Summary: Sin looks appealing to us • When it’s pleasure is dangling on a hook right in front of us, • We have to remind ourselves that the pleasure is only temporary. • And it’s this fact that we have to remember to control our desire. • Have you ever seen
Why does it seem like everything in life is better than what we have?
• Webster’s Dictionary tells us that temptation is “the act of enticement to do wrong by the promise of pleasure or gain.”
• Isn’t that just like the Devil, getting us to do something wrong by promising us something good?
• To make the grass look greener on the other side of the fence
• There isn’t a day that goes by in any of our lives where we aren’t tempted in some way. Temptation comes packaged in a variety of ways.
• We are tempted to lie, cheat, gossip, over eat, to hold grudges, and to steal.
A 4-year old girl was caught by her Mom standing on a stool in the kitchen eating cookies. She wasn’t suppose to have cookies until after dinner. When caught she said “It’s not my fault, honest! I climbed up on that stool because I just wanted to smell them, and my tooth got caught!”
Today we’re going look at James 1:12-18
• We are going to talk about overcoming struggles,
• Not the struggles that we face from without,
• But the struggles that we face from within
• Today we are going to look at what it takes to win the battle over temptation.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Jas 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
Jas 1:14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Jas 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Jas 1:16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.
Jas 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Jas 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
The first thing that we have to understand in winning the battle against Temptation is that it’s Inevitable.
• You can count on it! You can depend on it! It’s going to happen.
• Look at what James said in the first line of verse 13
• When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
James didn’t say “if” he said “when”
• It would be wonderful if we could live life without having to deal with temptation,
• But we can’t.
• Just as hardships are an reality of life, so is temptation.
• If you think you’ve found some wonderful, peaceful place where you cantl be tempted
• My advice is don’t go there, because if you do you’re going to spoil it!
• And the reason is when you get there you’ll still have your mind and your thoughts
• And these are the vehicles of temptation.
• There isn’t a place on earth where there isn’t temptation.
• As long as we live in our earthly bodies we will face temptation
It doesn’t matter if you are the monk that lives in the monastery in the Swiss Alps,
• the businessman in Atlanta,
• the housewife in New York City, we all face temptation.
• And sometimes when God allows us to suffer, we have a tendency to use our trials as an excuse for sinning.
• Hard times can often lead to temptation.
• When we are suffering the devil is quick to come to our aid
• and offer us one of his solutions.
• He whispers in our ear that we need some pleasure in our life that will numb the pain.
• The Devil will tell us that we should be angry with God.
• He knows all the tricks and he’ll use his best ones on us when we are at our weakest.
The 2nd fact about temptation is that it doesn’t come from God.
• Look at the rest of verse 13– , God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
• When you do something wrong do you admit it, or do you blame someone else?
• When your children are fighting and you ask them who started it
• the answer that you always get is not me.
• If something in the house gets broke
• Or when something doesn’t get done it’s always not me.
How often have you heard?
• I was minding my own business.
• I wasn’t going to say a word,
• But they just went on and on and finally I just lost it.