Know What You Have
Lord, You are faithful to Your promises and consistent to Your purposes. Today, do Your work in me.
Read James 1:12-18
 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  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.  Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat would you lose if you did not have Christ?
Isaiah said, “We all like sheep have gone astray…” (53:6). That pretty well sums up what James says in these verses. He contrasts inconstant and darkened human ways to the uplifting, unchanging God of light. There’s a logic that seems to flow through our sheep-like brains that goes something like this: If God controls everything, how am I responsible for what happens in my life? If I fall, then God, who makes everything happen, made that happen too! James will have none of this “fuzzy logic.” He says it plainly: God doesn’t play these games (13). We are in spiritual peril because we sin (15). We sin because we entertain the idea of sin. And he makes it absolutely clear that this comes about because of our own evil desires being given reign (14). Temptation is designed to drag us down to death (16). But God does not work like this. He is described as the “Father of the heavenly lights,” the giver of all good things (17), and especially new “birth through the word of truth” (18). Look at verse 12 to see what lies in store for those who remain faithful to the end!
What sin are you struggling with right now? How might you shut the door on the temptation that causes it? Pray and then act!
Loving Lord, show me where I am most vulnerable to life’s temptations. Give me Your strength to overcome and flourish.
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