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October 7 – Turning to God when tempted

God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. – James 1:13

Scripture reading: James 1:13-15

Have you ever been upset with the trials God has brought you through? Maybe you thought, if I was not in that position, I would not have sinned. But who allowed you to be in that position? Was it not God Who is in control of even a hair falling from your head. Yet, in today’s passage we are told that God cannot be tempted nor tempts anyone.

Notice James does not say that temptations are the devil’s doing. We cannot say the devil made me do it. James says we are tempted when we are lured by our own desires. Our hearts are attracted to sinful activities. In the Lord’s prayer we are told to ask God to keep us from temptation. When sinful desires take shape in our hearts and minds, they give birth to sin. There are pictures, circumstances, activities and even thoughts that tempt our hearts to sin. When we live in and are content in that sin, unless we repent, eternal death is our future.

The problem is not the devil or the situation God has placed us in. It is our sinful hearts and minds. In Romans 7, Paul asks how he can be saved from this body of death. He gives the answer; “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Jesus gave His life so that we are not only washed of our sins, but brought in the family of God so that we can with confidence cry out to God, “Lead me not into temptation.”

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that we would quickly turn to God in our struggles with temptations, asking for His help, guidance and strength because of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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