Matthew 4: 1-10
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN
Today I want to start by asking you a question.
When you are facing a trial or temptation, do you follow a plan to get your solution in hand or is it all down to whatever luck comes along?
God places the details of trials faced by other, in prominent places in the bible so that we can learn from them and get answers quickly to face our trials!
Take the case of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness.
The first thing that we learn in 'verse 3' is that, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”
In other words, when you are facing a trial look to the word of God for an answer! In the bible or God's 'Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth', we will find instruction and advice and tips, correction and principles for all situations.
So, point No. 1. - Check out the word of God.
The next thing that we learn in 'verse 7' is, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”.
In other words don't do silly or dangerous things on the basis that, God will protect you even if what you do is wrong! Uh! Uh!
To give an example. The bible tells us that God will protect His people and that Just as He sent Jesus into the world, He sends us.
So we KNOW that if we have faith just as Jesus said, we can, 'Heal the sick, cleans the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils.' And,whatever Jesus could do we are capable of doing, and even greater things, He said.
Does that mean that as you are rowing along in a small boat on a lake you can step out and walk on the water?
When Jesus walked on water it was because He did not have other transportation and wanted to get across the lake. He was not heading for the boat with the disciples to impress them! You can check out the incident and see that He was intending to pass them by! Jesus did not use God's power to impress others. It was always a legitimate purpose.
But this should nevertheless encourage us to know the power of God in our lives for good. Our good and the good of others.
This means drawing closer to God every day so that calling on Him in time of need is calling on a friend who loves you and acts on your behalf; A close friend – so close that He is like a part of you!
This brings us on to the third thing that we can learn from the gospel reading today.
Jesus said in 'verse 10', “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. “
In other words, “Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you!” as it says in the book of James.
This does not mean that he will not come back and try it on again.
Satan or one of his minions will check back to see if you are keeping close to God or if you've let your love and awe of God diminish and left a place for the devil to set up shop again!
Prayer and worship are weapons to keep Satan away from your door.
Notice in the armour that we are to put on and not ever take off, in Ephesians 6:10-18 that we are to pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests!
All kinds of prayer will include thanksgiving, praise, worship, intercession and petition.
If our prayers are only intercession and petition then we are not seeing God as a loving friend. We see him as a means to get a hand-out!
Now I'm sure that members of this church are constantly striving to get closer to God and to know His love in a personal and intimate way. That is what God wants.
When we gather together like this, God is here among us in a special way and to every person, young or old, he is whispering, “I Love You”.
It's in a small still voice though and if you are distracted by other things in your heart, you may miss His voice. Well, He keeps whispering to His loved ones. It's up to us to draw close to Him, pay attention and whisper back when we are alone with Him!
Or when we are together with others in Church we can sing out loudly with Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs!
So what new thing does Jesus' temptation show us today?
That God is for us. That with every trial He has provided a way of escape. That if we draw close to God we do not have to fear the Devil.
That He loves Us!
And that we should be like the loving children all loving parents long to have.
We should be listening to Him at all times and whisper back to God.
I love you Father! I love you Jesus! I love you Holy Spirit!