Welcome everyone It’s great to back with you guys and always a blessing to share God’s word, Amen?
There is an old Native American parable where a young boy is asking his chief about his inner struggle to do good over evil. The Chief says that inside every man there are two wolves. One that seeks only to live and be free his desire is to lead his pack to growth and prosperity. He is good. The other wolf only cares about himself and its next meal. He will kill at any opportune moment. He cares nothing about the pack or the next generation. He is evil and selfish. The boy asks the chief, “which wolf will I become?” The Chief answers, “the one you feed is the one that grows.”
Our text today gives us some insight as to how temptation and perseverance are made manifest in our lives.
My big idea today is that God is faithful even through temptation. My prayer for us is that by hearing this message, together you and me, we will win the victor’s crown of life that is our reward in Christ Jesus. If you have your Bibles today you can join me in James chapter 1, verse 12.
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.James 1:12-18
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.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points.
Perseverance Brings the Blessing
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.James 1:12
The trials in life will come. And in these trials will be temptations. Temptations that are generally geared to make you distrust God. The temptations will make you seem weak and in your own strength you are, we all are.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:9
If we remain in Christ and trusting in God we will not be operating in our own strength, but in a supernatural Holy Spirit strength.
“…having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”James 1:12
Having remained in Christ trusting in God’s promises. This perseverance brings a blessing. What are the blessings? Certainly, Eternal life. The Crown of life is eternal life. But James is also referring to an earthly reward in this idea of a crown of life. For the one who remains faithful trusting God and persevering life’s trials. It is a place of honor as a life lived in the will of God as his loyal and faithful servant.
“…To those who love Him”James 1:12
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Jesus has already won. He has already provided every tool and wisdom that you will need to overcome trials and temptations. Typically, these temptations start small and they get bigger as you go along. But if you learn to trust God in Small things you will grow to trust him more and more, especially with the larger trials. Just like the wolf, if you feed the one who desires good, that is the inner spiritual person lives as the old evil flesh dies.
I’ll move on to my next point.
Satan Will Always Challenge Your Blessing
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
Remember in the Garden, the first thing the serpent did was to trick Eve into doubting God’s word.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:4-5
He cast doubt on God’s word and then tempts Eve with her to reason with her own thoughts instead of remembering God’s command. He deceived her in to thinking that she knew better than God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,Isaiah 55:8-9
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Needing a higher wisdom
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.James 1:16-18
God has given you and me every good and prefect gift. Satan hopes to rob you of your gift. So here’s my question…
Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will we more and you will love better. We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy.Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today?
Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late
It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.
If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me?
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’