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The Side Road of Temptation

Introduction:  One of the most beautiful roads in the world is found in Bolivia and is called the Yungas Road.  It is approximately forty miles long and yields amazing scenery.  It has mountains all around and in some places beautiful water beneath.  Tourists from all over the world have made the trip to Bolivia to see this road.  Though this road is known for its amazing beauty it is also known for its danger.  It is no longer in use, but when it was 2-3 cars drove off of its edge on a monthly basis.  On the average 200-300 travelers were killed each year.  The road was extremely busy and in places there was not room for two vehicles to pass each other.  Oftentimes buses and work trucks would line the edge, while other buses and work trucks passed going the opposite direction.  This road that is so alluring in one sense is the pathway to death for many.  This is much like temptation.  We are drawn into it by its appeal, but then in the end it is the worst road we could take.

  1. THE ORIGIN OF TEMPTATION (James 1:13-14)
    1. Temptation Defined
      1. To tempt someone is to test them or try them.
      2. It is not always evil, yet in our passage it is evil for it is dealing with an enticement to sin.
    2. The Lord is Not Responsible (James 1:13)
    3. Our Own Lust is Responsible (James 1:14)
      1. No one is tempted to do something that they do not care to do.
      2. Temptation is only possible if you want to do it.
      3. This explains the incapability for the Lord to be tempted with evil (James 1:13)
  2. THE PROCESS OF TEMPTATION (James 1:14-15)
    1. The Drawing Away of Lust (James 1:14)
      1. This step is subtle and at first is more of a distraction.
      2. It is a tug at the heart to pull you from the road you are on (Deuteronomy 30:17).
      3. It is warring against the drawing of the Lord (Jeremiah 31:3).
      4. There is no appearance of evil (Psalm 28:3).
    2. The Way of Escape (1 Corinthians 10:13)
      1. The temptation will not be above what you are able to bear.
      2. The Lord will provide a way of escape so you do not have to sin.
    3. The Enticement (James 1:14)
      1. No longer is it merely a distraction from what is right.
      2. Now it is a desire to go the wrong direction.
    4. The Product of Lust (James 1:15)
      1. When lust hath conceived
      2. It bringeth forth sin
    5. The Product of Sin (James 1:15)
      1. Sin, when it is finished
      2. Bringeth forth death
    1. Do Not Err
    2. My Beloved Brethren
    3. Illustration of things along the Yungas Road
      1. The phrase Dios te ama meaning God loves you
      2. The crosses along the way testifying to those who have died on its path
    1. The Joy of Finding Temptation (James 1:2)
    2. The Fruit of Victory (James 1:3-4)

Conclusion:  Have you been drawn away from God’s will for your life, by the appeal of the side-roads?  Have you been led down the path of sin or disobedience to the perfect will of God?  It will end in death, maybe physical death, but certainly spiritual death.

Yield Not to Temptation
Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
By:  Horatio R. Palmer