Tuesday, 30 January 2018
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. Jas. 1.13
God is holy. Unholiness has no part of him. Temptation is that which leads us into unholiness. Temptation is as alien to God as unholiness is.
Temptation is an evil thing. God, in His holiness and righteousness, would absolutely not be leading me into evil through the lure of temptation.
God cannot be tempted and, by the nature of temptation, He will not lead me in that way.
Testing is different from temptation. God will not tempt me, but He could quite likely test me. However, as God will not tempt me, I can reasonably say that He will not use temptation to test me. This indicates fairly clearly that temptation is of the devil. Satan prowls, ever ready to pounce on the unsuspecting and lead them as far into evil as he can.
It helps me greatly to see temptation as a work of Satan. I can resist and, as I do so, I show myself to be truly on God’s side. But I might not have the power to resist! This is when I call to God and seek His help. Because evil and temptation are so alien to Him, I can be assured of His aid in my struggles. I find great comfort in this. I am reminded of Paul’s words: If God is for us, who can be against us. (Rom. 8.31). I claim these words.
I look to You for all of my journey through this life. I ask You to strengthen me to resist temptation. I call on You to lead me through trial and testing, to victory. Amen.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Jas. 1.12
James is reminding us to persevere. He introduced this aspect of Christian life at the start of his letter. We’ve not gone far into the letter before he’s giving us this very clear reminder.
We may face many trials in life. I think it’s safe to say we will certainly experience some trail and testing. When testing comes upon us we have a choice to make. We can give in to the trial or we can fight it. We grit our teeth, stand our ground, and persevere. We may stand for a short time before breaking through, or the battle may be a longer one.
Perseverance will lead to victory. The victor’s reward is the crown. The Greek word for crown in this verse is the word used for the athlete’s reward in a race. The athlete is applauded and honoured as the crown of victory is placed upon his head.
The crown for the Christian is the crown of life. This is the promise of eternal life that God has made to those who receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord. The crown is awarded by God. The recipient is truly blessed.
The troubles of this life are transitory. The reward of the crown is eternal. The keys to unending victory are faith and perseverance. I pray to God for both.
Lord God, Mighty Love,
I thank You for the faith You have given me. I ask for an increase. I ask also that You fit me with perseverance. May I run and complete the race of life, to Your praise and glory.
Friday, 26 January 2018
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. Jas. 1.5
Wisdom is the most amazing quality. It transcends knowledge as it gives holy insight into situations. As we ask God for wisdom, we are drawn more into the Godly plane. We are taken into the divine arena where, if we give ourselves to it, we will see more clearly as God would have us see. We will see the focus that He wants us to take note of. We will perceive the direction He would have us take. We are in touch with Him. And, more than this, we have opportunity to live as He would have us live.
We are encouraged to ask God. We are also told that He gives generously to all, that is to everyone who will ask. Furthermore, He gives without finding fault. There is a sense of the prodigal here. I use prodigal in its meaning of recklessly extravagant. God, in giving generously without finding fault, demonstrates an extravagance that is beyond reason. It is not justified. It emanates purely out of His love for us. How blessed we are!
As we ask for wisdom we will receive. We will see things in a new light, in a God light. I rejoice in this revelation. I have seen something of the impact and benefits of wisdom in my life, and I rejoice in the gift. May I continue to receive Godly wisdom, and any other good gift with which He chooses to bless me.
I am amazed at, and so very grateful for, Your gift of wisdom given freely without any fault finding. Your love is truly wonderful.
I humbly request divine wisdom to operate freely in my life. I open myself fully to receive all the good gifts You would endow upon me. I thank You. Amen.
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