James 1:9-18 The Message (MSG)
Evil comes to rob, steal, and destroy the righteous life. Scriptures tells the truth about evil from the beginning in the Book of Genesis until the end in the Book of Revelation. High above all evil and deception stands Truth; his name is Jesus and he is the second person of the Godhead. It is Christ who helps us to meet and conquer life’s challenges and spiritual attacks. Jesus never brings evil to us; rather, he delivers us from the evil we carelessly bring into our own minds and hearts one thought at a time.
In our passage today, the Apostle James reminds us to guard ourselves against the temptations of evil. Evil begins as a thought and then if we dwell on it long enough it will become an action. So, stay loyally in love with God. Invite Jesus into every thing you do; his righteousness will keep you strong against evil. Run to Christ so you can handle anything life brings your way.
9-11 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.
12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
13-15 Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
16-18 So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being my righteousness and my refuge. I will guard my thoughts, so I may remain loyal in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.