And if you stab me with a knife, I have to shoot you, or your car, or your house, or someone in your family. But we see the same kind of logic among other, less threatening, members of society.”
Source: Tony Miano, Pastor in Santa Clara CA and former police officer
Have you ever played a game on your computer where there were levels? You know when you get good at one level you move to the next level until you reach the top level. Sometimes these games have hundreds of levels.
Well, when we come to the blame game we blame TV; Poverty; Dysfunctional families; our spouse; our parents; our kids, and the levels go on and on. The top level in the blame game is God…
James said very clearly, "Don’t blame God when you are tempted!"
The Source of Temptation… Is not God
Have you ever blamed God for an evil world or maybe for unfortunate circumstances in your life. A job is lost, a family member gets sick or someone you know is killed tragically in a horrible accident. Maybe you wonder at a God who would allow 6,000,000 Jews to die in concentration camps or how he can let children die of starvation.
There are lot’s of people who getting mad at God for their troubles and it is not a new thing. It started in the Garden of Eden and it continues to this day!
Gen 3:12 CEV "It was the woman you put here with me," the man said. "She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it."
The blame game has been going on for as long as human kind has been around.
But God doesn’t use evil…
James has a pointed answer for those who would think God is the source of temptation. Don’t blame God!
John MacArthur said it this way: “[God] is in no way and to no degree responsible, directly or indirectly, for our being tempted”
God doesn’t use evil and isn’t the cause of our temptation but God does use temptation to accomplish his goal. His goal to test and develop our faith.
The source of temptation is not God and it is not the Devil.
You’ve heard the phrase "the devil made me do it."
Well, the devil didn’t make you do it. You made you do it. Now Satan does use evil and Satan does use Temptation to accomplish his goal. And his goal is the breaking of our relationship with God. He wants to destroy us.
Jam 1:14 CEV We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us.
God is not the source. Satan is not the source. “I” am the source of Temptation.
James’ use of the words “each one” shows that it is an individual matter. The present tense signifies that each and every person is continually being tempted. And the source of those temptations, the source for every person, is his or her own desires. Each of us is the source of our own temptation.