Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” James 1:13 NAS
Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible study on the Book of James, “Living a Life of Faith” by Angie K. Smith. We just completed Week Two of our study, and have learned some amazing nuggets of truth for the treasure chests of our hearts. This has been such a rich and powerful study.
Let’s camp out on something we all struggle with…temptation! We’ve all been there at some point in our lives and as long as we live on this side of heaven, we will continue in our struggle to overcome temptation. None of us are immune from the lure of the bait dangling like a worm on the end of a hook …. waiting …. watching ….wanting…. gotcha!
Temptation comes from evil desires with us. It’s that sin nature that sets it off. It all begins with an evil thought, and then it becomes sin when we dwell on that thought, and then the thought turns into an act. It has a snowballing effect, and the sin grows more destructive the more we let it have its way.
People who live for God often wonder why they still have temptations. We ask ourselves, “God, why are you tempting me?” However, God does not tempt anyone. God allows Satan to tempt us in order to refine our faith and help us grow in our dependence on Jesus Christ. The good news is that we can resist temptation to sin by turning to God for strength and choosing to obey His Word.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:12 NAS
So how do we escape temptation? We may never escape it, but we can overcome it, by staying in God’s Word. God’s Word gives us the power to deny temptation! Jesus understands what we are going through when we experience temptation in our lives, because of His own experience with temptation.
Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV
Jesus has experienced everything we experience, and He has compassion on us when we are suffering pain and temptation. Jesus understands our struggles, because He faced them as a human being Himself. This is such a comforting thought to me, and I hope it brings you much peace as well.
When you are facing a difficult trial or temptation in your life, go to Jesus for strength, patience, hope and confidence. He promises to give us a new stamina to make us mature and complete. Drink in God’s Word and allow it to transform you into self-controlled, loving, holy followers of Jesus Christ. His promises are everlasting to those who seek Him with a whole heart.
What a powerful week of study it has been. I cannot wait to meet with you in Week Three!
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Read through the book of James in one sitting before beginning your homework. Write out James Chapter 2 in your journal or notebook.
DIGGING DEEPER: Mark the key word tempted/tempt in James 1. Do an online word study on tempted at https://www.blueletterbible.org/. A word study form is posted in files in the private Facebook chat room.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
- Complete your study of Week Three, “An Active and Loving Faith.”
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK TWO (answer in small groups or post a comment below:
- “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” James 1:13. Have you ever found yourself asking God why he would tempt you with something you feel unable to resist? Have you felt He was tempting you with a proverbial carrot? If so, explain. (Page 25)
- Do you have a pattern of defeat in your life? If so, what is your struggle? Can you identify areas where you have allowed the weeds to choke out the life you know you were meant to live? (Page 33)
- When you are in a situation where something personal or dear to you is being questioned, what is your first inclination? (Page 39)
- “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” James 1:22. If we have humbled ourselves and received the word implanted in our hearts, what should naturally happen as a result? (Page 41)
- When you come in contact with others throughout your day who need someone to talk to, an extra hand with a project, or an extended word of encouragement, do you think of it as an opportunity or an inconvenience? What is your initial, honest response? (Page 48)