Thursday, August 25, 2005

Don't be fooled: James 1:16

James 1:16

"Do not be decieved, my beloved brethren."

There are a lot of things that the World tells us about God, don’t be fooled. God is not what the world makes him out to be. As we can clearly see in the previous verses God is not to blame for our temptation. When God sends a trial into our lives we cannot blame Him when, by our own lust, we are tempted to doubt him. God sent the trial to do a holy work in us, but we turned what God meant for good into an opportunity for sin. God is not the author of this rebellion.

James' warning here, “do not be deceived,” is a warning against viewing God as the author of our temptation to sin. To harbor this false conception that God is tempting us (working to bring sin into our lives) is to cast a grave suspicion on God's holy character. The world is telling us that it is not our fault when we sin. They want us to leave the responsibility for our sins on the shoulders of someone else, and eventually God (this was Adam's course of action in the Garden). And why? So that they can do the same thing. Do not let the world around you shape your view of God. Look at what Luke 21:8 says:

"And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not go after them."

The world’s view of God is so skewed that they can not even recognize the Savior. Do not be fooled. Rather, let Scripture shape your view of God.

When we look to Scripture to see who God is we see a very different God than the god the world sees. In Scripture we see the God of goodness. We see the God who created the world, and the God who is working for our redemption. This is the focus of James in verse 17 and 18 of this chapter:

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."

God is the good God of creation, and re-creation. The root of our sin-problem does not lie with God. The root of our sin problem lies within. Our sin problem begins with our sinful heart, and its desire to seek satisfaction in sin rather than God. The problem is that instead of glorying in the innumerable blessings, which we receive daily from God, we seek satisfaction elsewhere. Let us stop this sinful circle and be so affected by God’s goodness that we can think of nothing but his Glory.

In the next couple of days we will look at James 1:17-18 to follow James' encouragement further.



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