4orty - Jesus' 40 days of temptation

Every year on the First Sunday of Lent we hear the story of Jesus’ temptation. The dust of Ash Wednesday becomes the sand of the desert, the wilderness, the place of temptation. We are brought face to face with the temptations of our life. So how are we to understand them?

Let’s start with Jesus. He is baptized and immediately led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where He is tempted. At His baptism the Spirit descended upon Him and the heavenly voice declared, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). That’s the reality even before the temptation. That’s the reality for us as well. The relationship has already been established. Grace always precedes temptation.

So why was Jesus tempted? Why are we tempted? God is not the author of evil, nor does he tempt us. But we will learn that we are tested so that…

1) God is glorified when we overcome Satan’s temptations.

2) We discover our true hunger and emptiness apart from God.

3) Our faith is refined and strengthened, as well as our obedience and love for the Lord.

4) We learn to rely on the Holy Spirit and grow in God’s Word. With every temptation, we (just like Jesus) turn to the written Word of God to overcome the evil one and win the victory!

Where are you most susceptible to the devil’s ongoing attacks? How are you preparing to guard against and withstand his temptations?

Pastor Keith 

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