Mar 28, 2021
James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
Series: James

For those of you who have struggled with sin only to shrug it off as someone else's fault... sin just got a lot more serious didn't it. If you can't pin it on someone else, if you can't blame it on God or Satan... well now you have to deal with it... and dealing with sin is not easy. Sin is deception... so how exactly do we move from temptation into truth? How do we overcome the temptation to sin in our lives? Well, it's hard to bait a full fish. In other words... When we feast on the blessings of God we lose our appetite for the base temptations of the flesh. Feast on the goodness of God and you will no longer be attracted to sinful things. No matter what... you can't escape temptations... but you can beat them. How? By knowing the true nature of sin. Deception leads to desire which leads to disobedience... which culminates in DEATH. The better you know what sin is and how it manifests itself in our lives, the easier it is to defeat. And by knowing the truth of God's goodness... which is ultimately salvation in Christ. If we trust in Christ to take away our sin and the lure of sin forever... if we feast on his goodness... we won't have any room for sinfulness. 

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  • Mar 28, 2021James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Mar 28, 2021
    James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Series: James

    For those of you who have struggled with sin only to shrug it off as someone else's fault... sin just got a lot more serious didn't it. If you can't pin it on someone else, if you can't blame it on God or Satan... well now you have to deal with it... and dealing with sin is not easy. Sin is deception... so how exactly do we move from temptation into truth? How do we overcome the temptation to sin in our lives? Well, it's hard to bait a full fish. In other words... When we feast on the blessings of God we lose our appetite for the base temptations of the flesh. Feast on the goodness of God and you will no longer be attracted to sinful things. No matter what... you can't escape temptations... but you can beat them. How? By knowing the true nature of sin. Deception leads to desire which leads to disobedience... which culminates in DEATH. The better you know what sin is and how it manifests itself in our lives, the easier it is to defeat. And by knowing the truth of God's goodness... which is ultimately salvation in Christ. If we trust in Christ to take away our sin and the lure of sin forever... if we feast on his goodness... we won't have any room for sinfulness. 

  • Mar 21, 2021James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Mar 21, 2021
    James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Series: James

    Faith is messy. It's not a “if we go through trials.” It's a “when we go through trials.” Like, if you aren't in one right now... you will be in one soon. We will all experience trials and storms and suffering. It's not a maybe... its a guarantee. But in the midst of our trials we have a promise that they aren't all bad... in fact they are good. I don't know about you... but thats messy.

     What about divorce? Well, I love that James just lumps every trial into the word “various.” Divorce would fit in various. What about a kid who is just off the rails? Various. What about loosing a loved one? Yep. What about financial trouble? Various. All of them. If you fear it and if it tries your faith... its a trial.

    And so every trial that we fear to go through is a test of our faith meant to lead us to a triumphant finish. Our trials have a purpose and a plan... and so we don't need to be afraid of them. In fact we are called to embrace them. We are called to consider them all Joy!

  • Mar 14, 2021James Part 1: Big / Small
    Mar 14, 2021
    James Part 1: Big / Small
    Series: James

    James a servant of God has been impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to share with the church a letter which really speaks to a myriad of issues and themes but at the center of it is this... God is big and we are small and yet God cares about the big and the small. I want you to think about this... the God of the universe who governs all there is; how hot the stars burn, how far the planets travel in orbit, the speed of light, the depth of the oceans, the amount of food needed to feed China today, and the amount of rain needed to grow that food, the same God that governs all of that Big stuff... is the same God who cares about you. To quote Bill Paxton's character in one of my favorite movies, Tombstone; he says, “look at all the stars. You look up and you think, God made all of this and He remembered to make a little speck like me. It's kind of flattering, really.” It's more than a little flattering... it's downright scandalous. The Big God of Big things... who runs all that Big stuff... so Big we can't even comprehend... cares for us specks. It doesn't make a lick of sense. For example Luke 12:7 tells us that even the hairs of our heads are numbered.  Psalm 139:16 tells us that God knew us before we were formed and wrote down every one of our days. He put together your personality, your humor, your IQ, EQ, ADHD, and IBS. He knit you together and made you alive, a unique, a specific awesome individual! He cares about the Big stuff and the Small stuff! The universe and your hair!

    But why? Why does God care about your hair? Why does he care about you intimately and specifically? So he can lead you to walk in the fullness of Joy while at the same time bringing him the most glory possible.  He wants to see your faith work.  This is the story of James.