James 1 v. 13 – 18
‘13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.’
We are to expect temptations (‘when’, not ‘if’ tempted) – the only question is whether you spot it, and how you react to it. It’s tempting to blame others, even God (‘You made me this way’), but James reminds us of ‘the uncomfortable truth that the evil desire tugging away at us is our own, and, if not halted, will lead to destruction, and a death, not least of our spiritual lives.
In such times, our focus should be on God’s goodness, His perfect gift of new birth / life, on who He is (‘the unchanging, never-failing Father of the heavenly lights’). He will see us through.
help us with our trials and temptations,
that we don’t allow ourselves to be led by ‘evil desire’
but rather by ‘the word of truth’.
Spirit, lead us into greater maturity and wholeness.
Father, thank You for the good and perfect gifts You give –
even the gift of new life,
a new birth.
As first fruits, may this new life
be evident to all who meet us.
In Your holy name.