Home > Bible Study, Devotional, James Devotional, Wisdom > James – Wednesday, March 11

James – Wednesday, March 11

armor-of-godJAMES 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 one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

One of the errors that common among believers in dealing with temptation is the error of thinking that it’s a sin to be tempted, and that God is somehow distant from me or angry with me when I’m being tempted.

On the contrary: it is not a sin to be tempted, and God is not angry at me when I’m being tempted. Jesus was tempted (without sinning), and obviously God was not angry at Him! Neither is He angry with the believer when tempted. Temptation is a reality we all face, living in a fallen world. It’s not sinful in and of itself.

If I believe that it is a sin to be tempted, I’ll believe that I’ve already sinned before I even did anything wrong! I’ll think that God is separated from me in the process of temptation, and therefore I’ll think that I’m on my own in fighting the temptation. Where then will I go for power and strength to resist the temptation? This thinking will certainly lead to failure in my struggle against sin.

The very One I need the most is with me as I’m tempted, not against me.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. Think of the last time you were tempted to sin; where was God in the midst of that temptation? What was your concept of God at the time?

2. How would it have been different for you if you had recognized that God is for you, and is with you, during that particular struggle?

3. Consider a temptation you’re experiencing right now. Write a paragraph to yourself, telling yourself how recognizing God’s presence with you will help you and give you victory. Be as specific as you can.

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  1. kathleen mccoy
    March 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    It’s weird how so many of us are condtioned to feel shame when being tempted…It’s a hard feeling to shake… Where did that come from? (the enemy, I know, but in what form?) Was it a slap on the hand from a parent who saw us desiring that cookie we were told we couldn’t have? Was it that we were yelled at by someone who noticed we were being tempted? You feel defeated even though you haven’t committed the crime.

    It’s comforting to be reminded that God is not ashamed of us in the midst of a temptation. God is ready and quick to provide a way out. He doesn’t slap us or yell at us during the temptation…He’s just with us, helping us…very encouraging!

  2. Gelina Gile
    March 11, 2009 at 7:25 am

    So true Kathleen! It’s like when I’m driving down
    the highway and I see flashing red and yellow lights. Instantly by arms and legs get weak, I break out in a sweat, look down to see how fast I was driving, and then the CHP zooms by me! I feel guilty before I’m done anything!

    At times during those times of temptation I’ve pictured Jesus holding His breath and when I’ve overcome them he goes, “Whewwww!” with me!
    He is SO encouraging!

  3. Rick
    March 11, 2009 at 7:42 am

    The biggest temptation we face and most profound is the temptation to not trust God. Lack of trust creeps its ugly head in so many areas of our lives. My last temptation in this area happened a week and 1/2 ago when I awoke early in the morning with that sickened feeling of worry, and anxiety starting to creep in as a result of just being laid off. I immediately recognized it, confessed it, and began praising God. That depth of worry has not reared its ugly head again. The beautiful part of all of is that this is all the Grace of God. I don’t have the ability to withstand all, His Grace is sufficient for me as Paul writes. And I say Amen and Amen to that :-).

    II Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

  4. Peggy
    March 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Such exhortation pours forth from this study; thank you, all! You are in my prayers as I read your response(s).

    Hebrews 3: 12-14- Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our CONFIDENCE steadfast unto the end…

    Brother Rick, your response regarding trust just nailed it for me, and I find further exhortation and affirmation in the referenced verses in Hebrews that Christ is my CONFIDENCE, my TRUST. When I do not, literally, in my spirit, keep hold of that very essential truth, I waiver. I am tempted to give way to all that Christ died to free me from! Thank you for your sharing on TRUST. God spoke to me through your words.

    It is in that very area where I am most tempted. And this study, this day’s study questions, have brought me to a new place, some new footing in the Lord, for which I want to praise Him all the day. My thinking is going around a long, slow curve of change. When I do not trust God, my thinking becomes corrupt. And it would appear that after answering today’s questions, I have seen the new scenery waiting for me around that curve: victory over the sin of unbelief and all of its consequences…for me, not trusting God has been not believing Him. How did I ever fall back in to that way of thinking after all He has carried me through. My heart cries out for forgiveness for forsaking Him. He never once has forsaken me.

    I have not run to Him, entirely, with my hurts, I have kept some back, for myself, to keep in a box on a shelf and somehow pathetically “adore”…I hate thinking of it. Rise up, yes, I have confessed my sin of unbelief, I cry “Abba” to the Father and say, “help mine unbelief” and forgive me for not trusting You, Gracious and loving God. When I am tempted to walk any path other than the one that trusts God completely, right at the threshold of that path, I am now saying as the Holy Spirit comes alongside and prompts: “God is with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me, I need not fear what my enemies can do to me, God is FOR me, I am His…” and the verses come forth and the Truth comes home to roost; and it all seems so graciously simple; it is my flesh that made everything seem so complex. And my response to life becomes a response built on the Truth of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. How sweet is the name of Jesus, and I love Him. God have us the gift of His Holy Spirit and the conviction is sure and true…yes, God is with us…Emanuel.

    The song of deliverance from David to the Lord in II Samuel 22 is my prayer of praise coming forth this day.

  5. kathleen mccoy
    March 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Encouragment from 1 Peter concerning “trust”:

    1 Peter 1: 21 – 22…

    21 Through Christ you have come to TRUST in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.

    22 Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your heart. (with a pure heart)

    Rick, I love the verse you posted II Cor. 12:9…My grace is sufficient for thee….My strength is made perfect in weakness…

    Christ, I trust in. Myself, I don’t…each day my dependance grows…everyday I have to let go of an opinion of my own…or let go of a dream of earthly contentment…living a comfortable life. In otherwords I’ve had to die to myself very regularly, daily, and sometimes many times in one day. The enemy would have me believe in those moments that I’ve failed and I’m not where I should be. But, then Christ sweeps in with His love and tells me in His word that I’m exactly where HE wants me to be. Humble and needy for Him. This is where His strength is made perfect.

    The road is narrow and difficult but the door is wide open and not one can shut it! (Rev. 3: 8…I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.) The letter that Christ wrote to the church of Philadelphia is comforting me so much right now!!!!!!!

    I have to tell you all, if you haven’t read it yet, to read Chuck Smith’s commentary on the book of Revelation, “What The World Is Coming To”….sooooooooooooo good! sooooooooooo understandable! soooooooo comforting!!!! and very validating! I’m just LOVING IT! It’s helping me A LOT!!!! Especially in the anxiety department! The book of Revelation truly does bring peace to the hearer!!!! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!!!

    God’s grace and blessings to you all 🙂

    Kathleen

  6. Suzanne
    March 12, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I receive a daily Days of Praise article from the Institute for Creation Research. Today’s praise article went hand-and-hand with our blog topic.

    Be Blessed

    The Throne of Grace
    March 11, 2009

    “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

    The Lord Jesus Christ is able to help in every time of need for two reasons. First, as the Creator, He is fully able to do anything. Secondly, He has solved, once and for all, the dilemma of the sin which had separated us from God’s holiness, by paying the price Himself for our salvation.

    To do that, He had to become man so that He could first overcome temptations such as those to which we succumb. He could not pay the price for man’s sin if He were not a man, nor could He pay it if He were a sinner. He must be a man, but a sinless man–a criterion no other man could satisfy.

    Therefore, He was tempted in all points as we are. This does not mean, however, that He felt a real inward temptation to sin. He was “tested” under the most extreme circumstances to which humans could be subjected, and He always passed the test. He could never have failed, because He is also God, but now all men, and angels, and devils know that He cannot fail.

    Thus, He fully understands every one of our needs, and He is indeed able and willing to help. As we come boldly to receive His amazing grace, we must first “obtain mercy” (v. 16), confessing and receiving forgiveness for our sins (1 John 1:9). Then, we are ready to boldly request grace to help in every other need. Our faithful High Priest has been there before us. He knows (not just “knows about”) our problems, and is always there to help, waiting for us to come. Since “he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted,” and can “save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 2:18; 7:25). HMM

  7. Amy Lindsay
    March 12, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Sweet Peggy for what was once in darkness is now in the light! You have given Him the key to your little box and now He will cleanse it anew!!

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding what is acceptable to the Lord. And having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead,
    And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5: 8-14)

    May He continue to wrap His loving arms around you and engulf you in His light! Blessing dear sister in Christ!

  8. Jane
    March 13, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Where was God in the midst of my last temptation?

    God was standing firm…offering me the alternative “way out” (I Cor. 10:13). It’s not strictly about “right vs. wrong” or “good vs. bad” for me. Often it’s more subtle. It comes down to “permissible vs. BEST.” I find He wants me to choose His BEST. That means knowing His heart well enough to be able to discern this. It is also made more complex by the fact that it is individualized and specific…for He deals with us very personally and intimately. So not only do I have a responsibility to familiarize myself with the obvious sins that will grieve Him, (and damage me), but I have to go deeper…and desire to know equally well those things that may be completely acceptable for others, but not God’s desire for me. I’m not sure this technically constitutes sin, but I suspect that it does!

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