Thursday, July 29, 2010

Knowing God - James 1:12

(from Pastor)

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation.
Such a one has stood the test
and will receive the crown of life
that the Lord has promised
to those who love him.
James 1:12
 
This passage links two sets of words. The glorious words are: "blessed," "promised," and "crown of life."The more challenging words are: "test" and "temptation." And the general flow of these words suggests that if we endure a "challenge" we will receive a "blessing."
 
The question is, is the opposite true? If we fail a test and succomb to temptation will we be cursed?
 
The answer is yes.
 
And more importantly, the answer is NO!
 
What I'm saying is this ... The crown of life comes to all who have faith (see 2 Timothy 4:7-8), and our momentary failures and temptations can never knock that permanent crown askew. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). So rest assured, your weakness does not separate you from God and his love! (Romans 8:30-31)
 
Nevertheless -- and if we're honest -- we'll have to admit that succombing to temptation does indeed bring curses upon our lives. Now, these consequences don't tend to be sharp thunderbolts shot down from heaven; rather they tend to be in the form of consequences (rather than eternal judgments). Just like we'll get burned from touching fire and sick from drinking filth, we'll suffer the curse of consequence whenever we indulge too much temptation.
 
God has a different plan.
 
For all who BELIEVE, he gives a crown of salvation.
 
And for all who BEHAVE, it's a crown of peace (instead of a life of tumultuous consequences).
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's worn the wrong crown
a few too many times
--------------------------------------------
Blessed is anyone who endures temptation.
... True confessions time.  I have been struggling again lately.  And considering a dangerous move.  I have found out that a good friend lives about 45 minutes away.  A friend that I have known since middle school. A friend that now that we are both married ... I know seeing him would be dangerous.  To say we have a magnetic relationship is putting it mildly.  We haven't had any contact in almost 10 years.  I have his contact info. It is burning a hole in my pocket.  I am lying to myself to say nothing would happen.

Not contacting him is behaving.  It is not giving in to temptation.  Yet right now, it doesn't feel very peaceful.

Sometimes it seems as if I am paying consequences for other's mistakes.  How bad can the consequence be from one completely on my own?

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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