Our scripture this morning is James 1:12-18.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
The Letter of James is probably best known for teaching us that “faith without works is dead”, but in this short book, he has a lot more to tell us. In this passage we hear “temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away”. God may use our issue to test and strengthen us, but “God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else”.
We know that God is the source of all good things. The Apostle John writes “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5). James echoes this, saying “whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father”.
Temptation and sin originate in us and it is up to us to ask for the strength we need to meet the challenge. God is always ready to help us, as are those He has given us as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all called and equipped through His word to stand against the evil we face and be ready for Christ’s return.
Gracious God, we are sorry for the times we let sin control us. Bless us to follow Jesus as our example, accepting the salvation He has won for us, and go to share Your love with the world. Amen.