Reading: James 1:1-18
Key Verse: James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James is a realist about testing times in our lives, he does not say if testing times occur but when they occur. He knows that we will all face testing times, and being a Christian does not change that. The important thing is how we react, do they make us better by tempering us as we turn to God. Or do they break us and make us bitter as we turn away from God.
Our inner problem is one of the heart, deep down corruption – sinful heart. The world says follow your heart but that is the worst thing we can do, since our hearts are corrupt and following them leads to sin which results in death. Instead we must follow Christ the life giver.
When tested our sinful hearts will rationalise sin, saying under the circumstances I had no option but to sin. But the answer is not a change of circumstances but knowing God in our circumstances. We should endure hardships and persevere, but these only makes sense in the light of eternity.
A: Bad v13-15
B: Good v17-18
C: The Godly v16
Preacher: Rev Calum MacMillan
Preached: Noon Service, 28 September 2014
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