Posts Tagged ‘Temptation


The Power Of The Tongue

What if you could be perfect? What if you could overcome every temptation, struggle and sin in your life? What if you had the self-control and self-discipline to never sin? James says that if you could control your tongue, you would have the ability to be perfect. This is what he says:

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. – James 3:2 (NIV)

It takes more self-control to control your tongue than it does to control any other urge to sin in your entire body. In verses 3-6, James compares the tongue to a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder and the tiny spark that can start a raging wildfire. Though each of these things is relatively small, they can have a great impact. So it is with the tongue. This tiny part of our bodies, James says, can start a raging fire. If you could control your tongue, you could be perfect. That’s the power of the tongue.

God Doesn’t Tempt You

Have you ever heard someone say, “I think God is trying to see how strong I am” when it comes to temptation? James says that God and temptation are mutually exclusive. He wrote:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. – James 1:13-15 (NIV)

God will never tempt you to do the wrong thing in order to see how strong you are. Never. He isn’t trying to see if you can withstand the temptation to cheat on your spouse. He isn’t going to put something in front of you to see if you will steal it or not. He won’t tempt you to lie or cheat your way to the top at work. God doesn’t tempt you. But the Bible says that He will provide a way out when you are tempted. If you feel tempted to sin today, look for the way out and then take it. You’ll be glad that you didn’t do the wrong thing.

God’s Spirit Is Greater

1 John 4:4-6 (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
We oftentimes give the enemy too much credit.  The spirit of the antichrist (which John says is in the world in 1 John 4:3) is not greater than the Holy Spirit.  Those who deny Jesus Christ have the spirit of the antichrist.  Those who follow Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit is greater than the evil one.  God’s Spirit is more powerful than the devil.  For the follower of Jesus, the One living in you has already defeated Satan.
Do not give the enemy more credit than he is due.  Yes, the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.  But that doesn’t mean that he can can devour you.  Surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit and submit to His guidance.  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit when tempted by evil to deliver you from the temptation.  Don’t blame the devil every time you give in to temptation (“The devil made me do it”).  The enemy is dangerous, but he is also defeated.  God’s Son defeated Satan when He arose from the grave on that glorious Sunday morning!  We have Resurrection power living in us.  Let’s trust in God’s Spirit to empower us to overcome sin, temptation and the evil one.
PRAYER: Father, protect me from the evil one today.  On my own, I am weak.  But in You I find strength to overcome sin and temptation.  Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today for He is greater than the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Father Protects

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.


What Do I Look Like?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
— James 1:22-24 (NIV)

There are days when I hear my wife say something and I have no idea what she said.  She may as well have spoken to me in Japanese because I either did not listen or comprehend.  I heard words coming out of her mouth, but I did not listen to them.  I was either too busy to hear her or too distracted to understand.  She said something, possibly something important (“The toaster oven is on fire…again!”), but I failed to grasp its meaning or its importance.

James is tough stuff.  He tells us that we need to not only hear God’s Word, but we need to live it out.  There are several mirrors in our house and they are good for one thing.  That is fixing one’s appearance.  Either the clothes we are wearing or the goop in our hair, we use our mirrors.  I have never forgotten what color my eyes were (blue) or the color of my hair (brown, no gray like my younger brother) or the length of my hair (short to medium short depending on the season and time since my last haircut).  What I have done, though, is to hear God’s Word and forgotten to put it into practice.  How many times have I:

  • forgotten to love my neighbor, let alone my enemy?
  • had impure thoughts?
  • failed to treat others as I wanted to be treated?
  • not loved my wife as Christ loved the church?
  • lied?

I’m pretty sure that Scripture addresses all of these issues (and more!) and I know what it says, but I have failed to live out God’s Word.  I have heard it, but I haven’t lived it.  What about you?  How are you struggling to live out God’s Word today?  How many sermons have you heard but have forgotten by the time you hit the parking lot?  How many morning or evening devotions have you read but failed to apply that very day or the next?  May the Spirit call to mind those sermons, devotions and passages the next time we are tempted.  May God forgive our forgetfulness!

PRAYER:  Father, please forgive my forgetfulness.  I am guilty of not living out Your Word.  I know what Your Word says, but I often fail to apply it to my life.  Thank You for loving me and for forgiving my many sins.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


The Struggle


I hate it.

Sin separates people from God.

Sin separates me from God.

Sin is what caused Jesus to die on a Roman cross.

Sin is what sends people to an eternity separated from God in Hell.

When we think about overcoming temptation and sin, it may seem like an insurmountable task.  So we give up before we ever start to fight.

The author of Hebrews talks about the struggle we have with sin:

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. – Hebrews 12:4 (NIV)

It calls to mind a boxing match where two opponents struggle and fight and blood is drawn.  I can just picture two heavyweights going at it in the middle of the ring, toe-to-toe.  Neither opponent wants to give up and they slug it out for 12 rounds.  Blood is shed.  Bodies are bruised.  Eyes are swollen shut.  It is a battle for the ages!  It is an epic contest where there can only be one winner!

This is a picture of our struggle with sin.  You stand toe-to-toe and resist temptation and the devil.  You fight with all you’ve got!  You get knocked down but you get right back up.  You keep struggling and resisting and fighting!  Don’t give up!  Fight the good fight!  You’ve got three things going for you…

  1. The crowd is on your side (Hebrews 12:1).
  2. Jesus is your corner Man (He’ll never tell you, “You’re a bum, Rock!  A bum! – apologies to Burgess Meredith!)
  3. The power of the Holy Spirit dwells within you and gives you victory!

You’re not alone in the struggle.  You’ve got power and perseverance on your side.  Don’t give up!  Never, ever give up!  Keep struggling and fighting and resisting sin.  Remember this one thing – when sin knocks you down, God’s grace will always pick you back up again.

What is the sin you’re struggling with the most right now?

Pray and ask God to help you in your struggle and to help you keep fighting and resisting today.

PRAYER: God, I need Your strength to overcome the temptations that will come my way today.  I don’t have the strength to do it on my own.  Help me to repent of sin and to run to You for strength.  Thank You for forgiving my many sins in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.


The Evil Inside Of Us

James 1:13-15 (NIV)
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
​There are two possible outcomes for trials in our lives: spiritual maturity or spiritual death.  In verses 2-4 of chapter 1, James says that we should rejoice in trials of many kinds.  When our faith is tested, the test produces perseverance and perseverance produces spiritual maturity.  In verses 13-15, we see a much different outcome of the testing of our faith.  Rather than producing perseverance, the test might lead to temptation and then to sin and finally to spiritual death.
For example, the believer in “humble circumstances” (verse 9) might be tempted to covet what his wealthy neighbor possesses.  He or she might be tempted to blame their circumstances for their temptation and sin.  James tells us that sin is born of evil desires.  Temptation to sin comes from within.  Temptation does not come from outside circumstances such as our position in life or our parents (we do tend to blame our parents for our circumstances, don’t we?  Just ask a thousand therapists with clients on their couches.)  Those who face persecution might be tempted to take revenge on those who persecute them.  What did Jesus say to do instead?  Pray for them!  
When we are tempted, we might even try to blame God for the sin in our lives.  “If God would only bless me, I wouldn’t be tempted to covet.”  “If God would only protect me, I wouldn’t be tempted to get revenge.”  James says that God does not tempt us because God is not evil.  God does not tempt us to sin to see if we can endure the temptation.  God can use evil for good, but He is not evil and He does not use evil to test our faith or to help us grow in our faith.  God is good and He desires the greatest good for our lives.  That means that we must not yield to temptation and instead we must resist the evil within us and the evil one who seeks to ensnare us.

%d bloggers like this: