Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near”
Key verse – James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”
Theme – God is not responsible for tempting us to sin.
No one on this earth is temptation proof. Even mature believers in Jesus Christ have weaknesses in their spiritual armor that makes them vulnerable to satan’s attack. Temptation is an urge to do something we know is wrong and certainly troubles each one of us, saved or unsaved. It may well be some sin, or something we tend to excuse like impatience, pride, programs we shouldn’t watch or places we shouldn’t be in. Maybe it’s gossip, or a short temper. I’m quite sure you will be able to add your own temptation to the above list.
I would endeavor to say, that nearly every day we must choose between doing what pleases the Lord and what appeals to our old nature and our selfish desires. If you have traveled the highways by automobile you probably have seen load limit signs on the highways and especially on bridges. Or if you have taken an elevator to get to the floor where your office is or maybe in a department store, the elevator has a load limit, just as bridges. Those individuals (engineers) who designed these structures knew that too much strain or weight, could and would, cause severe damage or even complete collapse. You could also make the argument that the same limits apply to us as individuals! As humans, we also have limits of our own, but those limits vary from person to person. As believers in Christ, our Lord knows our limitations and will never allow any difficulties to enter our lives that exceed our strength and ability to endure.
Timothy, a friend of mine, told the story about a dog he had when he was a boy. His father would occasionally test the dog’s obedience. He would place a tempting piece of meat on the floor and give the command, No! The dog, which must have had a strong urge to go for the meat, was placed in a most difficult situation, to obey or disobey his master’s command. Timothy said, “The dog never looked at the meat.” He seemed to feel that if he did, the temptation to disobey would be too great. So, he looked steadily at his father’s face. Tim then made this spiritual application: There is a lesson here for us all. Always look up to the Master’s face.
Yes, that is good advice. God, of course, will not tempt us to do wrong (James 1:13). We do encounter many temptations, though, and if we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be able to overcome them. When we are confronted by enticements that could easily overwhelm us, we need to look to Christ and follow His direction. Seeing Him and hearing Him as He is revealed in the Scriptures will give you the discernment to know what is right, and the desire and strength to obey Him.
James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man”
A. The disclaimer of God’s involvement (James 1:13)
James made it clear at the outset that the motivation of greed does not come from God. God has committed Himself to supply our needs. He has not committed Himself to satisfy our greed. The tempting in verse 13 is clearly defined as a solicitation to evil. James demonstrated that God is not responsible for solicitation to evil by calling attention to the following truths:
(1) God cannot be the One tempted.
(2) God cannot be the One tempting.
To suggest that God is capable of committing evil would be an attack of His Righteousness and Holiness. And neither does God tempt anyone to commit and evil act. When one ascribes influences toward sin to God, he or she is guilty of the worst kind of blasphemy. For James’s readers to attribute their greed for worldly goods to God was to tread upon His moral virtues and disgrace His character. The purpose of this verse is to take away from men any excuse for their yielding to sin.
The book of Genesis records the fact of Adam’s blaming Eve for his sin, with the implied element of blaming God also, “the woman thou gavest me”; and from that day until now, man has loved to blame the Creator for all of his troubles. And yet it is a fact that God allows temptation. Trials and temptations are permitted to strengthen us, if we will, for God’s mightier service. Compulsory homage would be worthless to the loving Lord of all; so voluntary must be found instead, and proved, and perfected. Herein is the Christian’s conflict, and the secret of God’s ways with men.
There are all kinds of ways of shifting the blame to God. After all, did not God create those fleshly appetites which we seek to control; are we not surrounded from the very beginning of life with all kinds of temptations; and did not God make all of these things which tempt me? James’ words here were given for the purpose of destroying such deceptive reasoning. Surely, of all the evil doctrines ever advanced by Satan, that of blaming God himself for human transgression must be one of the worst.
B. The disclosure of sin’s enticement (James 1:14-15)
James 1:14, “… but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.
Step 1 – The enticement to sin
James said one is tempted when he or she is “drawn away.” He chose an interesting word that literally means “to be lured out of a hiding place.” It is most frequently used in a hunting situation, where game is lured out of its hiding place by the hunter. For those of us who are fishermen, whether the deception is the attractive small of the bait, the sight of something desirable, the unsuspecting fish emerges only to be captured by the fisherman. Though the solicitation to evil may be from outside the individual, it is not from God. Outside sources of temptation include the world system and Satan. Both enemies of the believer would seek to entice and ensnare by appealing to the believer with empty promises of a good time or an abundance of possessions.
It’s a very quiet summer morning as the fisherman pulls his car alongside the edge of the lake. After putting his boat into the smooth water, the fog is still rising as he glides his boat to one of his favorite fishing spots on the lake. He’s after one of those giant small or wide-mouthed bass that is always hiding among the weeds, rocks and sunken logs beneath the surface. This fisherman is probably an honest man who wouldn’t cheat on his taxes; however, when he’s fishing, he’s a very cunning deceiver. He’s out there to snare and capture the giant bass hiding beneath the calm and smooth water of the lake. To catch the prize bass, he isn’t going to throw a bare hook in the water. That wouldn’t fool the fish; so, he disguises the hook with an attractive lure or a big juicy night crawler. He wants the fish to take the bait without noticing the hook. By that time, it will be too late, because a skilled angler will give just the right yank to set the hook, and that’s the end of the fish’s freedom.
Satan the deceiver of the brethren is also fishing; however, we are the fish and the bait is whatever it takes to lure us to take the hook. It usually appeals to a natural desire, such as our need for intimacy or success or security. He uses legitimate needs to hide his real intent, which is to get us to disobey God. He knows that to entice us to take the bait, he has to hide the hook and he’ll make it look as appealing and pleasing as possible. The Bible succinctly tells us to be alert to the presence of our spiritual enemy, the devil. “Be sober, be vigilant,” and 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, “Because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” So, as we move through each day, we must neither pretend that Satan doesn’t exist, nor should we become paralyzed by fear of his presence. Thus, we must be careful and alert each and every day!
He (Satan) tells us to look only at our problem at hand and get us to act before we think. Or to set our minds on the riches of this world and to think as the world thinks. Maybe to try to get us to think that all our troubles come from God. Satan is the cunningness of all deceivers, so don’t be fooled by any of his devices. Satan’s lures have great appeal, because they always look like pleasures rare; but seldom do we clearly see the hidden pain that we will surely bear. My brethren, the world around us is littered with the mangled lives of men, women and children who never intended to get hooked. They only wanted a closer look at the shiny colors of some forbidden sin. Take for example:
The husband who never intended to lose his family, but decided it was okay to flirt along the boundaries of adultery; now he pulls himself from the smoking wreckage of his marriage. There’s the teenager who never intended to seriously use drugs but saw no harm in experimenting; now his life is twisted and disfigured by addiction. There’s the woman who was willing to skim a small sum each year from her company – how could just a few dollars be wrong? Because she was tired of driving an old Ford when all her friends were in BMWs. She never intended to end up in jail. Or how about the man who moral restraints finally gave way as a result of that first “harmless” peak – only a quick glimpse – at the glossy pornographic images available on the Internet. “How far does this go?” he wondered. In the months that followed, like the man on the moped, he never saw the light change. Before he knew it, he was dragged faster and further than he ever thought possible.
In the dark Wednesday evening rush hour, you’re in a hurry to get home and not thinking about allowing others into your lane. You are still upset because you can’t get over. A small SUV/minivan comes on the Interstate and has no place to go except in front of you. With already having tensions of not making it in time to where you are going, this vehicle causes you more stress by making you slow down. You honk furiously but that isn’t enough. You decide to “blind” them with your bright lights as the anger starts to boil inside of you. The angle at which the bright light hits is a perfect match for the driver’s mirror. The driver is blinded and cannot see.
Your mission is accomplished. You start feeling better but some of that anger is still there prompting you to honk. With the driver already blinded, the startle of the honk causes the driver ahead of you to swerve. The minivan/SUV goes off the road and disappears from sight. You don’t think much about it as your frustrations have lifted. The next morning, there is a story on the news of how a minivan full of a father, mother, and five children died in a crash off the Interstate. Ironically, it’s the same spot where you saw that vehicle go off the road. The one that was started by the honk; the one that was blinded by your lights. You never saw the side of the minivan. But pulling the wreckage from the river, you notice it… It was the youth group at your Church.
Here’s a fairly intense, but life-saving thought for today, “Sin never fulfills its promises. It will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and make you pay more than you could ever afford”. 1 Peter 5:8-9 tell us to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering” – Someone said that sin adds to your trouble, subtracts from your energy, and multiplies your difficulties.
James 1:15a, “Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin:”
Step 2 – The entrapment of sin (v. 15a)
When the believer entertains the solicitation to sin, gives it an audience, and becomes a willing partner, and will soon discover he/she has been entrapped. When entrapped, the believer realizes an unwanted conception. The unwanted conception that comes from spiritual unfaithfulness has a parallel in the physical unfaithfulness metaphor that James continued in verse 15. When a couple find the woman is pregnant after their promiscuous behavior, they realize their entrapment. Spiritual unfaithfulness has similar results. The believer who entertains temptation soon discovers that his or her flirting with sin has given way to fantasy. And fantasy is on its way to becoming reality. The path from innocence to involvement is a slippery slope.
James 1:15b, “and the sin, when it is full-grown, bringeth forth death”
Step 3 – The enactment of sin (v. 15b)
Why would a prison inmate escape from prison the day before his scheduled release? That’s what a Rhode Island prison spokesman wondered as he answered questions for reporters. He said, “For the life of me, I don’t know what possessed him to leave with only one day of his sentence left to serve.” Once captured, the escapee would be arraigned on charges that could land him back in prison for up to 20 years. Most of us probably would wonder about the shortsightedness of this inmate. However, we might not be as conscious of our own nearsighted approach to sin. We might not see the absolute mindlessness of trading a few moments of materialism, stubborn independence, or selfish pleasure for lasting regret. The prophet Jeremiah saw what didn’t make sense, because in the Fifth chapter of his prophecy, he reminds us how much we should respect God’s power, and that short-term pleasures will bring long-term losses.
Sin thrives on self-deception and doesn’t look ahead to the end result. The sin back at the dawn of creation recorded in the book of Genesis, in essence, is the same as it is today … defiance against God. The Bible isn’t a written record of perfect people (except Jesus Christ) … thus, from the beginning that is recorded in Genesis to the end recorded in Revelation, God’s Word points out in painful detail the mistakes made by its characters. Adam and Eve failed to obey God’s specific restrictions (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7). Abraham lied about his relationship to Sarah (Genesis 12:10-20). Moses grew angry and struck the rock in disobedience to God (Numbers 20:7-12). David committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12). Solomon started out well but turned from God for a time (1 Kings 3:5-9; 11:1-43. Peter denied knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).
From conception to birth to full growth, James tracked the progress of the believer’s compromise. His closing words are sobering, “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. What did James mean by death? Some would interpret his words as meaning a separation from God while continuing to live out one’s physical existence. Though the believer cannot lose his salvation, it is possible to live a life alienated from God. The breach of fellowship and interruption of communion are characteristics of a spiritual separation from God. However, another interpretation is equally legitimate and even more confronting. Both Old and New Testaments bear evidence of believers being judged with physical death because of willful sin. Under the Mosaic Law, individuals who committed specific sins were punished with physical death regardless of their spiritual condition.
James’s reference to “sin, when it is finished” suggests the act of sin fully realized. When that act of sin has been carried out, God may discipline with death (1 John 5:16). Whether it is an act or a sinful lifestyle, God does not take lightly the believer’s persistence in willful sin. The writer of Hebrews said that such activity is worthy of severe chastening (Hebrews 10:26-29). Though James’s warning is implied in a sexual metaphor, he was not warning exclusive against sexual sin. He was challenging the believer’s casual entertainment of solicitation to evil and following the dictates of his or her own passionate desire for something God has not provided. James’s words of caution were stern yet laced with compassion. He was empathetic with the critical nature of their circumstances and did not leave them without a careful reminder of God’s goodness.
C. The excellence of God’s Gifts (James 1:16-18)
James 1:16, “Be not deceived, my beloved brethren.
James’s lesson about faith and temptation turns on verse 16. The word translated “err” is a passive verb that continues the idea of being deceived and seduced. It brings closure to his teaching about our being led away to sin. But further, it confronts the believer about an additional serious issue. Falling for the temptation is not just giving in to an empty promise. It is also ignoring and ultimately betraying one’s relationship with the Heavenly Father. To be charmed by the empty promises of the world is to ignore the promises of God. To accept the counterfeit gifts of the world is to forfeit the genuine gifts God wants to give, substituting the imitation for the real, the temporal for the eternal, and the profane for the elegant.
A British magazine printed an article some time ago entitled “Create Your Own Personal Religion.” The author wrote, “I just cannot understand how people can devote themselves to a single religion and expect it to answer all their prayers and cater to all their needs. I do not doubt that Jesus was the Son of God, but I think there were also many other sons-and daughters-of God.” She concluded, “I’ve become a sort of theological magpie, taking bits from different religions which happen to suit my needs.”
This is happening today in our churches throughout the world. We are taking bits from different religions so it will suit our own needs or we are adding to or taking away from what God’s Word really says. A false teacher knows what people want and appeals to their desires (2 Peter 2). He doesn’t wear a lapel pin to warn of his lies, but he comes disguised as a representative of the truth. He claims he will enrich lives, but those who follow him often learn at a high cost that they have been deceived. In order to protect ourselves from these individuals we must be rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, resolutely established in the faith, and firmly grounded in the Word of God.
Whether we’re listening to a Sunday school teacher, preacher, evangelist or even a believer in Christ, we must be very vigilant concerning what is being said, and the only way to see if it is true is digging into God’s Eternal Word. The Bible has the answers to our every need and problems. God’s Word exhorts each believer in Christ to:
(1) Study the Scriptures (1 Peter 2:2),
(2) Test what we hear (1 John 4:1), and
(3) Grow in the faith (2 Peter 1:5-9).
James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning”
(1) Good gifts (v. 17)
James’s description of God’s gifts contrasts what God guarantees with what the world promises. He used two words to communicate the quality of God’s gifts. He first referred to them as “good gifts.” “Good” signifies an inherent quality of goodness, a quality of substance. God’s gifts reflect and correspond to His nature. His “good gifts” stand in contrast to and are acclaimed as superior to what the world offers. The former is the genuine, while the latter are counterfeit, like the real oak furniture compared with plywood covered with a veneer.
(2) Perfect gifts (v. 17)
Second, James used the word “perfect.” The meaning is one of completeness. Not only are the gifts God promises to give His children inherently good, they also lack nothing. It is legitimate to interpret James’s reference to God’s gifts as being superior both in quality and quantity to what the world offers. We’ve been blessed. Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, every good thing we enjoy here on earth is a gift from our steadfast Heavenly Father above. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, our health, our friends and families, even our very life. And beyond this life, the Bible tells us that by faith, we have other gifts such as the:
(a) gift of grace (Ephesians 3:7),
(b) gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8),
(c) gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17),
(d) gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:45), and,
(e) gift of salvation (Romans 6:23).
(3) Heavenly gifts (v. 17)
Finally, James said God gives gifts that are heavenly rather than earthly. They are given by the “Father of Lights,” rather than promised by the “Prince of Darkness.” The gifts are given without reservation, resentment, or respect of persons. When James said the Giver is one in whom is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” he was reminding his readers that God is consistently reliable. He can be trusted to act in conformity to and in concert with His character. He in whom “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5) is the One Who meets the needs of the children of light. Here are some Gifts from Heaven:
(1) The Love of God, which is a patient love, a pure love, a perfect love; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)”
(2) The Peace of the Holy Spirit, which is peace for the body, peace of mind, peace of spirit. We can find this precious gift of peace in God’s presence and in His Eternal and Precious Word; “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:26-27)”
(3) The Joy of the Savior, which is our strength, our song, and our salvation; “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15)”
(4) God’s Grace, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11); “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resiseth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6)”
(5) God’s Wisdom, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6)”; “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and unbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5)”
(6) Eternal Life, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23)”
D. God’s Gifts vs. satan’s counterfeit gifts
The contrast between God’s gifts and satan’s counterfeits grow when we consider the motives behind them. Satan and his kingdom have a counterfeit, parallel plan for nearly everything God does in His perfect plan of redemption. Though Satan has only temporary influence, he has a counterfeit plan — a crafty imitation of the real. Satan is exceedingly clever. When he fell in his rebellion, he did not lose the gifts and genius God put into him. He is a master deceiver. When talking of Satan, many adjectives are required: powerful, beautiful, clever, crafty, subtle, deceptive, mighty, ruthless, and sinister are only a few. He also is enslaving, manipulating, cruel, brutal, angry, mean, and destroying, as is his kingdom. Satan has a plan for your life just as God does.
The two kingdoms are the kingdom of light in which a believers’ inheritance lies and the kingdom of darkness where satan has complete authority. These two kingdoms are and have been since the dawn of creation engaged in warfare. Thus, Satan in his kingdom of darkness has counterfeits and will falsely imitate everything God has done, such as:
(1) He offers those who follow him a counterfeit family.
Satan is clever enough to inter-mingle his family members with the Lord’s family members and compares them to weeds growing among the wheat. Matthew 13:37-43, “He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear”?
(2) He has created a counterfeit or different gospel – (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 4:1-3).
What is the greatest challenge to us as believers in Christ in the 21st century? Is it rampant immorality? Is it disruptive social issues? Is it increasing hostility toward God? Those are dangers, for sure, but I would venture to say that our biggest threat is religion, religion that draws us away from the gospel as stated in James 1:14. Some religions openly oppose Christ, but others are more subtle. They use language Christians already know, giving their faith a familiar sound. They add to it their own twisted brand of thinking. If such groups sound Christian, how can we know if they are preaching “a different or counterfeit gospel”? Here are some false teachings to watch out for:
(a) Salvation through anything other than faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Acts 4:12);
(b) A refusal to see Jesus as the eternal God in the flesh, our only Savior (John 1);
(c) Giving more importance to the word of man than to the Eternal Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:12-13), and
(d) Leaders who don’t provide Christlike guidance through careful biblical instruction (1 Timothy 4:6; Jude 4).
Satan has his own “good news,” which he uses to pervert the ways of truth and enslave the non-discerning. However, before we can discern and expose Satan’s many counterfeits, we must have a thorough understanding of what is real and what is truth! The only way to become a wise and discerning believer in Christ is to daily read and meditate upon God’s Word, spend time with Him in prayer and ask Him for wisdom, truth, love and discernment. It takes a personal commitment to study the Bible to gain knowledge of God, of His ways and His will. The bottom line is to learn God’s Word, so you won’t be deceived.
(3) He also has established counterfeit ministers – (2 Corinthians 10-11)
A counterfeit gospel must be communicated by counterfeit messengers. The apostle Paul warns of those who pose as ministers of God and His gospel but in reality, are ministers of the devil and predicted that false teaching would increase and be embraced by many because it caters to the needs of their flesh. They have a craving to be entertained and desire teaching that leaves them with good feelings about themselves. That deception began in the first century, when Paul wrote that some were already teaching a “different gospel” and “perverting the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).
To carry out his purpose, Satan uses people to deceive other people. This is especially true when they are motivated by personal ambition to be teachers of spiritual matters but lack a proper understanding of the Scriptures. Satan simply takes advantage of that desire and seduces susceptible individuals to represent Christ falsely, though often sincerely, while advancing the devil’s own deceptive, disguised agenda. Indeed, such teachers are usually unwitting agents of Satan, being deceived themselves along with everyone else. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to combat this by teaching doctrines according to God’s Word. The purpose of his instruction was to correct, rebuke, and encourage others and as believers in Jesus Christ, we are called as His ambassadors to teach and obey the Word of God, and not be conformed to the traditions of this sinful world.
(4) Satan seeks his own counterfeit worship – (1 Corinthians 11:14-33)
Satan’s desire to exalt himself to be as God includes his desire to receive worship, just as God receives worship from those who love Him. (Matthew 4:8-9, “Again, the devil taketh him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me”).
D. The Explanation of God’s Generosity (James 1:18)
James 1:18, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures”
God’s relationship to believers isn’t a casual one. His relationship to us is that of a Father to His children. He proudly points to us as the “first-fruits of His creatures.” James’s words are reminiscent of the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”).
My brethren, our Heavenly Father knows our needs even before we ask. He promises to meet our needs with quality gifts of substance and significance. From God we receive wholesome gifts characterized by light and life; from the world we receive empty promises related to darkness and death. The former involves faith; the latter involves deception.
Things were off to a great start for Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. In Matthew 3, He was baptized and heard the affirming words of His Father, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. But then things took a turn for the worse. What happened next, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, was not a mere coincidence. The Holy Spirit led Him into this face-off between the powers of heaven and hell. Thankfully, Jesus’ victory in the face of temptation provides a great example when we find ourselves in the wilderness of Satan’s sinister seductions. Please take notice that the tempter caught Jesus at a time when He was tired and hungry.
Satan uses the same tactic with us. Waiting for those vulnerable moments, he lures us with the bait of seductive suggestions that offer quick relief and opportunities for self-advancement. When facing such challenges, it’s very important to follow Jesus’ example, throw “the Book” at Satan! Jesus responded to temptation by quoting Scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The Bible is full of verses about lust, greed, lying, and other sins. If we tuck them away in our memory, we can use them when under attack and being drawn away. Thus, when satan strikes, strike back with the Word of God.
Remember that satan tempts us to bring out the worst; God tests us to bring out the best.