Summary: When we are reallly tempted, what do we do? How do we respond? Jesus has the answers if we just listen to Him.
THE JESUS CONFLICT
New Liberty Christian Church, Veedersburg, IN 8-22-10 with Rich McQuinn, Minister
TEXT: MATTHEW 4:1-11
INTRODUCTION: Many of us have played the game of life this week and lost. We made the wrong decision, we were tempted and gave in, we were knocked down and did not get up, we suffered physical conditions and it bothered our faith. Some of you got burnt this week, or you are feeling guilty, or you paid too high a price for your actions. In other words, like most of us, you got beaten up this week!
All of us have played a game of checkers. It all starts with the right first move. Then it becomes a mind game. You move, your opponent moves and so on until the end of the game.
Then there is a game of chess. Another mind game. Again it begins with the first move. The object is to capture the opponent’
s king. The game can last for just seconds or for a few hours depending on the two thinkers playing the game. It is a game of Check, where you give warning to the other person that your next move will be to capture his/her king and the game will be over. After hearing the words Check then you have a single move to get out of Check. If you know your game, even before you let your chess mate know that they are in Check, you have already seen the end of the game and you know you are going to win. Presto, you are the winner! Well, at least in this game.
Chess is a game of a move and a counter move. You make your move, your game partner makes a move against you and so on the game goes. So is life the same way.
God made the first move and ole satan moved in another direction. You may remember that satan took one third of the Angels with him when he made his counter move against God-----Almighty God. The battle for mans soul, your soul is not finished until you expire in this game of life.
Satan attacked Adam in the ripe Garden of Eden. He tempted him, he kept after him, and he lied to him. Satan then ran from him when Adam found out he had sinned against God. Adam was in a luscious garden full of good things, but was sent out to the wilderness. Satan gave the counter move here and it cost all of us dearly. We are still paying the price for the original sin of Adam.
In the Old Testament we see in the opening pages a war going on between God’s people and Satan’s armies. God made a move and then followed by satan making his own move. God bringing the Light and satan bringing in the darkness. God bringing in faith and obedience and satan bringing in separation and doubts. He is a crafty fellow that is bent on causing you a lot of headaches and heartaches unless you listen and follow what God has planned for your life.
Who is going to win? There are many stories out of the Old Testament where we see God blessing a nation and satan coming in the back door to damn the same nation. God to bless, satan to damn. Something for you to think about, don’t you think?
There are about 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament. We hear nothing about the work of God.
Matthew in the New Testament opens a new dawn. A Gospel writing to folks so that they would know the history of Jesus, God’s special gift to mankind. Matthew begins by telling us a who’s who account of who belongs to whom. In verse 16 we see the name of Jesus popping out of the pages of God’s Word. His name is Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind!
We see His birth, His discussion with the leaders in the temple, as well as His public introduction by John the Baptist—His cousin. We see His coronations, His baptism in the river Jordan, the pronouncement from God Himself on His Son. Do you remember these events? God Himself told us to LISTEN to His Son. He was pleased with His Son, pay attention to what He had to say. That is exactly what we are going to be doing today!
Before Jesus enters His ministry, He must first be tested. To see kind of what He is really made of and IF He is up for this task of saving the entire world of their sins. He wanders into the Wilderness of Judah. It measures approximately 35 by 15 miles. It is very hot and barren and very dry. You can not find a shade tree around. That is where Jesus went.