April 8th, 2018

Luke 22:39-46 “Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.  There he told them, “Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.”  He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”  Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.  He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.   At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked. “Get up and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.”

  1. We need regular and consistent communication with God
    1. Jesus went to pray – AS USUAL
    2. Talking to His Father was His CUSTOM
    3. It is what He did
      1. What are you known for doing?
    4. Every relationship is built on communication
      1. WE talk to God to remember how much He loves us
      2. We talk to God to tell Him and remind ourselves how much we need and love Him
      3. We talk to God to share the burdens of our Heart with Him
        1. Knowing He LOVES us and WANTS to help
      4. We need this fellowship because Temptation lurks at every corner, in every nook and cranny and everywhere
        1. We are not the best at seeing them
        2. In the Air Force we were taught how be observant and spot different types of mines, trip wires and dangers.
          1. In Europe there are still many unexploded shells and mines around.
        3. We need to develop this kind of awareness….self awareness….SIN awareness…..for our lives today
          1. This awareness starts with PRAYER
        4. It is said that our TOP 5 Temptations are: Anxiety or Worry, procrastination, food (eat to much), overuse of electronics or social media and laziness. (faithgateway.com)
          1. I believe that among these is also the temptation to “beat yourself up”, feel sorry for yourself, submit to the opinions of others, hold grudges, LIE and compromise your SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY in some manner (look at what you should not, go where you should not, and associate with people you should not (bad company).
        5. BUT, the reality is that we don’t defend ourselves against TEMPTATION as we should.
          1. We don’t know HOW POWERFUL temptation is until it is too late
            1. We are trapped
            2. We are guilty
            3. We are under temptations THUMB
  1. Our hardest prayer is usually a prayer of submission to the will of God
    1. Yielding what we want
    2. Yielding what the world tries to put on us, in us or around us.
    3. Yielding everything we have to the Will of God
    4. Literal translation is “but not the will of Me but of You be done”
  2. This was a tough time of prayer –  even for Jesus
    1. His prayer was so fervent He began to sweat
      1. Not glisten
      2. SWEAT in HUGE drops
    2. Because of His love for you
  3. WE need to WAKE UP
    1. The time for allowing our FAITH to sleep is OVER
    2. Stop hitting the snooze button of Righteousness.
      1. WAKE UP
    3. The greatest tool God has given us against temptation is a growing relationship with HIM!
      1. The more we focus on Gog the LESS we focus on the temptations around us.
    4. WE need to PRAY
      1. He is God, talk to Him
      2. He is God, listen to Him
      3. He is God, yield to Him
      4. He is God, trust Him
      5. He is God, follow Him
      6. He is God, obey Him
    5. WE need to YIELD our SELF, our FLESH, our EVERYTHING to GOD
    6. Not OUR will but HIS WILL

Temptations Twist

Luke 17:1-4 “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” ESV

  • Temptation is not sin…..temptation will occur
  • Temptations to sin: Scandal, snare/trap, occasion to fall
    • Maybe illustrate with large mouse trap and cheese
      • What could the cheese illustrate/stand for?
        • Anything that tempts us
          • Pride
          • Alcohol and/or drugs
          • Lust – adultery
          • Sexual immorality
          • Gossip
          • Jealousy
          • Anger
          • Rivalries
          • Dissensions
          • Other FLESH FUELED issues

 These temptations WILL COME

    • Do not think you are somehow above them
    • There is a price to be paid for giving into them
    • The trap will snap
    • Temptation is not sin
      • Giving INTO temptations trap is our problem
      • What baits your trap?
      • What are you likely to give into quickly?
    • Jesus was tempted BUIT NEVER SINNED
    • Adam and Eve were similarly tempted but fell into the trap

Matthew 4:4 – 11 “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”  11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”  ESV

Hebrews 4:`4 – 16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • ESPECIALLY if you cause another one to stumble
    • Little Ones: least, little, less, small in size, quantity, number or dignity
      • Not just talking about kids
  • Pay attention to YOURSELVES!
    • Watch what you are doing
    • Keep an eye on your hands
  • Pay attention to others
    • Hold them accountable to God’s Word as well
      • The caution is to GOD’S WORD
      • Not yours
      • Not your interpretation that fits your needs
    • Forgive the truly repentant
      • Forgiveness is not acceptance of the bad behavior
    • Temptations Twist
      • The Grace of God
        • Even though we did not deserve His Love…
          • We were rebellious
          • We were mean
          • We were caught by evil
          • Sinners, each and every one
        • ….at Calvary Jesus stepped into our trap and took our destruction away
          • Jesus suffered, was ridiculed and debased
          • Jesus shed His Blood for our sins
          • Jesus died in our place
        • We can be set free….redeemed by the shed blood of the Lamb of God

Temptation    Luke 4:1 – 13

  1. Jesus had to be tempted (Hebrews 2:18)
    1. Just as we are tempted
    2. God led Jesus into the wilderness of temptation
      1. I have lived in this wilderness many times
        1. Every time I drive by DQ….
      2. The devil tempted Jesus in several ways
        1. The devil attacked the IDENTITY of Jesus!
          1. If you are the Son of God,
          2. I am not sure about you, but when people start challenging who I am as a man, as a husband, as a dad, as a Pastor, as a person – I get a might RILED UP
  • Not Jesus. He is a better HUMAN than I could ever be!
  1. The devil attacked the FLESH of Jesus!
    1. His physical need
      1. Food when hungry
      1. Pie, Cake, Blizzards
      2. Steak, Pizza
      3. Alcohol, drugs
      4. Work or Hobbies
      5. Damaging Relationships, porn,
      6. Addictions
      7. Whatever gets your flesh half excited and pushed back the Spiritual side
        1. MORE of you and LESS of God
  • How effective are you against temptation when you are hungry or have another physical needs?
  1. If I am hungry – especially 40 DAYS HUNGRY – and you offer me food you had best hope your arm is still attached when you pull it back!
  2. When our flesh is weak we are WEAK IN OTHER AREAS as well.
  3. When we are HungrySickTiredStressed
    2. NOT JESUS
  • We should understand our SPIRITUAL STATUS
    1. We should have SPIRITUAL FUEL GAUGES and check them often!
  • Jesus told the devil “NO!”
  1. Jesus rightly used SCRIPTURE to fight temptation
  1. The devil attacked the LOYALTY of Jesus!
    1. His desire for POWER
    2. Will Jesus keep His priorities right?
  • Will Jesus seek to usurp His Dad to become god?
    1. This is part of what got the devil in trouble
  1. Humans tend to be POWER HUNGRY
    1. We want to be king
    2. We want to be the boss
    3. My way or the highway
      1. Work, family, church
    4. Jesus told the devil “NO!”
      1. He already had authority over everything
      2. Jesus responded with Godly/Righteous WORSHIP
    5. Jesus rightly used God’s Word to fight temptation
  2. The devil attacked the INTEGRITY of Jesus
    1. His Pride
  • “If you are…”
    1. “PFT – You gonna have to SHOW ME!”
      1. Go ahead
    2. He is tempting His very Godhood
    3. Would Jesus break down and jump off just to prove who He is?
      1. Would You?
    4. Jesus told the devil “NO!”
      1. He had no need to test God – He is God
  • Jesus rightly used SCRIPTURE to fight temptation
  1. The devil will MISUSE scripture to tempt and trick you
  2. We need to know scripture well enough to RESIST THE DEVIL and see him flee

October 5th      Evil truth        Genesis 3:1-7

Evil questions the Word of God

    1. “Did God ACTUALLY say?”
    2. Evil takes what God actually says and twists it to deceive you and bring Evils plan to bear
  1. Evil lies about the Word of God
    1. “You WILL NOT surely die”
  2. Evil promotes the flesh
    1. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil”
    2. Telling Flesh it can have everything it desires is a powerful tool in Evils armory
      1. Ear tickling preachers
      2. New Age fakes
  • “Chicken in the Pot” politicians AND MORE
  1. It is hard for flesh to push aside Santa Claus!
  1. Evil tempts flesh to rebel against God
    1. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,* she took of its fruit and ate,…” ESV
  2. Evil leads flesh to tempt flesh
    1. “and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
  3. Evil brings pain to flesh
    1. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked.”
    2. You might wonder why this was painful
      1. It opened their eyes to the knowledge of good and evil
      2. They were aware of sin
  • They brought sin, pain and disease into their lives
  1. They were now accountable
    1. Before they were protected by their obedience and innocence
      1. Now that was gone.
    2. Evil brings separation from AND fear of God
      1. “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God…”
      2. God wants to be with us
      3. Sin separates us
        1. Jeremiah 5:24-25 “They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you.” ESV
      4. Evil is against you
        1. That Serpent of Old, satan – was NOT on Adam and Eves Side
        2. John 10:7-10a “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy……. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”    ESV
      5. Evil is NOT Eternal
        1. Evil and good do not coexist in some kind of symbiotic relationship where they need each other.
          1. No Ying and Yang
          2. One day God will utterly and completely Destroy evil – And what we call GOOD today
  • Only Faith, Hope and Love will remain
  1. God is FOR YOU
    1. Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” ESV
    2. John 10:10b “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
    3. Romans 8:31-33 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who