James 1:12-15 NLT – God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
This passage talks about some key things we all face as Christians. We all face temptation and we all go through testing times. It has five key ideas for us today.
God blesses us when we are patient and endure testing and temptation
We will receive a crown of life afterwards
God is not the one who tempts us
Temptation comes when we are drawn away by our own desires
This gives birth to sin and when it is allowed to grow it brings death
Key Lesson: Patiently endure testing and temptation. Stand strong, stay focussed on God and look forward to the crown of life.
Dear God, please help me to be patient when I am going through testing times and temptation. I want to be strong, faithful and devoted to You always. I pray I will not be drawn away by my own sinful desires. Help me to focus on You and the crown of life you promise. Amen
I became a Christian 32 years ago today. I remember the day as I was reading a tract and prayed a prayer to accept Christ. I knew it was a significant day, so I wrote the day and the time down on the tract. 21st of July 1989 at 7.10pm.
I can’t tell you how much my life has changed since that day. There would be enough blog posts in all the world to write about it, to loosely borrow John 21:25!
One thing I can say is before Christ I have no hope, no purpose and no real direction for my life. That all change when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I have a new hope, purpose and direction.
Every year I celebrate this born again birthday. It is more significant to me than my natural birthday. I may have been on this earth for 54 years, but I know the day I really came alive was 32 years ago today!
Psalm 92:12-15 NLT – But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.  For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.  Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.  They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”
In my job as a Companion Carer I work with a lot of elderly people. Every day I interact with people who have lost some of the abilities they had when they were younger. For some of them it is physical abilities. For others it is memory related.
In today’s verses it lists five things that the people of God or godly people have as they age.
The godly will flourish and grow strong
We are transplanted in to God’s house
Even in old age we will still produce fruit
They remain vital and green like a healthy tree
The Lord is our rock
These things can give us comfort as we age. We ARE transplanted in to God’s house and we WILL flourish, be strong, remain vital and produce fruit. God says it in His Word. Let us not forget these things.
Yes we may not be able to do some of the things we did in our youth or remember everything that we have done. But we will still be vital, we still will be fruitful and we still have the Lord as our rock.
We may not be able to work all day in physical work, but we can come alongside someone and encourage them. We may not be able to remember every Bible verse that we once did, but we can still pray for people.
Let us purpose in our hearts to continue to be the people of God right until God calls us home.
Romans 7:6 NLT – But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
This verse reminds us of two great truths.
As Christians we are released from the law because in Christ we are dead to it.
Now we are free to serve God by living by the Spirit and following His promptings.
Some people try to earn their way to God by keeping a set of rules. Things like trying to obey the Ten Commandments, attending church each week, or trying to do good deeds in their own strength. However, all they earn for their “good deeds” is frustration and discouragement because they can never do any of those things perfectly.
The Bible tells us that Christ’s sacrifice has opened the way to God. We become his children simply by putting our faith and trust in Him and what He has done for us. We no longer have to try to reach God by keeping rules through our own efforts.
When we let the Holy Spirit turn our eyes away from our own efforts and toward Jesus, we are free to serve him out of love and gratitude. This is “living in the Spirit” in our every day lives.
Let us purpose in our hearts today to not live by a set of rules, but let the Spirit guide and lead us in to the things He wants us to do today.
Dear God, please help me not to live in the power of the flesh, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to do things in my own strength and wisdom, but in the strength and wisdom from the Spirit. Help me to serve Jesus in love and gratitude today. In Jesus name, Amen.