How To Pass Temptation's TestJames 1:12
“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.” James 1:12 (NLT)
Let me tell you a story. In school, there was a young man named Joe. He was good at math but poor in spelling. Lucky for him, his classmate, Mabel, was an excellent speller and sat opposite him. On exam day, Joe forgot how to spell most of the words. He was tempted by the idea of looking at Mabel’s paper.
Joe gave in and copied off of Mabel’s paper, and the teacher saw him. She always knew Joe to be honest and intended to talk to him after school about what she observed. However, before class was over, the boy who was collecting the test papers arrived at Joe’s desk. The teacher watched as Joe tore up his paper, looked down at his desk, and said, “I don’t have a completed test to turn in.”
The teacher knew her student had decided to take a zero rather than cheat off his neighbor. Still, she asked Joe to stay after class. When the bell rang, she called Joe over to her desk and said, “I saw your struggle and am proud of you for conquering temptation. Although students who were present today are not normally allowed to re-take this test, I am giving you the opportunity to try again in 24 hours. Because of what I saw here today, with your display of character, I am offering you the chance to make it right. Don’t let me down.”
Are you surprised by the teacher’s response in this story? Maybe you’re more surprised that Joe risked a failing grade to do the right thing. Like Joe’s decision teaches us, surprisingly, temptation can have a positive effect. Temptation often builds character because it tests us.
When we resist the temptation to do what God asks us not to, God rejoices. In the words of James, He then gives us “the crown of life.” This crown is not only something we can look forward to wearing throughout eternity, it is also something we can enjoy here on earth. Every time we overcome temptation with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside us, we experience life and victory.
Next time you’re faced with temptation, remember Joe. Be willing to take the zero. We pass the test every time we say “no” to temptation, and we build character every time we learn from our mistakes.
Reflect and Respond:
1. In what ways can resisting temptation shape your character?
2. With today’s verse in mind, take a moment to write a prayer that you could repeat in times of temptation.
“Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”(Romans 10:13 TLB).
Are you at a place in your life where you need to be rescued? Are you ready to call out for help? It doesn’t take a special phone or a bat-signal. All you have to do is ask and Jesus will rescue you. You can ask him to rescue you in any area of your life: a relationship, a financial situation, a health issue, anything. But you have to ask.
In Psalm 91:15, God says, “When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them” (NLT). That’s not just talk, because God doesn’t lie. It would be contrary to his character because he is total truth.
Notice that God says you have to do your part and then he’ll do his part. You call, he answers. That’s it. Just call on the name of the Lord. And the name of the Lord is Jesus.
It’s vital to understand that in any rescue operation, the rescuer gets to determine the means and method of the rescue. You don’t get to determine how you are saved. It’s not up to you; it’s up to your Savior. And Jesus says, “I am the way . . . No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).
Jesus doesn’t say he’s a good way or a nice way or even the best way. He says, “I’m it.” If there were a plan B, God wouldn’t have sent Jesus — his plan A — to Earth to die for you. So if you’re going to be saved and have all your sins forgiven, there’s only one way it will happen, and there’s only one person you can call on: Jesus.
“Jesus Christ rescued us . . . by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue” (Galatians 1:4 The Message).
David was one of Israel’s greatest kings – powerful, smart, wealthy. He could have anything he wanted, but he knew he was unable to truly save himself. Only one person could rescue him: “I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for you to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone”(Psalm 62:1 TLB).
It is impossible to work our way, buy our way, or earn our way into heaven. When it comes to salvation, we are unable to save ourselves. The government can’t save us. Our popularity can’t save us. Our level of success can’t save us. “There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means” (Psalm 49:7-8 The Message).
If you didn’t need a savior, God wouldn’t have sent one. But he knew that your spiritual condition was much worse than your physical condition could ever be. That’s why he sent Jesus to rescue you.
There is no way you can get into a perfect heaven on your own. There is no way you can pay for your salvation. The cost is beyond your means. So Jesus paid for it by coming and dying for you on the cross. He made that ultimate payment with his life. God simply invites you to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus makes available.
Here's a little something I picked up..Hope you like it and I hope it serves you well
Self-will is the opposite of the nature of Jesus. Our Savior was and is the ultimate other-centered person, and a self-willed man or woman is a self-centered person.
Jesus said that if anyone would come to follow Him, he must deny himself (Matthew 16:24). When Jesus said this, He added an important phrase:If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Jesus said it this way to make the point that for someone to deny himself was like going to their crucifixion (to take up his cross).
The cross wasn’t about self-promotion or self-affirmation. The person carrying a cross knew they couldn’t save themselves. Denying self means to live as an others-centered person. Jesus was the only person to do this perfectly, but we are to follow in His steps and to follow Him. This is following Jesus at its simplest: He denied self, He carried a cross; and so must those who follow Him.
Those who would be leaders among God’s people must lead in self-sacrifice. They must come to serve, and not to be served. They should not be selfish. They should not be arrogant, stubborn, or have a proud self-focus.
James 3:17 describes true wisdom: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield. Out of pure stubbornness, the self-willed man is not willing to yield. The self-willed man is determined to have his own way in everything. They think their judgment is always right and superior to everyone else. They expect everyone to pay honor to their wisdom and to always do things their way.
That isn’t godly leadership, and such self-willed men should not be appointed leaders among God’s people. Instead, leaders should be like Jesus who truly said of Himself I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me (John 5:30). We should be God-willed instead of self-willed.
There are times when a leader must make a stand and hold his ground. When that time comes, he must do it in a spirit of humility and with a humble searching that he makes his stand seeking after the will of the Father, not his own will
God sees the big picture. He knows what’s happening around us and ahead of us. We, however, are limited in our understanding. At times, we are like the child who only wants donuts for breakfast and candy for dinner. The parent knows that, although one day of having a diet like that won’t kill us, to continue in that pattern would be detrimental to our health.
The Bible is very clear that God is omniscient, a fancy word for “all-knowing.” He knows everything from beginning to end. He even created time, so He’s not limited by it like we are.
When we seek God for wisdom about our lives, He will speak to us. As the Bible says in James 1:5, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
In saying "God is great" I'm not praising God Like Tony the Tiger praises Frosted Flakes. To mention God's greatness is to talk about God's authority and power. His greatness is his right to rule and his power over ALL things. As the prophet Daniel says, "His dominion is an eternal and everlasting dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the people of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the people of earth. No one No one can hold back his hand or say to him: " What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35)
A Tirade a Diatribe or whatever synonym YOU would like to use AND a question below
I am happy and filled with joy to be leaving Person County...I don't mean to generalize but after 2 years it feels like a bunch of 2 faced, hypocritical judgemental a**holes...NO, i'm not saying everyone, but the Sheriff (deputy actually) whom I've had a business relationship with for 2 years, could not even shake my hand and say Good Luck, when he heard I was moving...I can include many of my "friends" in the area as well as what I would very loosely call "church friends". Not a word of Good Luck, we will miss you..Nothing, Nada, Zip Zilch..Are people that 2 faced and/or ignorant? I'm NOT saying everyone, but most of the people I and Chris have met over the past 2 years.
I am now going to put THIS QUESTION out to the opinion of the general public...Get general public opinion..if you, or someone you knew did something horribly wrong 20 years ago, do you think yourself or the person you know, openly admit it to others???
Please respond, via this blog, my facebook page or via personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org
BOTH OF US (CHRIS AND i ARE HAPPY TO BE LEAVING PERSON COUNTY
I am pleased to announce that I am an official Amazon Affiliate...What does that mean??? Do You LOVE Amazon??? So Do I, Now ANYTHING you purchase from clicking the link above I get commission...It costs you NOTHING, NOT ONE PENNY MORE, just sign in like you usually do!!!
That FEAR NOT and other similar word pairings such as do not be afraid”, do not fear, be not afraid is used 365 times in the Bible! I don't know i'm not a scholar but i wonder if God Meant for us to not be afraid, do not fear, every day of the week...Your thoughts???