We’re members of Crossroads Baptist Church, pastored by Larry York. Pastor Larry is the real deal, a true shepherd and disciple of Christ. He’s teaching out of James and I want to get as much as I can out of it. So I plan to write a post for each sermon, including both my sermon notes and personal reflections.

James 1:13-16

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.

Sermon Notes

“James Series – Growing Up: A Living Faith That Makes A Difference – Sin: Bad But Fun, Really?″ (10/31/2010)

  • Tests are there to build you up and make you stronger.
  • The enemy uses temptations to try to pull us from God.
  • The Bible tells it like it is.
  • When you give in to temptation, you will end up with nothing.
  • If you give in to anything outside of the realm of God, you will walk away empty.
  • Temptations are things that draw us away from God.
  • This passage isn’t just about temptations, but about choosing temptations over your loving Father.
  • v. 14 – “dragged away” and “enticed” – hunting and fishing terms
  • v. 13 – “when”, not “if”
  • God is holy and perfect and has nothing to do with evil. Holiness cannot be penetrated by sin.
  • Our nature likes to play blame-shifting. And we like to blame God.
  • Don’t ever say it’s God’s fault. It’s our own fault, comes from within us. Accept responsibility.
  • Don’t enable your kids and spouse by agreeing with them that it’s someone else’s fault.
  • Satan has a well laid out plan to take you down (schemes).
  • Satan tries to entice you out of your family, to lie and cheat.
  • When we decide we want something, we start making plans to get it.
  • When we’re sinning, we’re not thinking about Jesus.
  • So what do we do? Colossians 3:2, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2 – Focus on Christ.
  • Don’t spend your life running from temptation, but running to Jesus. He’s better than any temptation.

Personal Reflections

One of the things that stood out to me in this sermon was the thought that Satan has plans to take us down. God has good plans for us, but Satan has plans, too! The reason this stands out to me is that it’s easy to think that if we ignore Satan, he’ll ignore us. But that’s not how it works. I know that Satan hates me more than I can even imagine because I’ve given my life to Jesus. He’ll do anything he can to keep me from fulfilling whatever purpose God has for me.

So I ask God to reveal to me any plans and traps that Satan has for me. I pray that for my husband, too. I find that it’s easier to recognize Satan’s plans when I regularly spend time reading Scripture. The truth in Scripture helps me to recognize the lies that Satan tries to weave into my life.

Prayer

Abba, please make me aware of any traps that the enemy is setting for me. Please reveal those evil plans to me and help me to overcome them. “Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” (Psalm 31:4)

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