January 13

James 1: 13 – 18 MSG

“Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.”

As we continue through the first chapter of James it’s inspiring to revisit these familiar verses. In this segment, James begins by warning us about the downfalls of temptation and lust, how temptations look enticing at the time, but as James quotes “could be the death of us”. I’m reminded, whether you want the pain of restraint now? Or the pain of your repercussions later? We all can relate to this as a human being, but James writes this to protect us. Yet, as James warns us of our sinful actions, he takes no time to recap the beautiful blessing of who we were created for. God created us for his pleasure, even though he knew we’d give into our temptations, and failures.
We are God’s gift, and we are a gift to this world. Everything good and perfect around us is from God. Plans that turned out for the better, people that have changed our lives, these are from God. Simply put, God is good, and gives goodness. He never changes, he chose to create us, to give us life.
When we are in the battle it is hard to believe that it will ever come to an end. When we are in a period of blessing we sometimes expect it will go on forever. But life is not like that. There are battles and blessings.
Pastor Rick Warren says, he used to think that the Christian life was a succession of battles and blessings, whereas now he thinks of life as being on two tracks. At any given moment in life there are usually blessings, but also battles to face.
So, even though there are trials and temptations in life, yet we are surrounded by God’s presence and light. We are not defined by our shortcomings, but are loved for who we are. A great takeaway from this chapter in James.
“God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favourite ones out of all his creation!”

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