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.
If you’re anything like me, you may have thunk once or twice, “If God didn’t want me to do it, then why did He allow it?”
Just because God allows things to happen, doesn’t mean He tempted you. Nor, my friend, does it mean He gives His approval.
God is, always has been, and always will be SINLESS. Don’t blame God when you’re tempted.
We need to put the blame squarely where it belongs: with each one of us.
the daily deal
Have you ever bargained your way out of bed in the morning? A comedienne once put it something like this:
Your alarm goes off, but…
You hit snooze.
Just five more minutes.
Your alarm goes off.
I can skip a shower.
The alarm goes off.
I can skip breakfast, too.
The alarm goes off. Again.
My teeth are fine.
The alarm goes off, but you’re too tired to deal with it, and you shove that alarm clock right off the night stand!
I’ll just wash my face, and I’m out the door!
nothing evil about that, is there?
The funny thing about humorous stories is, we laugh at them because at least a little part of it rings true. We’ve been there, to some extent.
God didn’t keep you up the night before, scrolling on your phone.
God didn’t trick you into watching one more show.
God didn’t tempt you to hit snooze, or to throw the alarm clock, or… to drive off to work a little too fast, and a little too distracted to notice (whoa!) that kid in the crosswalk…
count the cost of your own actions
What does your sinful behavior cost you? Respect? Friendships? Trust? Punctuality? Safety?
Maybe we can survive being late to work without actually running anyone down. Maybe we won’t flip off yell and wave at the driver who just cut in front of us. Maybe no one is keeping track of our punctuality. Maybe no one will notice that we’re nodding off at our computer screen – again.
so what? nobody died!
Is THAT our standard now? Nobody died? What if it’s not a matter of life and death?
What if it’s lying on your taxes?
What if it’s staying out a little longer for lunch at work?
What if it’s speeding, you know, sometimes?
What if it’s a stolen glance that lasts too long?
What if it’s when you practically race that person to the checkout line, because you have places to go, things to do, and they would have just slowed you down?
what if it iS a matter of life and death?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus paid for the sin of the whole world when He died on the cross. His forgiveness is for you and your sin, and me and my sin.
Won’t you please count His cost? He gave His life!
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
just own it
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Daily. You do. I do.
even when we mess up, he forgives us
All I’m saying is, when we do sin, how about we just ‘fess up, and know we’re forgiven? How about we admit our need for God’s grace, and recognize our sin as something leading to death, and it’s not something cute like a “little white lie.” (No. such. thing.)
Sin is sin. No flavor or variety of sin is better than another. Not even your very own fallback, go-to, I-can-do-it-with-my-eyes-closed sin. All sin is bad.
god is good, all the time
God has known you from all eternity – and He loves you. It’s no surprise to Him that you’re a sinner. You haven’t shocked Him yet – though I don’t recommend TRYING. That’s just a bad idea.
When God forgives us sinners, we are truly forgiven. He doesn’t hold our sins up for everyone to gawk at. He doesn’t post it on social media, to shame us and rub our noses in it.
we are sinful, all the time
Don’t be tempted to fool yourself, convince yourself, assure yourself that YOU are somehow sinless. (If you’re breathing, you’re a sinner.)
We like to think our particular circumstances are special… and that God doesn’t see what WE’RE doing as sinful – even though He has made the opposite exceedingly clear in His Word.
we are forgiven
Take a moment, or however long you need. Just tell your heavenly Father you are truly sorry for the wrong you’ve done and the good you’ve failed to do (without playing the blame game!), and, in the Name of Jesus, thank Him for His forgiveness.
Enjoy the mercy and grace of God, my friend!
now you know what NOT to say when you're tempted
Next, we’ll take another glimpse into the Book of James, and see where every good and perfect gift comes from. Stay tuned.
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