Single-Minded Obedience/Jesus Teaches about True Worship/ Passing the Tests
Feb 2, 2020
MEMORY SELECTION: “Jesus said to him ‘Away from me Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”Matthew 4:10 KJV)
GUIDING PRINCIPLE: There is no promise anywhere that pain, loss and protection facets of life. Life is what it is. It tests us, tries us and allows us to experience God’s presence in Christ as we walk through difficulty together.
RESOURCES FOR THE SEED:
Ecclesiastes 5:1-6; Ecclesiastes 5: 18-20; Isaiah 1: 11-17; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13; Matthew 18:21-35; Matthew 6:16-21; Matthew 6:1-8
EXPLORE: The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness
ASPIRE: To obey God as Jesus demonstrated.
DEVELOP: Spiritual habits that can strengthen them in times of temptation.
BREAKING UP FALLOW GROUND
- How has God taken care of you in a time of crisis?
- What Scriptural evidence can you cite to prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
- What can we learn from Jesus about remaining resolute in our dependence on God’s provision?
- Why is it important for God’s people to be secure in their identity in Christ?
- How can we use Jesus’ example to withstand the devil’s schemes?
- What Scripture did the devil misuse in his attempt to persuade Jesus?
- What can we learn from Jesus about how to meet everyday challenges to our character and identity?
A. Passing the Flesh Test (Matthew 4: 1-4)
- Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness where He fasts for forty days.
- After fasting / praying Jesus is met by the devil (the Tempter) who brings Jesus His first test.
- The Tempter says that if Jesus is who God says He is (the Son of God), then Jesus should prove it by using His power to provide food for Himself.
- Jesus stands firm in His identity, trusting God for His provision and not seeking to satisfy His hunger
- Jesus does not depart from the commandment of God; He treasures the words of God more than His necessary food.
- Therefore, Jesus replied to Satan’s suggestion by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3
- Statement to the devil that although He is the Son of God and came from God, He remains completely yielded to His Father.
- Jesus’ answer reminds us that food is not what really sustains life. The Word of God is.
B. Passing the Power (Matthew 4: 5-7)
- The devil leads Jesus to the height of the Temple in the holy city of Jerusalem.
- Satan then asks Jesus to prove who He is by a display of power— throwing Himself off the building.
- The devil even cites Psalm 91:11–12 in his attempt to back up his challenge.
- He wants Jesus to frivolously use His divine power, but Jesus does not take the bait.
- Instead, Jesus responds by referencing Deuteronomy 6:16 where the Lord God commands Israel not to put Him to useless, vain tests to prove His care for them.
- Rather than flaunting His power by calling on angels to rescue Him to prove a point to the devil, Jesus relies again on the knowledge of who He is. He remains faithful to His Father.
C. Passing the Pride Test (Matthew 4: 8-11)
- The devil leads Jesus to the top of a mountain and suggests that if Jesus bows down and worships him, he will give Him the world and all its glory.
- He attempts to give Jesus what already belongs to Him (Daniel 7:13–14, Matthew 28:18).
- Jesus tells Satan to get behind Him, be gone, get out! Jesus then quotes Scripture to let the devil know that as the Son of God He will worship God alone and remains subject to His Father (Exodus 34:14).
- The devil leaves, and Jesus is refreshed, replenished, and served by the angels.
- When believers withstand tests, it is imperative to get rest in the presence of God to be restored and renewed.
Jesus is our High Priest; He is able to sympathize with struggles of our human condition because He was tempted as we were but did not sin.
PLANTING THE SEED:
- How can we ensure that we remain focused on God’s eternal purpose for our lives and not get caught up in selfish pursuits?
- What is the greatest strength you possess in facing temptation, and from where does it originate?
- What is the certain spiritual focus you can lose when you face taking on temptation alone?
- What words and actions most helped Jesus in his spiritual battle with temptation??
- Do you understand the true nature of temptation?
- What helps you place temptations in proper perspective and strip them of fear?
- How did Jesus handle temptation in a manner from which we can learn? What is it we learn from struggle and pain that spiritually makes us stronger and endows us with a greater understanding of this life?
FRUIT FROM THE SEED: Our great pains of today will become those things that produce character in our soul tomorrow. Life has everything to do with living in the image of Jesus, to respond to it as Jesus responds. We cannot know the fulness of the Christian life in Christ if we attempt to avoid struggle and those things in life that test. Yes, we will all walk through the wilderness, but the life of ministry awaiting us is beyond description, and the results it can accomplish are not in the hands of Satan, but only in God.