James 1:13-16 “When people are tempted, they should not say, “God is tempting me.” Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But people are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. 15 This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death. 16 My dear brothers and sisters, do not be fooled about this.” NCV
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SELF-DESTRUCT?
SELF-DESTRUCT – “A mechanism for causing a device to destroy itself. To destroy oneself or itself.”
That’s plain and simple, isn’t it?
We don’t just wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “Hey, I’m going to make choices today that are going to cause me more problems than I already have.” In fact, our intentions can be “good” and we can still cause ourselves grief.
The word of God says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3; 23). We all fall short of perfection.
Galatians 5;19-21 shows us what comes natural to us and it is far from perfect.
“ The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: being sexually unfaithful, not being pure, taking part in sexual sins, 20 worshiping gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, being jealous, being angry, being selfish, making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people, 21 feeling envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like these. I warn you now as I warned you before: Those who do these things will not inherit God’s kingdom.” NCV
We are going to be enticed and the works of the flesh or our “sinful selves” are going to make a decision. “Just Saying No,” doesn’t solve the problem.
HOW DO WE RESIST THIS ENTICING OR THIS LEADING AWAY THAT LEAVES ALL GOOD INTENTIONS BEHIND AND CAUSES US TO SELF-DESTRUCT?
Galatians 5:16-18 says, “So I tell you: Live by following the Spirit. Then you will not do what your sinful selves want. 17 Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please. 18 But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law.” NCV
WE MUST LIVE A LIFE THAT IS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!
HAVE YOU EVER CARED SO MUCH FOR SOMEONE THAT YOU DIDN’T WANT TO LET THEM DOWN? MAYBE YOU LOVED OR RESPECTED SOMEONE SO MUCH THAT YOU WOULD RATHER BE HURT THAN TO SEE THEM SUFFER IF YOU COULD PREVENT IT?
As we learn who Jesus Christ is and we begin to understand what He has done for us – we can live our lives in such a way that it’s not willpower that’s keeping us from self destructing – it’s the love we have for God. We don’t want to disappoint Him in any way…..our lives are now rooted and grounded in Him!
WE LOVE HIM TO MUCH TO GIVE IN TO THE TEMPTATION – WE WANT TO PLEASE HIM!
Galatians 5:24-25 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit.” NCV
IN ORDER TO HAVE THAT KIND OF LOVE – WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HIS LOVE FOR US.
1 John 4:9-10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” NIV
Col 1:21-23” Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.“ NIV
GOD IS NOT WAITING FOR YOU TO SELF DESTRUCT – HE IS NOT SETTING YOU UP TO FAIL – HE HAS MADE A WAY OF ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION IN YOUR LIFE AND THAT IS HAVING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!
We have a choice to make. We have an opportunity to understand what life is all about and to receive eternal life through Jesus Christ.
AS WE RECEIVE GOD’S LOVE INTO OUR LIVES AND CHOOSE TO BE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, HIS CHARACTER WILL BE EVIDENT IN OUR LIVES.
Gal 5:22-23” But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong.” NCV
WHAT WAS ONCE A NATURAL ABILITY TO SELF-DESTRUCT TURNS INTO A SUPERNATURAL ABILITY TO OVERCOME AND EXPERIENCE ABUNDANT LIFE.
Rom 8:12-13 “So, my brothers and sisters, we must not be ruled by our sinful selves or live the way our sinful selves want. 13 If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit’s help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.” NCV
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM BEGINS WITH ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS.
1 John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” NIV
LET’S CONTINUE GROWING STRONG IN THE LOVE OF GOD, PERSERVERING IN FAITH THROUGH EVERY TEMPTATION THAT COMES OUR WAY.
James 1:12 “When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy. After they have proved their faith, God will reward them with life forever. God promised this to all those who love him.”(emphasis mine) NCV