James 1:8-18

Humble people “glory in their exaltation” while riches and attitudes associated with the “rich man will fade away in his pursuits.”

Amazing when we look back in history how very few “dynasties” last, very few.

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life.”

Ready for this?  When you and I endure or resist temptation we get one of 5 crowns awarded to believers!  The crowns are:

1. Imperishable or incorruptible crown (1 Cor 9:24-25), for those folks who can exhibit self-denial and perseverance in the race God has called THEM to.

2. Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thess 2:19), this is for those with a sincere heart for evangelism and love to share the Gospel!

3. Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim 4:8), if you are anticipating and looking for Jesus’ second coming this is your Crown!

4. Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4), is for Pastor’s and Shepherds who love the flock of God in unselfish love being an example to others.

5. Crown of Life (Rev 2:10), is for all who persevere under trials, temptations and tribulations in this life.

The idea or word for crown is “Stephanos” after the first Christian martyr.

Here is how to avoid falling from temptations into actual sin:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one (you and me), is tempted when:”

A. He is drawn away (distracted by and focused on) his own desire.

B. Enticed by the desire (preoccupied to the point of obsession).

C. Desire conceives (acting on the desire by positioning oneself to do the desire).

D. Gives birth to sin (doing the desire).

E. Sin when full-grown brings forth death (death of relationships, physical and mental health, etc).

How do we avoid temptation leading to sin so we can acquire our Crown of Life?

“Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights…”

God has a MUCH better plan for your life than the temptations and lies Satan is trying to entice you with currently. Remember, Satan is the father of lies and a counterfeiter.  In the Garden Adam and Eve lived in perfection and were still tempted to “fall.”

So, when you fall, simply tell God you are sorry and ask him to forgive you. The guilt and anguish will go away as your love for God grows and you receive the forgiveness only Jesus can give to heal your heart.  Then, talk to God and ask Him to give you His best plan for you.  It will always be MUCH better in reality than the temptation you are currently fighting!