Summary: A person cannot live the victorious Christian life without Jesus. Here is an easy to remember five point acrostic outline spelling the name "Jesus." Christ is our example in this text on "How to overcome temptation."
On Friday night of last week, we had a men’s retreat. Sitting around the camp fire, my Son, Jerry, led us in a discussion on the subject, “How to overcome the lust of the flesh?” My meditation went to the text that we just read.
Jesus is our best example of everything. He showed us how to be victorious over temptation. In studying this passage, I came up with five points from his life that should help all of us in our daily struggles. To help us remember these important points, I developed this acrostic message using the letters in the name of "Jesus."
Another note. You cannot live the Christian life without Christ. You must have Jesus for without him, “You can do nothing.” Read John 15.
1. Join the Battle.
Jesus was led into the wilderness. Life is not easy. God made life so difficult that we could not live it without him. Every one is going through a hard time.
The Devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness in three different areas. Physically. He was challenged to turn the stones into bread. Spiritually. He was challenged to jump from the pinnacle and let the angels catch him up. And Psychologically. He was told that he could have the kingdoms of this world if he would simply bow down to the Satan.
In a recent film, actor Mel Gibson played the part of an American Soldier in the film, “The Patriot.” At first the patriot did not want to join in the fight for freedom, but the red coats marched on his land, and left him with no choice. He had to fight.
As a Pastor I need to challenge the people of my Church to join in the battle. We need faithfulness in every area of Church work and ministry.
2. Exercise Daily.
God cannot use a lazy person. The word for “discipleship” comes from the word “discipline.”
Unfortunately, too many children grow up without the benefit of discipline. They get up when they want to. Watch whatever they want to on television. Eat whatever they want to from the refrigerator. Go where ever they want to. And go to bed whenever they want to. Consequently, when these children grow into their adult years, they do not know how to say no to the flesh.
Jesus disciplined himself to fast for forty days in the wilderness. He knew how to “die to self.”
Paul said in, (1 Cor 9:27) But I keep under my body, and
bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
3. Stay in Flight.
Note that Jesus was “led of the Spirit.”
The only way to God the Father is through God the Son. Once a person accepts God the Son as their personal Savior, God the Holy Spirit comes into their life. His presence brings resurrection power. We can now “mount up our wings as eagles. (Isaiah 40:31) That is why I have entitled this point, “Stay in Flight.”
How does a person know if he is “walking in the Spirit?”
Study this verse with me.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
There are four evidences of Spirit filled life:
1. Great peace.
3. The law.
4. Nothing shall offend them.
Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, and by the Spirit, he was able to overcome the temptation of the wicked one.
4. Understand your Bible.
Every time that Satan attacked Christ, Jesus responded to him with Scripture.
How well do you know your Bible?
The Bible is your hammer, your sword, your rock, and your life. We cannot live a victorious Christian life without abiding in Christ. Let me challenge you to become a student of the Word of God.
5. See the Big Picture.
When Satan tempted Christ to turn the stones into bread, Christ did not see little pieces of bread. He looked upon the stones and saw himself as the chief corner stone! He could not fail, the plan of the ages was relying upon him to become the Savior of the world.
Christ saw the Big Picture. The Bible says that he set his face as a “flint.” (Isaiah 50:7)
I heard this story of Billy Graham when he was a young evangelist. One evening he began his drive back to his motel room from a crusade meeting. His car had become known in the community. He came to a certain stop light and a woman open the door on the passenger side of the car and slid into the seat. She was wearing nothing at all but a robe. She took that off. Billy Graham left the car keys in the ignition, open his car door, and ran from the scene!