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How do I avoid temptation? – James 1:12

December 11, 2009

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.

Many years ago a well known Christian leader I had some dealings with was caught out having an affair.  He had been seeing another woman in secret for more than 4 years. It really rocked me and the other Christian men in my network.  We asked questions of each other, how could this happen?  How could he allow himself to get into this situation?  Why didn’t his faith challenge him to stop?  And then a young pastor friend of mine said to me, ‘Mark this could happen to you or I, we need to be vigilant.’  I have never forgotten this.  Temptation is ever present in my life, this is part of life, and not being tempted is unrealistic.  But I am no victim drawn towards sin without little choice!  There are some precautions, some things I can do to avoid sin that are outlined in this amazing James 1:12 reading.

The first is to love God, which in the greek is agapao, meaning to be devoted.  So I counter temptation and sin by spending a huge amount of time thinking about God.  Reading His Word, in prayer, chatting with others: making God a major focus in my life.

The second lesson from James 1:12 is the importance of enduring.  Just keep going, stay on the path, being determined not to give up, even when other have departed.  Stand firm!

The third help I find in James 1:12 to reduce the affect of temptation, is to desire the crown of life.  The crown is a reward given by a king, and that king is God, and the reward ceremony will be in heaven!  This is something I really need to work on, desiring my reward in heaven.

And the final help is to yearn to be blessed.  Blessed refers to God’s favour, of God working through my life in amazing and wonderful ways –  oh I want that!

So how do I reduce the affects of temptation in my life?  I seek to be devoted to God, to endure through the hardships, to desire after a reward in heaven and to yearn to be blessed.  Praise God!!

God bless,

Rev Mark

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  1. JUANITA WORDS permalink

    This is an awesome word. Your insight has blessed me on the scripture James 1:12. I f you don’t mind, I have to share your insight of the scripture.
    Bless you man of God!

  2. tracy daniels permalink

    Thanks for your insight on this passage. It has helped and encouraged me to keep holding on and to continue to stand firm on my faith. The devil will send temptation when you least expect it, and this is the reason why we must be vigilant in our faith and in seeking God so that we will be well equipped to withstand any temptation that is sent our way.

    Thank you and God Bless you Rev. Mark.

    Tracy Daniels

  3. Kerry Prochaska permalink

    Thanks for the teaching and encouragement, Mark. This is a very scriptural response to an issue that needs to be constantly put in front of our eyes. Sin is always before us whose faith is in Jesus and though the Lord our God changes many sinful aspects of our natural life at rebirth He leaves much behind that can all too easily yield to temptation.

  4. Alli permalink

    Thanks so much, Rev. Mark!!!!!!!

  5. Donna permalink

    I know I can do anything I want.. But what I want to do is be home and take care of my kids, make sure that they aren’t into things that they shouldn’t be… And I would LOVE nothing more then for my husband to allow me to help him make his company more then what it is. For some reason he will not allow that. =/

    Temptation comes in all shapes and sizes. We all have to be strong and look towards the LORD when they happen. It could be as simplpe as a business deal, looking at something on TV/Internet, choice of words we use, people we socialize with, masterbation, porn… etc…. …

  6. Jennifer S. permalink

    Thank you, I needed that more than you know!

  7. Alison permalink

    Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The devil will attack every Christian who is effective in his witness. But is it possible to sin and pray at the same time?

  8. isaac reain permalink

    i think this is just plain great:) but the best advice i can think of is to learn to truly desire to be good:) offer yourself n your life to god to change and mold for the benifit of his glory and in that thing you will be most happy and naturally blessed:) then the rewards are not only in this life but the next as well:) god bless u, isaac reain

  9. Good Points, Even more so today we, especially men, are bombarded with temptation in the media, internet, my own email box. It’s good to hear good news and insights on how to handle this daily battle.

    Dr. Mike

  10. Tracey permalink

    Rev. Mark,

    We were just talking about the Catholic Church’s celibacy rule for priests in my RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) class this past week. Personally, I think it is an arbitrary rule based on control issues by the Catholic Church. I think it is unrealistic to ask a human being, designed by God with sexual anatomy, to pretend that these most basic desires are sinful. No where in the bible does Jesus or his disciples call for priest celibacy (I asked and this is what I was told – I have never fully read the bible). Additionally, I would think that God would want the best emulators of Christ to reproduce!
    Later, I was doing some research on death and dying for a paper I am writing for a graduate counseling course. I was directed to Songs of Songs and in the preface was written “In reality, sexual intercourse, the physical and emotional union of male and female, should be a holy means of celebrating love, producing children, and experiencing pleasure, protected by the commitment of marriage. . . . God thinks sex is important, and Scripture contains numerous guidelines for its use and warnings about its misuse” (Life Application Study Bible,p. 1075). Therefore, I don’t think that life abstinence is something God intended for priests nor do I think it is a ‘naturally’ state of affairs: to deny this part of yourself.
    Thanks for listening!

  11. Catrina permalink

    Very insightfull n encouraging. I know as a single person temptation is always there..but its just as you said, you have to be devoted to servng and pleasing G0D.

  12. Jennifer jordan permalink

    This powerful word is so true we all can be tempted, but we can go to Jesus our Lord and Savior to ask for forgiveness of our sins. And if we are not in his will and word we will stray which will lead us into sin.

  13. Patsy Bond permalink

    Thank you 🙂

  14. So much encouragement there. Thank you Mark.

  15. Christina permalink

    Wow that was… I don’t know, it was just what I’ve been needing. I myself have done wrong in that area and I know everyday I will be tempted and I am only as stronge as my weakest link.
    I shall be more committed to My Lord and less committed to the worldly sins around me.

    Hi, I have just join this on Facebook and am loving the word you give every day!
    Thank you and I pray you never stop spreading the word of our Lord.


  16. Charlotte permalink

    Please pray for my son, 33, 2 children, he fell out of a deer stand and broke his back, has no sensations from just below his chest down, has been told will never walk again, he does have a postive attitude, lots of family and friend support, many prayers have already been prayed and answered, and we wish for continuous prayers for him. He is a born again believer. Request a nation wide prayer chain for his complete recovery, But most of all God’s will be done in his life.. thank you very much,

  17. justin permalink

    thank u

    • i too broke my neck 7 years ago in a horse accident. thank God i can walk it was a miracle , i just get migranes now and my voice is raspy from surgery. i believe there are miracles just pray and believe. i too will pray for your son only God can answer. tell him to keep his strength in his belief in God as well as walking again, i will be praying.

  18. debbie permalink

    Oh PRAISE BE TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN HEAVEN for this word!!! He is truly using you as such a great instructor of HIS WORD! This is right on and needs to be printed and taped to the refrigerator and also put on our desks and in the book we are currently reading etc…… other words, this needs to be read and re-read so we know how it is and what God wants us to do to resists temptation.
    Thanks brother Mark,
    I feel eternally blessed today!

  19. Michelle permalink

    Thank you for this insightful journey into the scripture. I have dealt with something similar to the story and didn’t understand how such a thing could happen either. This has given me the hope that I need to go on. I know that my current situation will never be a hesitation from God. Be Blessed Always! Glory to God

  20. George permalink

    It is so good to hear you speak about this in such a way. I felt the love of God as I was reading and it gave me the encouragement that I needed. We are all tempted everyday in various ways. Like a pastor at my church told me one day, “How can you expect to have hot coals up against your skin and not expect to be burnt”. It is the flesh that yearns for the pleasure of sin, and at times honestly, we need to feel good especially during tough or painful times. It is this struggle Paul refers to, in that, we want to do the right thing but we don’t. I think about God all the time and my prayer is that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in the Lord’s sight. This is what I want and I stand firm on my faith that he will help me get there (along with effort on my part as well). God bless brother.

  21. THANKS Rev. Mark… A very timely word as we are being bombarded with news of Tiger Woods and struggling with or own challenges in living godly. Adding your message to my PDA to use as an INTERVENTION when I feel I am losing the struggle. Be Blessed… Rj

  22. MariAnn Brotnov permalink

    Very good lesson! That verse was on the radio station I listen to while driving to- fro to work today! Temptation, you will know them bye their fruits, and saved bye grace! I kind of get confused bye all of these; but I feel first to LOVE GOD !!!!! Then everything will fall into place!

  23. Antje permalink

    Thank you for this God inspiring message. I will ponder on this during the day. God Bless

  24. THELMA MAY SEDDON permalink

    I read the Bible thru each year along with other added scriture which get more interesting each year and now that I am on Facebook and this tonight on tempation will help me I do believe. Thank You for this.

  25. Justinne permalink

    These words are truly uplifting! God is the greatest! I feel much better! Amazing!

  26. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Very powerful message. Thank You God for the way you are working in Mark’s life. I too want to be an instrument of your love. To go forward in glorifying you in all that I do. The temptations are all around us, but my focus is on God. Let’s just keep in communion with him and he will direct our path. I feel so blessed just being part of this journey with so many that love the Lord. May God Continue to Bless us , all.

    • Jacob Revor permalink

      All those things are true but i would say there are also other ways to avoid temptation as well. Thanks for sharing Mark and God bless you

  27. Thank you for you insight and helping me better understand how to resist temptation. God Bless.

  28. hey. thanks. i really needed this. siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. that’s what i want in the end. i want His reward through this. i really do, and i’m at that point where i don’t know what else to say but to seek Him and love Him in all that i do. God bless, praise God

  29. Maliny permalink

    really true, thank you to share.

  30. Lynn Du Bose permalink

    best way to avoid temptation, when you look at a thing don’t stare but look and continue on and dont ponder,because the bible says dont look with lust of the eye and pride of life

  31. leeZoraya permalink

    Thank you Rev. Mark for the enlightment!! God Bless you!

  32. Rachelle permalink

    Thank you for tha pastor Mark. Temptation comes in all form and shape, I do agree with the steps stated in James. When one is not dwelling in the word, temptation is out there waiting to take you in.

  33. Joseph Marbaugh permalink

    Thx rev Mark, temtations are not one of my strong points, but with those suggestions i will be able to stand firm and use those to my advantage. God Bless 🙂

  34. Sorry to be pedantic, mate, but you are asking the wrong question… The question should have been “How can I resist temptation and flee from it?”, which you answer “Temptation is ever present in my life, this is part of life, and not being tempted is unrealistic.” Being tempted is not the sin, the sin is giving into temptation’s lure… Even Jesus couldn’t avoid temptation! 😀 For more of my thoughts on temptation:

    Be blessed and be holy, brother!

  35. kuyet philip permalink

    temptation helps in building a mature christian although many tend to be victims instead of winners when it comes there way, truely i am blessed with this message thanks for your good work

  36. dianne glover permalink

    I say AMEN,AMEN,AMEN!!!!

  37. PATRICIA permalink

    No Man cometh to the father except through me….i love this verse….JESUS is our only salvation..theres no other way to heaven but through him…i love my Jesus but i love my God more..Jesus said to give all thanks to God.. i talk to him every day..i reach to the sky and i can feel him raching back.God gives me peace

  38. I respect this and I need to keep it in my heart. Through God’s grace and mercy I am enduring my temptations, though it gets hard sometimes but I still look to Him with honor, prace, love, and asking of forgiveness. Thank You Lord for all that You do.
    Thank you Rev. Mark, Kevin.

  39. mark i thank you for this and i notice in my walk with my loving lord if i talk to others about god and hear there blessing and just stay thinking about there and my many blessing that god blesses us everyday and i also like to keep in mind where god brought me from i was in a bad life choice and doing bad things not to no one only to my self drugs and life style not good at all but any way i think of where i was and where i am now i may not be where i well be but i am not where i was and the devil love to bring up your pasted because he can’t put no one pasted in anyone mind just your own well god bless you brother mark and may gods light shine brightly on you and your cecil and jason the burdette brothers

  40. Rick permalink

    Thank you for this timely message.

  41. Josh permalink

    I really needed this. This is from God.
    Thanks so much.

  42. I believe that James 1:12 is referring exclusively to overcoming the OFFENSE OF THE CROSS on the “hard road and narrow gate to life” (Matt. 7: 13-14) which, as recorded, 83% of the first disciples did not overcome the first time!

  43. Rosa Elkins permalink

    I forgot to ask if you had thought about sending it out the day before so we can have it by the time we get up early to seek Him? I love this idea you had. Thank you so much for doing it.

  44. Elize permalink

    I am sitting here……… excited as the clock ticks over to 2010 to improve my relationship with God this year and to be a better person, a better wife, a better mum and grandma…. Help me lord and thankyou

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