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Summary: Temptations are designed to make us want to trade the favor and blessing of God for something that won’t satisfy and won’t last. 3 perspectives to help us overcome temptation:

Responding to Temptation

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. 3 Then the Devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread." 4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.' " 5 Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, 'He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.' " 7 Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'Do not test the Lord your God.' " 8 Next the Devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. 9 "I will give it all to you," he said, "if you will only kneel down and worship me." 10 "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the Scriptures say, 'You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.' " 11 Then the Devil went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.

Intro: How It Happened:

God populated the earth with broccoli & cauliflower & spinach, green & yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man & Woman would live long & healthy lives.

Then Satan created McDonald’s.

And McDonald’s brought forth the 99-cent double-cheeseburger.

Then Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

And Man said, "Super-size them." And Man gained pounds.

God created healthful yogurt so woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.

Then Satan brought forth chocolate. And woman gained pounds.

God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

Then Satan brought forth ice cream. And woman gained more pounds.

God said, "I have sent your heart healthy vegetables & olive oil with which to cook them."

Then Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

And Man gained pounds & his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

So God brought forth running shoes & Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

Then Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels. And Man gained even more pounds.

God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat & brimming with nutrition.

Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin & sliced the starchy center into chips & deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

And Man clutched his remote control & ate the potato chips soaked in cholesterol.

Satan saw it & said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed, & created quadruple bypass heart surgery.

Then Satan created HMO’s. (Adapted from www.mamarocks.com)

-We’re talking about temptation today.

-C. S. Lewis made these insightful observations about temptation: “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is....Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means.” [Today in the Word, November, 1998, p. 24]

-Learn to recognize a temptation for what it is! You may not see an ugly guy with too much hair gel in long red underwear with 2 horns on his head, whispering sinisterly, or hissing out temptations - “Just do it! You know you want to!” Satan is much more subtle! He is more likely to let you think it is your idea, or better yet, God’s idea, or perhaps he’ll convince you that it is the only viable option. Temptations are designed to make us want to trade the favor and blessing of God for something that won’t satisfy and won’t last.

-Today I’d like to look at 3 perspectives to help us overcome temptation:

1. Don't live for your appetites - Live for God!

Matthew 4:3-4 3 Then the Devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread." 4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.' "

-Life is so much more than this! Hunger is better than Disobedience; Feeding my appetite doesn’t really add anything to my life, but obeying God does! Sometimes we can hear God better when we decide to neglect the physical appetite and focus on the spiritual. Jesus did it for 40 days; don’t you think we could afford to miss a meal or two? And of course the value of a fast isn’t just that you go without food; the value is what you replace it with – time and interaction with God!

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