Sermons

Summary: God promises wisdom in the midst of life’s trials

We¦ve all heard the old saying that the two certainties in life are death and taxes.

As accurate as that might be, I¦d like to suggest two more certainties trials and temptations.

• Hard times introduce new temptations into our lives

• One of the common responses to difficult time is to focus blame on God

1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God "; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

The magazine “Discipleship Journal” asked its readers to rank the areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them. The results came back in this order: (the top 5 were)

1. Materialism

2. Pride

3. Self-centeredness

4. Laziness

5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness and Sexual lust

The respondents also noted that temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81%) and when they were physically tired (57%).”

The readers stated that they had found that the greatest assets in resisting temptation to be “prayer (84%), avoiding compromising situations (76%), Bible study (66%), and being accountable to someone else (52%).

ABSOLUTES REGARDING TEMPTATION IN OUR LIVES

The mighty Niagara River plummets some 180 feet at the American and Horseshoe Falls.

Before the falls, there are violent, turbulent rapids. Farther upstream, however, where the river’s current flows more gently, boats are able to navigate.

Just before the Welland River empties into the Niagara, a pedestrian walkway spans the river. Posted on this bridge’s pylons is a warning sign for all boaters: "Do you have an anchor?" followed by, "Do you know how to use it?"

1. THE DIRECTION OF TEMPTATION Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being

tempted by God ";

a. God gets the blame for so many things: natural disasters, life’s problems and now ….

b. No one can use this as an excuse

2. THE CHARACTER OF GOD for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not

tempt anyone.

a. Because of WHO GOD IS untemptable

1) EVIL – evil in thought

b. Because of WHAT GOD DOES

3. THE PROCESS OF TEMPTATION But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

a. Carried away and enticed by own lust

Flip Wilson, the comedian became famous with his line, “The devil made me do it.”

Satan is an active agent in temptation, but he’s often given more credit than he deserves.

It’s up to you to resolve that you will not attempt peaceful coexistence with temptation.

Avoid the things that weaken you, whatever they are.

Chuck Swindoll says, “There’s a name for folks who linger and try to reason with lust: victim.

Dragged away and enticed” are words from a fisherman’s vocabulary. The angler casts his tempting morsel to draw a fish out of his lair and with each toss enchants and entices with the alluring bait until the fish hits and is hooked. That’s how desire works. It lures and entices until a person is caught in the snare of sin.

J. B. Phillips translates this verse, “A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires which can be enormously attractive.” The process is the same in all temptation.

b. Conception of lust ‘ taken prisoner’

D.L. Moody said: “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.”

We may not be able to avoid temptation, but we can prevent its conception.

c. Birth to sin

1) Sin becomes reality at full term. Born into our life experience

d. Sin accomplished

1) Sin’s destructive wages are soon played out in our lives

e. Death brought forth

1) Death is not an option but a sure wage

“Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to several years in the prison he built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making the contractor said, I never dreamed when I built this prison I would be an inmate one day.”

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