Summary: Do not be surprised when temptation comes at times when you are growing in Christ and when it comes remember that you are a child of the King. Let us commit ourselves to allowing our Father’s words dwell in our hearts so that we might be prepared when tem
When Temptation Comes, Matthew 4:1-11
Our family pet, Happy the Saint Bernard, really doesn’t eat as much food as one might think she would for such a large dog but just because she doesn’t eat as much food as one might think doesn’t mean she does not have good taste!
Happy is not such a big fan of dry dog food. If you fill her bowl with dry dog food she will often go to it and use her big nose like a shovel to push all of the little dog food nuggets out onto the floor!
In fact, each evening after dinner I usually take any left over scraps of food and mix them up in her dry dog food so that in eating the scraps she will also eat the dog food. My wife Christina is much more prone to just leaving the dry dog food until she eats it but her daddy spoils her a little bit more than her mom does.
Happy is always on the prowl for high quality food. And her life is just filled with temptation. It really is terrible for her. I remember one evening a few months ago. I had stayed up after my family had gone to bed, as I sometimes do to work on research for a sermon or just enjoy the quiet.
This particular evening I got a little hungry and I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich – my favorite kind of sandwich. The whole time I was preparing the sandwich Happy was laying on the kitchen floor watching me. Every now and then she would lift her head to sniff the smell of the sandwich in the air.
More than once I assured her that this was not her sandwich and to keep her big nose away from my sandwich. After I had made the sandwich I placed it on a plate with a few wheat thin crackers and a pickle and carried the plate into my home office as Happy trailed just a few feet behind me sniffing the air.
I sat down at my desk and Happy sat down just next to me as she would often do if she thought there was a chance for some leftover scraps. After I had sat down I turned – with the still uneaten sandwich in my hand – to reach for my drink and just as I did the dog jumped up and took the whole sandwich from me, chewed once and swallowed the whole thing!
As it turns out the temptation was simply more than Happy could bear to stand on that particular evening! Just so you know the story did have a happy ending and not just of for the dog! I locked her away and made another sandwich.
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the Lenten Season. It is during this season that we examine ourselves in the light of what God has done for us on the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Today’s Scripture reading recounts the events of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness after He had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. These events occur just prior to the beginning of Jesus public ministry.
As we examine this passage of Scripture I would ask that we pay particular attention to the principals that we see in the way that Jesus responded to temptation which we can apply to our lives today.
Why is it that opportunity knocks only once, yet temptation bangs on the door constantly? We all face temptations of various types in this life.
Today, let us learn from the life of Christ how to deal with temptation.
Principal #1 (v2-3): When we draw close to God Satan will tempt you. It is at those times in our life when we are seeking God through prayer and worship; it is as we get closer to God that we will come under attack.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (NASB)
The Bible teaches us that we are living within the midst of a war. You and I can either choose to be an innocent bystander – which is most likely to make us unarmed casualties – or we can recognize the nature of this conflict and arm ourselves with the whole council of God which will enable us for victory!
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)
I read the story of a Pastor who had an 11 year old son. He tells the story of a friend of his son who called one day, announcing he had a problem with spiritual warfare. The Pastor asked him what he could do to help, and he replied he wanted to speak with my son, Scott.