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."