Summary: This sermons says that Christians should be aware of the different areas of life that the devil would tempt us and know how to deal with them.
LIFE’S AREAS OF TEMPTATION
ILLUSTRATIONS People in other nations who print signs in English often make interesting, and sometimes humorous mistakes. A sign in a Paris hotel read, "Please leave your values at the front desk." Many a traveler far from home and its restraints has done exactly that. Real values cannot be laid aside that easily; not if they are sincerely held! We cannot take the advice of Oscar Wilde who wrote; "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." That's funny at first, but the longer you think about it you find it sad. Sin, temptation, spiritual values, cannot be lightly brushed aside with shallow humor.-(Robert Shannon, Preaching March/April 1998)
After the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted or tested by the devil. Depending on the intention at hand, the temptation or test can be positive in which one proves his or her faithfulness or trustworthiness. Or it could be negative, in which one is entice to fail. The test could come in the form of challenge, seduction, burden, sufferings, threat, and an offense.
In the case of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ it was both – to prove his trustworthiness and to entice him to failure.
The temptation of Jesus is not just relevant to our Lord as the Messiah but also instructional for all of His followers. If the Christ was tempted, then His followers would experience it too. What I would like for us to focus on is the areas of our personal lives that the devil intends to attack us. Christ’s personal experience with the devil gave us an insight which aspect of our lives we would experience temptation or testing.
How does the devil tempt us?
1. Every person would be tempted in the area of what is NECESSARY IN LIFE (vv. 2-4).
The first temptation is related to His needs. The text said that he was hungry since he fasted for forty days and forty nights. The devil assumed that he needs to eat and challenged to use His power if he is truly the Son of God to turn the stones into bread. “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
The response of Jesus indicates what is necessary in order for man to live in this world. The devil implied that bread alone is what we need to live. Bread is a metaphor for our physical or material provisions. Jesus however indicates that bread alone is not enough. He said that we live on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
“Word” refers to the spoken word of God as recorded in the Scriptures. Spoken word of God signifies His will, desires, and plan for our lives. Bread will give you the energy to live but the Word of God would give you the guidance on how to live safely, wisely, productively, relationally, ethically, and morally.
ILLUSTRATION Your automobile needs gasoline to cause the engine to run but without a map you won’t be able to go to your destination safely and promptly. In the same way, man needs material provision in order to live but Word of God would show him how to live meaningfully and significantly.