James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
I am praying for our church during this time that we stand strong in the grace of Christ Jesus in the area of temptation. One thing that no one in our body is exempt from is temptation.
Temptation means “testing.” Testing what? Testing our love and obedience to God. God knew about Adam and Eve’s dealings with Satan but He did not intervene. Why? Because they had everything they needed to endure the temptation.
-First of all, they had God! God is enough! Sin separates from a loving, holy, desirable God.
-They not only had the person of God but they had the clear word of God, Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” --They also had the clear warning of what would happen. “Thou shalt surely die.” Adam or Eve had not seen death but they knew how horrible it was. We follow their exact example because of the innate nature of sin. We know the consequences, yet we willingly disobey.
-So they had God, they had God’s Word and they had God’s warning but they also knew God’s reward! I want us to focus on that reward tonight. What is the reward for enduring temptation?
1. The reward of a clean conscience v. 12 “Blessed is the man that endureth”
“Blessed!” SUPREMELY HAPPY! THE ONLY REGRETS I HAVE IN LIFE ARE FALLING FOR TEMPTATION!
I can stomach some poor decisions; “I shouldn’t have left my line at Lowe’s because the other one was shorter.” Those are small insignificant poor decisions. Life is full of trials of faith! You’re facing them everyday! Temptations usually don’t come in the form of an opportunity to rob a bank or become a terrorist. Temptations are when our flesh is drawn away from the clear direction of God’s Word! Oh how we fail!
The believer who endures temptation is a supremely happy person! It’s a foretaste of our eternal reward! The Crown of life!
2. The reward of an incorruptible crown! “for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
I don’t know much about crowns but we need to forget what we THINK we know about them.
-There are five crowns promised in God’s Word; The Imperishable crown, The crown of rejoicing, The crown of righteousness, The crown of glory, and The crown of life. Are they all different Crowns? Are they talking about the same crown? Will Christ say, “Jim, you loved my appearing but you didn’t run the race, here is one crown.” “John, you ran the race but you didn’t suffer persecution, here is one crown.” This is study for another time.
What we DO know about crowns are that, 1. They are literal promises. 2. They are promised for specific obedience. 3. They never fade away.
4. They are given by the Lord!
My question is this, what believer would not want to be rewarded by creator God? Not a mansion, not a position up the totem pole, not a thing to rub in the face of others…a “WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!” This is my desire! I pray it is yours too!
Endure temptation! Pray for one another! Be accountable to others! Be transparent with your family! Love each other no matter what!
Revelation 3:11 "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."