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Summary: Following Christ’s example allows us to survive the attacks of the adversary.

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Verse: Matthew 4: 1-10

Topic: Temptation

Probing Question: How do we survive temptation?

Key Word: ways

Subject: Ways of Surviving Temptation

Aim: To provide the congregation with three ways of surviving temptation.

Title: Desert Survival Tactics

INTRODUCTION

Opening:

Have you ever been on an outdoor camping trip? If so, can you remember the preparation that you went through to be ready for your trip? Every wilderness adventure requires the participants to be prepared for any eventuallity.

Illustration:

One of the key items to have for any outdoor and wilderness trip is a Survival Kit. Some of the contents of that kit may include: First Aid Supplies, Emergency Rations, Water, Cooking Utensils, Emergency Blankets, etc.

Three Items of Prime Importance to any Survival Kit would be:

1) A Survival Manual

2) A Light Source

3) A Map

Illustration:

Beginning the end of this month the second program in the television Survivor series will begin. In Survivor: The Australian Outback, 16 individuals have been stranded in the rugged Australian outback of Queensland. Here, the Survivors face a land filled with beauty and danger, with sharp contrasts in weather and terrain: extreme heat and cold, arid plains, wet tropical rainforests, treacherous rapids and spectacular waterfalls.

Queensland boasts the most diverse animal species of any Australian State, with over 70 species of marsupials, including kangaroos, koalas, possums and wallabies; 600 bird species, including emus, kookaburras, cassowaries and parrots; 79 species of snakes; 161 lizard species; and over 47 species of bats. The Survivors also risk potentially dangerous encounters with crocodiles, as well as with deadly snakes and spiders. Out of the top ten most deadly snakes in the world, Australia is the home for nine of them. The vegetation is equally diverse, ranging from eucalyptus open forest to lush tropical rain forest, and poisonous plants and mushrooms abound.

Transition:

The motto of this second Survival show is Outwit, Outplay and Outlast.

After his baptism in the Jordan River Christ went up into the desert to be tested by the devil. He fasted forty days and nights. During his time in the desert he was tempted three times. The adversary attempted to Outwit Jesus, Outplay Jesus and Outlast Jesus only to find that Jesus was able to reverse the outcome. As Christians we live in a very hostile environment and like Jesus we need to be prepared in order to survive.

Desert Survival

4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness1 to be tempted by the devil.

4:2 After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished.2

4:3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread."3

4:4 But he answered,4 "It is written, ’Man5 does not live6 by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’"7

4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city,8 had him stand9 on the highest point10 of the temple,

4:6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ’He will command his angels concerning you’ and ’with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’"11

4:7 Jesus said to him, "Once again it is written: ’You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’"12

4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur.13

4:9 And he said to him, "I will give you all these things if you fall down and worship14 me."

4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Go away, Satan! For it is written: ’You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’"15

4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels16 came and began ministering to his needs.

CONTENT

OUTWIT YOUR ADVERSARY

(Matthew 4: 1-4)

Explanation

Studying God’s word enables us to meet any situation with confidence. The Bible gives us instruction in righteousness allowing us to outwit the enemy.

Illustration

There is a manual for just about everything. We need to study a driver’s manual to pass our driver’s examination. A first aid manual is in most first aid kits so we can help ourselves or others in an emergency. Technical manuals help us when we have problems with our latest software program or hardware on our computer. For the Christian the Bible is our manual.

Application

Survival Tip #1 Study the Word

As Christians we need to be prepared for the attacks of the adversary. That means we need to be consistent in our study of the Bible, our quiet times and prayer.

OUTPLAY YOUR ADVERSARY

(Matthew 4: 5-7)

Explanation

There are so many scams, deceptions and traps in our world it is sometimes difficult to discern the truth. The devil used scripture to convince Jesus to throw himself off a cliff. However, Jesus knew the biblical truth as God intended and quoted scripture back to his adversary. It is so important to have a correct understanding of God’s word. Only through consistent study and application of God’s word do we come to a full understanding of God’s revelation to his people.

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