When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:13—17).

If God created our world and our relationships for us and saw that these were “very good” (Genesis 1:31), then what happened? How did our world end up in such a mess? Why did all God’s goodness intended for us unravel into the mess in which we find ourselves today? What happened to the open and innocent “naked and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25) of this first relationship? Why did it to devolve into hiding from God, blaming each other, and hurtful actions that lead to death?

When we open the beginning book of the Bible, Genesis, we find that God had given man and woman everything as a blessing; everything, except one thing. They were not God. The Creator asked his human creations to trust his goodness and recognize this difference. Though they were made to be like God (Genesis 1:26-31), these humans were not God.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of God’s goodness all around them, this first couple chose not to trust God. Instead, they sought to believe the lie that they would become God (Genesis 3:5). While being warned of the consequences of their rebellion — death — they chose to doubt the goodness of the one who had given them everything. They chose to do life their way. Their rebellion led to shame, blame, loss, and death. Death and ruin were unleashed in the world of God’s making.

But, why?

Why would God give us a choice so we could fail in our love for him? Or, can there be love and trust without having choices?

Why do we as humans choose to reject God’s goodness and choose what he asks us not to do? Or, do we ever fully appreciate the goodness God has given us?

Why is trusting God so hard despite all the goodness and grace that God has demonstrated for us? Or will we ever choose trust over doubt in our walk with the Creator?

Why don’t we choose God and his goodness over the hurt and heartache of rebellion? Or do we ever fully understand the consequences of rebellion before we feel them?

Clearly, we are tempted to turn from God by something in our own hearts (James 1:14-15 & Genesis 3:6-7). But, we have help in doubting God, distrusting his goodness, and choosing rebellion (1 Peter 5:8 & Genesis 3:1-15). Still, why would we ever choose the doubt in our hearts or the seduction of Satan over the goodness of God who has given us ”every good and perfect gift”?

In our video segment today, James invites us to think about these kinds of questions:

As we think about these things, here are some questions for us to consider. What choices does God give to us today?

"Sin" is a failure to trust God with our lives, going against his ways, wishes, and designs for us and the world, resulting in hurt or harm to our relationships with God and others. How have you seen sin affect your relationships or that of others?

When Adam and Eve sinned, their relationship with God and one another was destroyed, resulting in the loss of the close community that was found in the Garden of Eden. Where do people go to try to find community outside of God?

What did Eve find attractive in taking the fruit that God told them not to eat of? What does this teach us about the types of things that may tempt us?

What does this story teach us about God and people? and discuss:

  • What choices does God give to us today?

  • "Sin" is a failure to trust God with our lives, going against his ways, wishes, and designs for us and the world, resulting in hurt or harm to our relationships with God and others. How have you seen sin affect your relationships or that of others?
  • Why did it to devolve into hiding from God, blaming each other, and hurtful actions that lead to death?
  • When Adam and Eve sinned, their relationship with God and one another was destroyed, resulting in the loss of the close community that was found in the Garden of Eden. Where do people go to try to find community outside of God?
  • What did Eve find attractive in taking the fruit that God told them not to eat of? What does this teach us about the types of things that may tempt us?

    What does this story teach us about God and people?

But the most important question is this:

How do we find the goodness that God intended for us and turn away from the choices that bring disaster upon us and those we love?

And this is the question we will pursue as we journey forward finding our story in God's story. Be sure and join us in two weeks for more of Finding My Story in God's Story!



For more ideas, please check out James' full discussion guide which also contains today's video. This guide includes ideas on how to share this in a discussion group or personal discussion with believers, unbelievers, and inquirers.

Until next time, let's keep asking God to help us find our story in his story!