February 15

Every time I read James 1:15, the words of a friend ring in my mind. He used to say that this verse was the warning against LSD in the Bible. “Then when Lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth Sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth Death” (James 1:15 – Bold and CAP emphasis is mine). This is the reason for the title of this devotion today … Lust + Sin = Death (LSD). When I was a teenager, the drug, LSD, claimed the lives of multitudes of teenagers and adults. It was quite a popular drug because of the crazy experiences people said they had while under its influence. The problem was that many people died as a result of the drug.

Many Christians today (thankfully, including me) will read this and have no idea of the effect of this drug, because they have never taken it. However, what James warned about here in this first chapter, is known by all of us who are living today. We might not like to admit it, but the previous verse makes the claim that “… every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust …” The fact is that temptation, and lust is an enemy of every person reading this today. It does not affect only the young, or only men, or only those who have become carnal.

The Bible definition of lust as a “desire, craving, longing, or desire for what is forbidden.” Ever since Adam and Eve, all of us live lives that face the temptation to have what is forbidden. We often associate the word lust with sexual sins, but it is a more far-reaching problem that that singular area of temptation. For example, when I am trying to lose weight, and I walk past that plate of warm, chocolate chip cookies my wife just made, I lust for one of them (or more). I desire, I crave them. The temptation of seeing them is not sin, until I reach out and place one of them in my mouth. Once I reach out and take that cookie (lust hath conceived); and that chocolate chip cookie enters my mouth and I swallow it (it becomes sin), guilt can set in all it likes … that cookie is headed to my belly! And when that cookie is eaten (when it is finished it bringeth forth pounds)!  I am using an illustration of which I think we can all relate. This is a simple, and might be a silly illustration, but when lust in our lives gives way to sin, that sin is going to bring death in our hearts and can even bring death to our testimonies. Today I am thankful that I know God personally, for many reasons. As I read this verse today, I am thankful that when I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive my sin, and that He can even restore life to “dead” areas of my life as a result of my yielding to temptation. Confessing + Repentance = Forgiveness! Praise God!

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