Today’s reading is James 1: 12-18:
Two things in today’s passage that I think are so very important to understand. First, we see where temptation comes from. It comes from ourselves. We have a sinful nature, we are all “sinful” in that we are human. All humans have that sinful nature. To say that we are sinful is not to say that we are the worst people to ever live or that we are some type of scum. It means that we are human and in need of redemption. All humans are like that. James tells us when we are tempted, don’t blame God and honestly, don’t even blame the devil. Look inside. I always think about the phrase we use, “the devil made me do it.” Well, here’s the problem. If the devil caused it to happen, guess who’s fault it isn’t? Mine. Yours. James calls us to look at our sin and take responsibility for it. When I sin, it is my fault. I should accept the blame, repent, and receive Gods’ forgiveness for it. But when we shift blame, we actually can’t experience the true joy of knowing that we are forgiven. God knows what we have done and still forgives us. That’s good news!
The second thing to hear is when James tells us that all good gifts come from God. If it is in your life and it is good, then it is from God. Laughter, joy, sunsets, chocolate, if it is a good thing in your life then it is a gift from God. Let’s take time to recognize those good gifts today. And let’s take time to thank God for them.
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