Sermon Preparation -
February 21, 1999

Matthew 4:1-11

[After his baptism] The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, "If you are God's Son, tell these stones to turn into bread."

Jesus answered, "The Scriptures say:
     'No one can live only on food.
     People need every word that God has spoken.'"

Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, "If you are God's Son, jump off. The Scriptures say:
     'God will give his angels orders about you.
     They will catch you in their arms, and you won't hurt your feet on the stones.'"

Jesus answered, "The scriptures also say, 'Don't try to test the Lord your God!'"

Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, "I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me."

Jesus answered, "Go away Satan! The Scriptures say:
     'Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.'"

Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.


1. Temptations come in the form of meeting our identified need.
     What need is leading you away from GOD?

2. Temptations come in the form of pride and comfort.
     What is leading you away from trusting even when persecuted and fearful?

3. Temptations come in the form of control.
     What is leading you away from worship? from awe and reverence?

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