November 14, 2023 – Tuesday
James 1:13-15 NKJV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
It is so easy for most of us, once something happens, especially when we are tempted to think God is tempting us. Nothing could be further from the truth as James makes clear in these short straightforward verses. However, God does allow temptation, but He Himself does not tempt anyone. From his time with Jesus and his own dealing with temptations, James knew God, by His very nature, is incapable of being tempted. As a result, we have verse 13, 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
Then what about all the temptation that seems to abound around us, you may ask? Well, it turns out, due to our fallen nature, we are drawn away by our own heart’s fleshly wants/desires permitting us to be lured/enticed by the world’s values with Satan supplying all kinds of enticements. It’s us and we need to realistically look to our own hearts and accept the truth of verse 14, 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Calvin makes it clear this is not caused by God when he wrote, Scripture asserts that the reprobate are delivered up to depraved lusts; but is it because the Lord depraves or corrupts their hearts? By no means; for their hearts are subjected to depraved lusts, because they are already corrupt and vicious.
Then next verse tells us what happens when we give in to temptation, perhaps when we are saying, “Only this once.” Look at verse 15, 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. “Only this once” permits temptation to conceive desire to the point of giving birth to sin! And from that sin, the repetition of sin – Only this once, forgotten – so that the sin becomes habitual/full-grown leading nowhere but to death, total separation form God. For a long time, we can be blinded to this result because Satan always does his best to hide this from us.
What advice does James offer? In the next verse he simply states, 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. That’s it. Why? Because we know in our hearts when we are sinning, rebelling against God. Just in case we do not get it, James added, 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Bottom Line: God is good all the time and we must be aware of our ability to deceive ourselves into sin.
Prayer: Almighty God, You favor us so much and forgive we come back to Your repenting of our sins when we fall. Your grace is without measure. Thank You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God