Sermon for Jericho Road Church on May 22nd, 2016. Notes below:
James chapter 1, verses 2 to 18:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (2-4)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (5-8)
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. (9-11)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (12-15)
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (16-18)
Reset 1: Possessions
Desire: Wealth, Security, Happiness, Recognition, Status
Sin: Covetous - We find our worth and joy in material things.
Death: We want security without God. We don’t need God. We’re never satisfied.
Reset 2: Relationships
Desire: Love, Respect, Validation, Approval, Happiness, Not Alone
Sin: Lust - We pursue our passion in harmful and selfish ways.
Death: We want joy without God. We don’t need God. We’re never satisfied.
Reset 3: Identity
Desire: Appearance, Reputation, Intelligence, Sex, Race, Gender, Politics, Religion
Sin: Idolatry - We worship self, striving to be God.
Death: We love self instead of God. We’re God. We’re never satisfied.
Our hope in Jesus
Desire: Jesus is the better object of our desires.
Obedience: Desiring and pursuing Jesus produces obedience in our lives.
Life: Obeying Jesus and loving him produces true life forever with him.