Our scripture this morning is Matthew 4:1-11.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man does 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, had him stand on the highest point 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 ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘You are not to 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 grandeur. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and began ministering to his needs.

This lesson is an example of how evil tries to manipulate us into sin. While Jesus was being tested in the desert and in a weakened state, the devil appears and tries to shake His faith. Jesus was more than equal to this challenge, however, we need His help to combat evil.

First, Satan tries to challenge Christ’s authority by saying “if you are the son of God”. Jesus isn’t falling for that and responds with scripture. Satan next tries a challenge with his own scripture quote but Jesus is the Word and knows Satan has misused the quote. Finally Satan tries the universal lure of money, power and fame. Jesus tells him to get lost and Satan has no choice but to obey.

Evil has no power over us unless we allow it! We fall into sin when we believe its lies, trying to do it ourselves and failing to ask for God’s help. Jesus showed us that God is the source of our  life, strength and hope. Without Him, we can do nothing.

Gracious God, we are blessed and led by the example of our savior. Help us to stand with You against the evil we have allowed, sharing Your love with everyone. Amen.

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