Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 4:1-11

How to overcome temptations in our lives?

Many people think that temptations are bad. However, temptations are good opportunities for all of us to grow. The only real question that we have to ask is how to overcome them.

Jesus shows us good examples in today’s Bible passage. Before Jesus started His public ministry he was led up by the “Holy Spirit” into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Anybody who wants to do public service (not only ministry and mission) should have passed the same three tests.

First, devil asked Jesus to turn a stone into bread. Bread should be made through a year long process. Devil tempted Jesus to skip the due process to gain instant bread! Jesus replied, “One does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We need bread but we should have it through the appropriate process based on the word of God. Likewise, we need material things for our lives but we have to earn them keeping our Christian lifestyle and identity.

Secondly, the devil lured Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple. It would be a spectacle! People would give him an instant approval! Jesus defeated the devil again by quoting the words from Scripture, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test!” Yes, if we are in genuine danger, God will protect us as God has promised! However, we should not put ourselves in danger just to see if God is on our side or not! Many people are in the trap when they feel that they are religiously more pious than other people! They feel that God is always on their side. However, we should not ask God to be on our side but try to stay on God’s side.

Thirdly, the devil said that Jesus could rule over the world when he worshipped the devil. Many people have been deceived by the devil through this lie. They worship devil and ruin their lives. However, Jesus knew the old lies and said, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” Many times we have this temptation to control the world, or at least those people around us. That desire to control other people actually ruin our marriage, family, church, and community. Only when we serve others with humility we all can enjoy abundant lives.

Jesus defeated Satan and the three temptations with the Word of God. Because Jesus was in the living relationship with Father, he could remember the right words and answers from the Scripture. After the victory, the angels came and waited on him. Then he could start his public ministry. So, before we do our public service, we should examine ourselves with these three questions:

1.       In what way, did your spiritual discipline help you to reject the immoral profits and gains?

2.       When do you feel that God is on your side? Have you had any experience that told you otherwise?

3.       If somebody gives me  _______________, I would skip (the Sunday) Worship. (Fill in the blank!)

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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