Summary: This sermon is geared toward youth regarding the subject of temptation and ways to fight it.
Have you ever been tempted to steal? To take drugs? To do something you know is wrong because a friend or someone you know dared you to? If you haven’t, you may just be and anomaly – which is something not ordinary or normally seen. (Kinda like that person sitting next to you over there – NO, just teasing!)
But of course you’ve been tempted to do wrong things because you’re a human being and human beings aren’t perfect. (Some of us may think we are, but we’re not.)
The dictionary defines temptation as – the inducement to do evil or pressure to do bad.
The Bible idea of temptation means more of a “testing” or “proving” of a person’s character or morals.
Did you know that even Jesus was faced with temptation? The Bible shows in Matthew 4: 1-11, how Jesus was allowed to be tempted by Satan. (READ)
Now we know Jesus was a perfect man, But 40 days without food!? How many of us can even go 3 days without food? 2 days? 1 day? Man, all’s I have to do is miss breakfast or lunch to think I’m starving to death.
THEN, while Jesus is weak from lack of food, the devil tells him to throw himself off a mountain and the angels would take care of him. NOW, at that point, I would have been very tempted to just go ahead and throw myself off that mountain and let the angels take care of me! Wouldn’t you?
THEN, the devil offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Hmm – power, riches, control, anything he could want in the world, all without ever having to die on the cross.
What I’m getting at is – even though Jesus was perfect, he had a body just like us. He had to eat, drink and sleep. He wanted friends and to be liked. He had feelings – just like us. But Jesus resisted the temptation to do what he knew was wrong. Thank God for that or we’d still be looking for a Savior today.
But – Why are we tempted? Even when we know it’s wrong and we can get into trouble? Think about that designer pair of jeans you want. What would you do to get that pair of jeans? How far would you go?
In James 1:14-15, the Bible tells us “each person is tempted when by his own desire (wants), he is dragged away and enticed.
How about you? Do you find yourself thinking sometime: Man, I really would love to have that sweater or shirt? Gosh, I really want them to like me – maybe if I just try one little pill or joint they will. If I don’t cheat on this test, I’ll fail and my whole life will be ruined, so just this once. It’s just a candy bar, they have lots, nobody will ever miss it. Or the big one – EVERYBODY’S doing it!
** When you want something so much that you just can’t stop thinking about it, you just may find yourself doing what you know is wrong. ** And the longer you let yourself think about doing something wrong – the greater the chance you’ll do it.
We all face temptations, everyday; some little, some big, no matter how old we are – 7, 17, 27, or 70.
Some of the big temptations youth face today are: drugs and alcohol use, sex before marriage, gang activities, lying to your parents about where you’re going to spend the night, cheating on exams, running away from home – just to name a few. (I’m sure you can think of many other)
SO, how can you get help to fight these things, especially when you know you or someone else can get hurt?
In I Corinthians 10:13, we read that “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful so that when you are tempted, along with the temptation, He will provide the way out, for you to be able to stand up under it.”
What are some of the ways out?
Well, 1st of all, you can go to your parents for help. Yeah, you heard me right, I said your parents. (Yeah, I know, laugh, laugh, scoff, scoff) But, they were your exact same age once. They weren’t born and then POOF! They’re parents! They had to grow up through the teen years just like you. More important, THEY LOVE YOU and have experience to fall back on. BUT, if for whatever reason, you feel you just cannot talk to your parents, how about your youth pastor? Or pastor? A good friend? A teacher? Someone you trust.
And don’t forget – you can pray. This is very important. The Bible tells us in I John 5:14 that we can have confidence in Him because “He hears us.” And to cast our worries on Him because He cares for you.