Sermons

Summary: A time of testing and proving ourselves. A message dealing with temptations using the example of Jesus in the wilderness.

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The Devil Made Me Do It

Matthew 4: 1-11 February 17, 2002

As we begin the season of Lent, we begin a journey that takes us through the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ… Over the next several weeks, we will be exploring the gospels of John & Matthew, as they lead us down the road to the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection of Jesus…

Lent is a time for us to meditate & reflect on the life of Christ – to realize & appreciate what Christ has done for us… But it’s also a time for us to reflect upon our life & our relationship with Christ…

As we begin this 40 day journey leading up to Easter, I encourage you to spend time reflecting upon the grace of God – spend time meditating & praying… let it be a time of healing & a time of change – let it be a time of renewal for your soul… May God build you up & strengthen you in the days to come…

As we look at the life of Christ, today we see that Christ was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.

On occasions, I will change the hymns on Sunday morning… I’ll tell Debbie, “The Lord led me to change a hymn this morning…” and usually, her response is, “the devil made you do it…”

I remember growing up with Flip Wilson & the character he played, Geraldine. One of his most popular sayings was, “the devil made me do it…”

This morning, I want us to realize that the devil doesn’t make us do anything… I will say that the devil gives us opportunities to do things – these opportunities are called temptations… but even though the devil may tempt us, we still have our own will & free choice…

Temptation is something that ALL OF US has to deal with… There is not a person on earth that is exempt from temptation… If the devil would tempt Jesus, you better believe he’ll tempt you… Have you ever wondered why opportunity knocks once – yet temptation bangs on the door constantly?

Temptation is an everyday thing… it’s common to be tempted – in fact, if you’re not being tempted, something’s wrong with you… I’ve always said, “If you’re not fighting a battle against Satan, it may be because you’re on his side…”

The 1st thing I want us to realize this morning, is that TEMPTATION IS NOT A SIN… The Bible says that Jesus was tempted – but it also says that He was without sin… therefore, temptation cannot be a sin… It’s only when we give in to our temptation that it becomes a sin…

To help you better understand this – temptation is like a sin in an incubator… We begin with an idea or a thought in our minds – we begin playing the “what if” games & we try to rationalize our thoughts – trying to convince ourselves that what we’re thinking is NOT that bad…

But as we continue to think & rationalize our thoughts – the incubator gets warmer & warmer… and the longer we dwell on the temptation, it begins to grow – we begin to see it, we convince ourselves that it’s not that harmful – and when we come to the point of giving in to our temptation – that temptation has grown in the incubator of our minds and has become a full sized living sin against God…


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