Don’t Be Deceived
James 1:16-18 Do not be deceived my beloved brothers Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
1. That sin is going to turn out well
If what you are doing is sin, you are completely deceived if you believe that it is going to turn out well or that you will not reap destruction while remaining in sin. It has become increasingly tempting to absorb social and cultural norms that try to convince us that certain things are ok that God warns us about in His word.
What are some of the social and cultural norms that have become more and more socially acceptable that God warns us about?
Galatians 6:8 says that if you sew into your flesh or your own desires, then the flesh will reap destruction.
What is this verse saying?
When does our own desires become sin?
What is the best way to combat falling in to a lifestyle of sin?
Jesus is the ONLY answer or atonement for our sin. The only way to deal with your flesh is at the foot of the cross; otherwise, you will reap destruction.
2. Sin will bring more pleasure than Jesus
You are drifting from the truth if you believe sin will bring you more pleasure than Jesus.
Read Hebrews 11:24-25
These verses say that the pleasures that come from sin are fleeting. That means there may be some brief pleasure associated with sin, but the pleasure is very short lived. The destruction that follows is not worth the initial pleasure sin may bring. However, Psalms 16:11 tells us that the pleasures of God are forevermore….they never cease or fade.
When you delight in God and are satisfied in Him you start to lose your taste for the bait of sin. Pastor Tommy used the illustration of trying to bait a fat fish. The fish is satisfied, which makes it not interested in the bait that leads to destruction that is dangling in front of its face.
How do we become so satisfied and content in God that we lose our taste for the bait of sin?
3. God isn’t good because of difficulty or various trials
In life we will all face times of great difficulty and trials. God tests us in to strength, He doesn’t tempt us in to sin. If we reach the point of being tempted in to sin, that is because of our own flesh and desires. We tend to want to blame God for every difficult situation, but any difficulty God allows us to go through is to strengthen our faith.
We serve a good God, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
What are some of the gifts in your life that are good?
Do you think there is a difference between good and perfect gifts? If so, what are some of the gifts in your life that are perfect?
The scripture in James refers to God as the “Father of lights”.
Why do you think God is referred to as the Father of lights?
This name for God represents life and purity. You cannot hide in the light. Thankfully we have no reason to hide, not because of how good we are, but because of Jesus being perfect. When we accept Jesus, we can stand in the light completely free of guilt and shame. What better gift could we receive? And even though we will face difficulty and trials, He uses them to work for our good.
Do you have an example of a trial you have faced that God used to work for your good?
4. We mistake the trials of following Christ as darkness
Through the difficulty of being faithful to God, He is bringing us in to the light. He wants to illuminate how strong he is in you, and that often occurs in times of trials. No matter what situation we may be facing, we have to know that God’s care for us is competent.
Is it hard to trust God?
What are ways we show him that we trust him?
What are ways we show him we do not trust him?
If we are going to be a witness to the world, we have to get to a place where we are completely satisfied in God.
How can we convince the world that we need a God we aren’t satisfied in?
Everything and everybody around us is constantly changing except God. He is never changing and there is no variation with Him. He is not good and then bad and there is no rise and fall with God. He is always good. As He becomes greater, and sweeter, and more satisfying in our lives it’s actually our perspective becoming more accurate The scripture refers to there being no shadow…the shadow is cast by turning away but God never leaves us, never forsakes us, and never turns away from us. Therefore, if we are led to destruction it is not because God turned away or changed, it is because we have!
If you are tempted to believe God is the reason you are tempted to sin or youre bailing on your faith, that is not the truth. On his own will (not by compulsion or duty but by desire and love) he brought us forth by the word of the truth (the gospel) that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
What do you think he means by calling us his first fruits?
If you want to see the results of the care and the work and the suffering and provisions from a loving God, then look at His first fruits, which is us! We should be a snapshot of where God is taking the rest of the world.
Why or why not are you a snapshot of God’s first fruits?