3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Studying the response of Jesus to the devil's temptation lays a foundation for the child of God to withstand temptation.

“Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written,

“Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 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

“On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.”’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.”’

“Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.” [1]

Youth today think they have the inside scoop on current genres of music. Lost in their own world, their earbuds blocking all sound but their music, youth appear convinced that people of advanced age know nothing about music, forgetting such music forms as swing, jazz, rock, blues and even rap. Young people appear convinced that they invented the alliterative rhyming that is known as rap. Our young people need to learn there is nothing new under the sun. Long years ago, alliteration and rhyming defined a certain genre of music that captured the attention of younger people who lived in that far distant day. I guess that youth today have never heard of Nervous Norvus. [2]

Jimmy Drake, a truck driver living in Oakland, California, recorded his first hit, “Transfusion,” in 1956, identifying as Nervous Norvus. The novelty song rose to number fourteen on the charts in that year.

Tooling down the highway doing 79

I'm a twin pipe papa and I'm feelin’ fine

Hey man dig that, was that a red stop sign–

(Scrreeech-BANG!!tinkle)

Transfusion, transfusion,

I'm just a solid mess of contusions

Never, never, never gonna’ speed again

Slip the blood to me Bud [3]

Long before Beyoncé, when Rihanna was just a twinkle in her mother’s eye, before 50 Cent or Keyshia ever warbled a tune, there was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. These young musicians from the Bronx transformed what was becoming known as Hip-hop to address social issues of the day. One of their biggest hits was a song entitled, “The Message.” The chorus of that song voices a lament sadly familiar to deprived souls living in the inner-city area. One verse goes,

A child is born with no state of mind

Blind to the ways of mankind

God is smiling on you, but he's frowning too

Because only God knows what you'll go through

You'll grow in the ghetto living second-rate

And your eyes will sing a song called deep hate

The places you play and where you stay

Looks like one great big alleyway

You'll admire all the number-book takers

Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers

Driving big cars, spending twenties and tens

And you'll wanna’ grow up to be just like them, huh

Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers

Pickpocket peddlers, even panhandlers

You say “I'm cool, huh, I'm no fool.”

But then you wind up dropping outta’ high school

Now you're unemployed, all null and void

Then, the chorus laments,

Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge

I'm trying not to lose my head

It’s like a jungle sometimes

it makes me wonder how I keep from going under [4]

I’m speaking to people who could voice those same lyrics. You are exhausted trying to keep up with life. It’s like a jungle sometimes, and you wonder how you keep from going under. I don’t want to give the devil more than he is due, but we are under constant attack by the world, the flesh and the devil. There is enough temptation from the world. Our senses are constantly assailed by the alluring call from the denizens of this dying world to surrender to “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life” [see 1 JOHN 2:16]. It’s like a jungle sometimes.

You work to the point of exhaustion so you can provide a better life for your family, and the government politely takes a chunk of your life in order to provide for those who won’t work or to ensure that the politicians can make another junket to study life in the Mediterranean. It’s like a jungle sometimes.

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