5/15/23 Devotional from Ed
May 15, 2023
Text: James 1:1-15
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.
Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.
I heard a sermon recently that lifted up the 10th commandment, saying that almost all (if not all) human conflict is a result of NOT following this particular commandment: “You shall not covet.” This argument makes sense, especially since we are all flawed creatures who place importance on power, pride, and influence. This is simply how we are built.
Yet, as we know, we do have the ability to resist temptation, a reminder we’re given to us from James: “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation.”
As we start a new week, may we ask ourselves the following question:
- “What is it exactly that I/we covet?” Money? Power? Prestige? Recognition?
After we ask ourselves that question and come up with an answer, an answer that may or not be listed above, let’s ask ourselves the next questions:
- “Am I being lured and enticed by it?”
- “Am I being lured and enticed by it at the expense of my relationship with God?”
- “Am I being lured and enticed by it at the expense of my relationship with others?”
The act of coveting, I believe, is unavoidable. Welcome to being a human. What is controllable, however, is our reaction to it.
Prayers: Holy God, we thank you for the commandments you gave us thousands of years ago, commandments that allow us to frame and shape our lives in ways that glorify you. May your Spirit fall upon each of us this week as we begin anew, a new week that allows us to refocus and prioritize differently. Amen.
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