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Desire and Deception II (James 1:12-20)

James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Desire and Deception II (James 1:12-20)



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Desire & Deception II

James 1:12-20 (Pastor Brian)

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 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 one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away 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. 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 firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.


Pastor Brian’s voice today = his wife Pauline

In James 1, we see:

  1. Trials
  2. Temptations

Trials & Temptations GROW our faith

#1: Trials come from outward things.

  • We need to PERSEVERE because it develops CHARACTER. (Perseverance = Not quitting)
  • It makes us stronger in Christ, maturing us.

Long ago, the builders of ships looked for LONG trees to build masts. They went up to the hilltops to find trees that were already strong in storms, tall, strong, straight. (Therefore, they didn’t go down into the valleys.) God wants us to be like these trees – tall and strong through the storms of life.

Don’t be a tree that is uprooted easily – we need DEEP ROOTS in Christ.

James says, “Ask God for wisdom.”

We need an unshakeable faith that God will help us and answer us. He will give us a crown of life if we do this.

#2: Temptations

  • Has anyone ever NOT been tempted?
  • Are you tempted to call in sick to work? Speed (or run red lights) on the way to church?
  • It’s the “little things” that can trip us up.

Paul : “You once were adulterers, murderers, hard-core sinners… you’ve put that all behind you.”

When we become Christians, we quickly put away the “big” sins, but it’s the “little” sins (gossip, lying, cheating, etc) that trip us up.

In a Speech, when we say our words, they are GONE. But when we write them, they remain. Hopefully this is an accurate transcription of the sermon today.

“No temptation has seized you except what is COMMON to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Ex: “If THAT guy didn’t do THAT thing, then I wouldn’t have done THAT OTHER thing.”

Also, no one can say that God tempts us. God doesn’t do that. But each of us is tempted when we follow our own lusts and wander off.

God makes a WAY to escape our temptations.

“And God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, but when you ARE tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can ‘stand up’ (resist) under it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

How to deal with these:

  1. Trials: be a BOXER – resist it, persevere
  2. Temptations: be a SPRINTER – run away

Ever heard “The devil made me do it?” Nah, I made me do it. I chose to do it.

Hunters and fishermen use bait to catch their kill. The experienced ones know EXACTLY the right bait to use to catch them easily and quickly. (Satan is the MOST experienced hunter.)

Story: My dad was a hunter, and so it wasn’t unusual to see bears hanging in the garage. When he wanted to get another animal, he’d put a part of the dead animal in a trap to catch the other. The living animal would come along and be unable to resist and easily be caught.

Satan KNOWS (how? not because he’s omniscient – he just has a LONG wealth of experience) what is the most attractive bait for each of us. He won’t tempt everyone with the same bait.

You know the fishhooks with a barb on the end? If you get caught with that, it’s HARD to get away – you may need to CUT it out (and that gets painful).

When we follow our desires, we are tempted, when tempted, we sin.


  1. Give in
  2. Resist


  1. Joseph – he was “the guy” in charge of everything for Potiphar, but his wife chased him around tempting him continually. But he knew he couldn’t give in. She cornered him but he RAN, leaving his coat — oops. Then she lied about it to her hubby who threw him in jail.
    1. Paul to Timothy: “Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness.”
    2. Peter: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
  2. David (yes, THAT David)
    1. One summer, sigh, “I’ll just take a vacation this summer. You guys go off to war, I’ll chill in the palace.” He wandered up to the rooftop and saw a beautiful woman (Bathsheba) bathing on the roof below – and he fell into sin with her.


  • Joseph: servant, poor, woman in pursuit
  • David: king, rich, loads of wives already

They both had a CHOICE. Position doesn’t matter. Income doesn’t matter. Who we want to sin with doesn’t matter. So, then WHAT matters? THE HEART.

Get in the Word of God to put the Word of God in your Heart in order to resist the temptations that come our way.

James say, “When sin is accomplished…”

(i.e. we embrace it – habitually – it’s a “lifestyle choice” – a pattern)

  • Do you think drug addicts think, “Hmm, what do I wanna be when I grow up? I know! A drug addict would be great!” No way. It just takes one step, and another, and soon you lose track of yourself down the path that steers you away.
  • Gambling also is a problem like this – it’s a big bait for some people.
  • Also alcohol, promiscuity, etc, etc.

Would these people have CHOSEN these lifestyles if they’d KNOWN beforehand the consequences of their step-by-step choices that eventually led them to this life? No.

Unrepentant sin = DEATH

It will kill you physically and spiritually. Sin has consequences. “The consequences of sin is death.” Romans 3:23?

1 John “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

I dunno what your week has been like, but ask Jesus to FILL you. Get in the Word. FLEE youthful lusts.

If you have anything in your heart that you’ve been holding close, protecting, guarding, keeping secret – give it to Jesus. Let it go. Then, throughout the week, get in the Word and pray and CONTINUALLY give this to Christ. It’s not easy, nor a one-time deal in many cases.

Let’s pray.

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen
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