Satan wants to devour you; Jesus wants to save you.  Share His love with others.

 

The Beginning All Over Again

Matthew 4

 

Many years ago in a faraway place was a young married couple on their honeymoon.  They decided to rent a surfboard.  It was a lot of fun until the young couple got pulled out to sea further than they realized and the waves began to crash down on them.  The young woman was pushed under the crashing wave and the surf board disappeared, when the young woman surfaced the young couple was in serious trouble – panicked, tired and a long way from shore.  They tried to swim but with the current and the crashing waves they were not making any progress.  Finally a local surfer saw their distress and rescued them – taking them all the way to shore.

 

Many people get themselves in dangerous situations like Vicki and I on our honeymoon.

But in even more dangerous situations spiritually.

We are tempted to have fun and live it up – but one actions leads to another and then we realized we are far from shore and in danger.  We did not start off sinning but ended up in sin.

Often times when people are in sin they do not realize how dangerous of a situation they are in.  Vicki and I knew and welcomed a rescuer.  But in reality – someone helped us and I told them we were ok to make it the rest of the way and then another wave crashed in on us and we were getting more tired.  It was the second rescuer who walked us on the beach to dry sand.

 

We all need a spiritual rescuer – that is why Jesus came to earth – He came to seek and save the lost.

Do you know you are lost?  Many people think they are fine and don’t need a rescuer – a savior.

Even when we know we are saved we still have to make it to shore.

If we think we can make it on our own then we will be in trouble again.

There is always another crashing wave.

 

That crashing wave in our spiritual life has a name – Satan – the tempter.

 

1 Peter 5:8 …Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

 

Satan wants to destroy you.  He wants you to drown.  He has been trying to stop Jesus (our Savior) from coming for thousands of years.  He tried to stop the lineage of Jesus multiple times, Satan tried to kill Jesus when He was a baby.  But Jesus the Messiah is here now so Satan is trying to have Him rebel against the Father’s will.  It is really not a fair fight.  Jesus is God Almighty in the flesh.  Jesus is all knowing – He knows Satan’s tricks.

Even though Jesus is God He could still sin and rebel against the Father.  Jesus can’t let His guard down.  We can’t let our guard down.

 

We know Satan’s tricks and we still fall for his lies and logic.

You can trick a kid if you say, “What is that and point to his shirt” When he looks down you flick his nose.  We eventually catch on and don’t fall for that old trick.

Satan keeps playing the same trick on us and we keep falling for it.

 

1 John 2:15  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For everything in the world–the cravings of the [flesh], the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.

 

That is how Satan tempted Eve, how he tempted Jesus and how he tempts us.

Genesis 3:1  “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 4  “You will not surely die,” 5  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

Satan questioned her knowledge of God’s word, Satan called God a liar, and Satan questioned God’s motives.

Eve believed Satan’s word instead of God’s word – Why?

 

Genesis 3:6  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

 

The fruit would fill her hunger, it looked delicious, and it would give her wisdom.

What desires do we fall for?

It will fill my hunger for happiness and peace.  It looks good it is fun – everyone else is doing it.

The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.

 

Satan tempted Jesus the same way he tempted Eve but Jesus did not fall to Satan’s lies – even when Satan quoted scripture.

Matthew 4:2  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

 

Satan questioned who Jesus was – “If you are …”

Satan attacks when you are weak and vulnerable.  Satan tempted Jesus with food when he was hungry.

Satan tempts us in the area we are lacking – happiness, intimacy, power – sadness, loneliness, lack of control

Satan questions who you really are and what you really want.

 

Remember you don’t fall when you are strong – you sin when you are arrogant, hurt, depressed and weak.

 

Matthew 4:5  Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 7  Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

 

Satan quotes God’s word and misapplies it, he twists God’s word to make you think it says something it doesn’t.  We see this happen all the time but now especially as it applies to what God calls sin.  The issues of our day have been abortion and homosexuality (and transgender).  God plainly calls abortion murder and homosexuality a perversion.  But Satan is convincing people that they can be a Christian and practice homosexuality and commit murder.

 

Matthew 4:8  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

 

Satan tries to give Jesus an easy way out – Satan had a wrong understanding of Messiah ruling the world.  Jesus knew He would have to die on the cross – Satan says I will give you the same thing and all you have to do is bow down.

It was a lie – Satan lies to us.  God wants you to do it the hard way – Satan says, “I have as good a plan and it is easier.”

Satan told Eve that God didn’t want her to have all that he could give her if she ate – knowing good and evil.  Sometimes Satan’s lies are half-truths – he leads us to believe something is good for us when in reality it is not good at all and God is protecting us from harm.

 

God gives us Christian armor but we have to make sure we put it on.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 

1 Peter 5:8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9  Resist him, standing firm in the faith,

 

If we are going to stand against Satan and his schemes then we have to be self-controlled and alert, wearing our armor – we must resist him and he will flee.

 

James 4:7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8  Come near to God and he will come near to you.

 

Are you submitting to God?  Are you coming near to God?

That is the way to resist the devil and his schemes.

 

We know Satan seldom comes to us with a gross temptation. Baby steps is how he often attacks.

 

It often starts in the mind – What are we filling our mind with?

Are we being desensitized by the present evil world?

Do things that once shocked us now pass us by with little notice?

Where do our minds wander?  What are we reading?  What are we watching?

 

Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 

Renew your mind by submitting to God and His word.

Satan will attack but flee.  When you flee temptation, be sure you don’t leave a forwarding address.

 

What settings are you in when you sin?  Avoid them.

What people are you usually with?  Avoid them.

Satan wants us to believe that just once won’t hurt.

 

There was an old Hee Haw, skit – Doc Campbell has a patient who says he broke his arm in two places. The doc replies, “Well then, stay out of them places!”

We can’t resist the devil if we keep going to the same places.

We can’t resist the devil if we plan to sin ahead of time.

 

Don’t be like the boy who got in trouble for swimming on a hot day.

Dad gave a stern warning to his son not to go swimming. The boy promised he would not swim but he came home carrying a wet swim suit.

 

“Where have you been?” demanded the father.

“Swimming,” answered the boy. “Didn’t I tell you not to swim?” asked the father.

“Yes, Sir,” answered the boy.

“Why did you?” he asked.

“Well, Dad,” he explained, “I had my swimming suit with me and I couldn’t resist the temptation.”

“Why did you take your swimming suit with you?” he questioned.

“So I’d be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted,” he replied.

 

Don’t live your life prepared to give into temptation.

Romans 13:13  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, … 14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

 

Don’t think about how to gratify the flesh.  Don’t look and think that will make me happier.

Satan will attack you where and when you are weakest.  That is why you must know yourself and be honest with yourself. What has tripped you up in the past?  What pet sins do you commit over and over?

Protect your heart and mind with God’s word

 

Guard your heart

Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Throw off sin

Hebrews 12:1  … let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, …3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

God gives you a way out

1 Corinthians 10:12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

 

The Devil didn’t make you do it.  He tempted you – your flesh wanted it

But God gave you a way out – you did not take it – you may not have even looked for the way out.

 

Christian you will sin – but all is not lost

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Don’t believe Satan’s lie that you may as well keep on sinning because God doesn’t love you anymore or the lie that says you may as well keep sinning – God will forgive you later.

God will forgive you but how repentant are you when you plan to sin.

Satan don’t only tempts you to sin but when you decide to give into the temptation and sin – then Satan condemns you.  The devil is the tempter and the accuser.

 

Satan will accuse you after sin of who you are – A child of God would not attack like that – just quit – you’re a hypocrite God can’t forgive you.

 

Remind yourself of the truth – Paul was writing to Christians.

Romans 8:1  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

 

If you are in Christ you are not condemned.  Praise God!

Christian you are in Christ – remain in Christ – submit to God and resist temptation

 

If you are not in Christ?  If you have not repented of your sins and been immersed into Christ then come today so you can be free from condemnation.