James 1:13–15 (ESV): Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death
James 4:1–4 (ESV): What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
Last week we learned that each of us is born with a sin nature. While there is debate amongst theologians what that means, the Bible is very clear about what that means about our sin. So often we tend to blame our sin on others, circumstances, or the Devil. One of the conclusions that we and our children may draw from last week’s lesson is that it is not our fault that we sin. We could blame Adam for our sins. Yet, the Bible is clear our sins are paid for by us. Why? We actually sin against God and His wrath is what we deserve.
It would be easy if we could just blame Adam, but we cannot. We will not get to Heaven and get to argue our case why our sin is not our fault.
We also like to blame others for our sin. We get angry and sin because our wife did X,Y, or Z. Your son claims he pushed his sister because she was being mean. From our earliest days, we blame each other for our sin.
But God tells us in James that our sin is from our own wicked desires (see above Scripture). It is not God who makes us sin because of the sin nature of Adam. It is not our neighbor that causes us to sin. It is not our circumstances that causes us to sin. We sin because that is what we desire. Our nature makes us crave it, but we still choose it. Even once we are saved we still have the indwelling flesh that craves sin. The Spirit cleanses us and changes us to want Christ more than sin. But each time we sin, it is because we want to.
We yell at our wives because we want things our way because we think we are God. Our children yell, “No!” at our command for the same reason. You lust after someone other than your spouse because of your wicked desires that do not want to enjoy God’s blessings according to His Law. Your child wants her cousin’s Christmas present instead of her present for the same reason.
How concerned are you about your holiness compared to your child’s obedience?
You should desire and require obedience from your children, but do you expect the same thing from yourself and your relationship with God. Do you look for ways to follow God’s Law and see your disobedience or delayed obedience the way you see your children’s?
Identify a sin in your life that you struggle with. Why do you sin in that way?
Why did Jesus have to die for that sin?
Memorize: James 1:14: "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire."
Pray: God would make you and your family hate your own sin.
Activity: As a family, have each person discuss a sin they struggle with (if a member has a problem identifying it, help them out) and discuss why they tend to sin in that way. While circumstances and others may be factors (tiredness, hunger, mean people, horrible boss) our sin comes from our inner desires. Discuss as a family why you need to identify the true source of one’s sin and how it leads us to repent well.
A Family Devotion Guide similar to this one will be provided on our website under Fellowship Church Resources and social media every Friday for you to use at home. Then, visit our Facebook page, Friday night's at 6:00pm, to hear Pastor Armando Yzaguirre Jr. chat about this devotional.