Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
James 1:12-16 (NRSV)
Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved.
There isn’t a day that goes by during which we aren’t tempted in some way. As long as we live within these fleshly bodies and on this earth, we will face temptation. We are tempted to lie, cheat, gossip, over eat, hold grudges, steal, and not give to God of our treasure, time, and talent.
James warns us that temptation is inevitable. He also tells us that God never directs temptation. Temptation is an individual matter derived from our own evil desires. In other words, we must accept responsibility for our own actions. When we sin do we admit it, or do we blame someone else?
Some of you reading this devotional will remember the old Flip Wilson line, “The devil made me do it.” This statement reflects people’s unwillingness to take responsibility for their actions and inaction. We all have weaknesses, which is where we are most likely to succumb to temptation. It is with these weaknesses that the hook is baited; however, we have the choice of whether or not to bite. James gives us wonderful encouragement: “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
God in heaven, hear our prayer. Help us to keep our thoughts and minds on you. May the temptations of this world not hold us captive. Give us your power to overcome and to endure, for without your strength we are helpless. We trust and believe your promises to us. Help us to be faithful. Amen.
Go with God.