sin when it is fully grown brings forth death

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-15 (ESV)

How easy is it to give into our sinful “desires”?

The voice inside our head says it’s OK. Just this once. It’s not hurting anyone.

Yet it’s a slow and steady progression:

“Temptation. Desire. Conception. Birth. Growth. Death.”

Deep down inside we know its wrong. Perhaps we struggle a little. Perhaps we struggle a lot.

But the greed, the overwhelming lust, the all-consuming “desire” responds to the temptation by shrugging off those feelings of guilt. Putting them aside whilst we indulge in the sinful pleasure.

Unfortunately, this habitual sin is leading us down a steep and slippery path to oblivion.

Turning our back on God and choosing to follow our idols, whatever they may be, leads to death.

All are guilty. Yes, even me. No one can claim righteousness. No one is blameless (Romans 3:10-12).

Yet God has graciously provided us with a saviour. Someone who has already stood in our place and received the punishment we so justly deserve.

It’s a difficult concept to comprehend. And even harder to accept.

But this doesn’t make it any less true.

Ponder that as we approach this Easter weekend.


prayer : that God would grant me mercy and strength

action : share the message of Easter this weekend

[God] tempts no one

‘Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.’ James 1:13 (ESV)

It’s a natural instinct to blame anything or anyone for what happens to us.

We so often think that circumstances are out of our control. That life has it “in for us”. That God is making us suffer.

And yes. He is sovereign. The Almighty Creator is the one pulling the strings of this universe.

Yet He does not manipulate situations to put us in harms way. To force us to choose between good and evil.

We do that to ourselves. Following our own selfish desires.

By giving us “free will” He permits us to make a choice between what is right and what is wrong.

But we shouldn’t blame Him for that. Instead, we should simply pray, as Jesus taught us:

“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

Matthew 6:13 (ESV)

He will provide us a “way out”. We just need to recognise the exit.


prayer : The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

action : examine my own heart and desires

the crown of life

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (ESV)

It’s not easy to “remain steadfast under trial”. Especially if we choose to rely upon our own resources.

Yet turning to God for help can appear to be a form of weakness.

Our natural instinct is often to try and “tough it out” on our own. Resolute in our determination to “go it alone”.

But God promises to ease our “burden” and “give [us] rest” if we would just “come to [Him]” when we “labor and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28-30).

We are told that it’s through these “trials” that we in fact become stronger.

I’ve learned this time and time again during my running training. That it’s necessary to first increase the stress levels and permit a breakdown in the muscles so that they can then be rebuilt during the times of rest.

Yes, it is a test. But we’re anything but alone in our struggles.

And ultimately the prize is the crown of life. No small thing!

But the “promise” is only to “those who love Him”. A poignant reminder to those who choose to sit-on-the-fence!


prayer : that those friends and family who do not love Him may yet come to know Him

action : trust God to keep His promise