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Summary: Casting, that’s what we’re talking about. I don't know if you realize this or not, we discovered last week that Jesus is an expert angler. He’s an amazing fisherman. He’s the best. The ultimate.

HOOKED

Week 4 “The Upside of Temptation”

Pastor Timothy Porter

Text: James 1:2-5 1:14-17

Introduction:

Casting, that’s what we’re talking about. I don't know if you realize this or not, we discovered last week that Jesus is an expert angler. He’s an amazing fisherman. He’s the best. The ultimate.

But, there is another fisherman out there, the caster of disaster, his name is the devil and he casts…He casts to you constantly. He’s just constantly casting, constantly presenting things to you. And as he presents these things they look really much more alluring than they really are. In other words, a temptation doesn’t really seem like a temptation. It seems much greater than that, but it is. I love how the Bible talks about trials and testings and temptations. Because we discovered that God wants to use trials, testings, to make us strong. The enemy wants to take something like that and turn it into a temptation and he wants us to take the bait, bite the hook, so we’ll do wrong. He wants to get us off of God’s purpose and agenda for our lives.

*STAND*READ*PRAY*

I’m just talking about casting today. Casting. The caster of disaster.

It doesn’t take the smarest person in the world to realize that there is a dark, sinister, evil force out there named the devil. He wants you to miss the best that God has for your life, because God has something amazing. If we could see God’s agenda for our lives we wouldn’t believe it.

Everybody deals with temptation. Temptation is a part of life. And when you see this word temptation, it’s the Greek word "Peirasmos." Say peirasmos with me. It literally means to test or prove.

Again, let me say this. Here’s the phrase that pays."God tests us to make us strong. The enemy tempts us to make us do wrong".

So, even if you’re being tested on the outside or tempted on the inside, the great news is we can turn these times of trials and testings and temptations into triumphs. Isn't that great? So we don’t have to have this victim mentality, we’re victors because of who we are and whose we are. Yet, if you’re here – and I know many of you are here who have never moved from death to life – this is what’s going to happen to you once you become a believer. God can leverage these things, God can leverage and will leverage the peirasmoses in our lives for greatness if we allow him, if we lean into his grace.

There is something, though, that is alluring about sin. You know, sin is missing the mark. It’s using a God-given gift in a God-vetoed way. Everything we have comes from God. He’s given us these great desires, yet the enemy looks at your life, and goes, “Hmmm… OK.” He studies us. He knows where we’re vulnerable and valuable and he fishes for us.

I love to bass fish. I grew up bass fishing. Bass fishing is the most popular fishing in the world.The thing about bass fishing is it’s everywhere. It’s a $40 billion industry just in America.

Well, the Bible uses this whole fishing vibe when it talks about being tempted or tested or facing trials.

I.] Diffirent Types Of Temptation

ELRATON- This is one of the lures that I love. This is a very expensive lure. In fact, if this lure got hung up I would probably go diving to retrieve it. It’s called El Raton.

“You mean bass eat rats?” You better believe it. And this bait is very seductive the way it swims, bass cannot resist it. The devil is a dirty rat. He makes things look much more appealing than they really are. So we concentrate on, “Boy, look at that rat!” This is awesome! We don’t see the hooks, we don’t look past the bait to the results. We take it and we’re in serious troubl and Hooked.

You see when the enemy reels you in, you know what he does? He stuffs us on his wall. You wouldn’t believe his trophy room. You wouldn’t believe the believers, mounted. And I’m sure he says. “Look at that girl. Can you believe I tempted her and she took that bait? Look at him! They were both caught on El Raton.” .

SCUM FROG - This is a deadly bait, called the scum frog. You can throw it on any scum on a pond or lake and the fish love it. So the scum frog, This reminds me of our friends or relationships, the scum frog, if you hang out with scum, you have an opportunity to take the frog and get hooked.

As you look at your life, who are you hanging out with? Where are you swimming? With scum in the worm shallow stagnet water or are you swimming in the deep clean flowing waters?

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