IT’S THE FINISH THAT COUNTS…


James 1:12-18 – “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”  NASB

Through the years I’ve seen new believers take off like gangbusters and charge headlong into the battle against the forces of hell with a dagger when they needed a sword.  Their zeal was inspiring if not humorous, then I would see them encounter the full-scale battle and fizzle and wither under the pressures of the intense warfare.  They had zeal, but not wisdom.  They had the desire, but not the experience.  They had superficial knowledge but were not deeply established in the truth. 

James tells us that it is the “blessed” man that perseveres under trial and that once he has completed the test the prize is great.  He warns us regarding temptation not attribute it to God because God tempts no person.  Instead, temptation comes from within as much as from without.  It comes from the condition of heart, immaturity, and undeveloped character.  It springs forth from the unseen and often unknown lust within the heart and when it is given birth to it brings forth sin and when sin grows to its full maturity brings forth death. 

If we recognize that temptation is the identification of an inside problem, we are better equipped to handle it. We know to run as fast as we can to the Cross and cry out for mercy and grace.  He tells us that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above who never changes but is consistent, steady, and steadfast.  That God will guide us into truth, and it will not be wishy-washy but solid and stable. 

As we become established in His truth we are able to walk out His will in our daily lives. We are better equipped to face and resist temptation, endure the tests and trials, and overcome the onslaught of the enemy. We become fruits (examples) of righteousness for all to see, thus point to Christ by our lives not just our words.

Growing up is not instantaneous in the natural or spiritual.  Wisdom is not gained by taking a pill or reading a book.  Experience is not achieved by hearing stories of victories.  Life is a matter of living and living. Living is to be done hand in hand with the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Cross and under the covering of the blood of Jesus.  It is by His Grace!  Remember, that the trial, test, temptation, trouble, or tribulation is only momentary in the eternal scheme of things.  Hold on to what you have learned in Christ and you will walk out the other side in victory! 

Blessings as you continue your week in the Lord.  May God guide you, give you grace, and protect you in your pursuit of His purposes!

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