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Summary: This sermon is adapted from Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose.

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This sermon is adapted from Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose.

Intro:

When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, "I do not want to be like a Paul...or any mere man. I want to be like Christ...I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints...Oh, to be more like Christ!" Source Unknown.

“From the very beginning God decided that those who came to

Him - and He knew who would - should become like His Son...” Rom 8:29 (LB)

“God wants us to grow up ... like Christ in everything.” Eph. 4:15 (Msg)

MY 3rd PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST

“Discipleship”

“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him,

who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28 (NIV)

THREE UNEXPECTED TOOLS

1. GOD USES TROUBLE TO TEACH US TO TRUST HIM.

“...troubles produce patience. And patience produces

character, and character produces hope.” Rom 5:3-4 (NCV)

“They came to a garden called Gethsemane and Jesus said to

His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ ... Distress and anguish

came over Him, and He said, "The sorrow in My heart is so great

that it almost crushes Me." Mark 14:32-34 (TEV)

"Father," He said, "everything is possible for you. Please take

this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want your will, not

mine!" Mark 14:36 (NLT)

The worst misfortune that can come to any boy is to be saved from hard lessons and trying duties. Trials and tribulations do more than test us, they educate us. They show us our weaknesses and our needs and draw us toward the source of all good and all strength. Prosperity is a great teacher, but adversity is a greater. Affliction has been called the "wholesome soil of virtue, in which patience, fortitude, and all the graces take root and flourish."

- Paul E. Holdcraft, {Cyclopedia of Bible Illustrations,}(New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press) 10

• Keep a spiritual journal

“At the Lord’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their

progress.” Num. 33:2 (NLT)

• Remember the reward

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an

eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17 (NIV)

2. GOD USES TEMPTATION TO TEACH US TO OBEY.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted

by the devil.” Matt. 4:1 (NIV)

"’Get out of here, Satan’ Jesus told him. ‘The Scriptures say,

Worship only the Lord God. Obey only Him.’" Matt. 4:10 (LB)

Illustration:

ONE WINTER a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. "Oh," cried the Farmer with his last breath, "I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel." If Christians give in to any slight temptation or evil thought, it will eventually come back and bite them!

Number one, remember that it is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus never sinned, yet He was tempted. It’s not a sin to be tempted. Martin Luther used to say, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair,” if you have enough hair for them to build a nest in, that is. It’s not a sin to be tempted.

Number two; remember that everyone is tempted in the same ways, all of us. The Bible says we’re all tempted in the same common ways. One of the ways that Satan tricks us is he makes us feel like our temptation is better than anyone else’s, like “I’m really bad, I’ve got this great temptation, I’ve thought of this thing, this temptation, nobody in all of human history has ever thought of.” No you haven’t.

Your temptation is just like everyone else’s. And if you’re feeling like “Wow, I’m really a bad person”, we’re sort of like the toddler who thinks they’re the first one to come up with the idea of sticking a green bean up their nose. And the truth is, every one of us faces the same temptation. We’re all alike. And if you’re scared by the temptation that you’re facing, feeling like no one else has ever faced this, we’ve all faced the same thing. And God is able to help us through these temptations.

It’s important to remember that you’ll never outgrow temptation. You never get to a point in your life where you become so spiritual or so old, that you’re not tempted anymore. We all are tempted throughout all of our lives. But it’s also important to remember that Jesus teaches us in His experience that every temptation is an opportunity to do good, to make the right choice. It’s a stepping stone toward being more like Jesus Christ. Notice what Jesus did when he was tempted in Matthew 4:10. Jesus said, “Get out of here, Satan. The scriptures say, worship only the Lord God. Obey only Him’”. He confronted the temptation.

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