A Battle with Temptation

1st Sunday in Lent
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God by the devil tempting us and our yielding to that temptation.

I recall a local pastor in Dayton, Ohio on a Sunday morning radio program saying he had not been tempted by the devil to sin since he had confessed Jesus Christ as his savior.

In my understanding, one of 2 things materialized by that statement. He had either lied, or had already sold out to the devil. I base that statement by paraphrasing scriptures: When we are tempted by the devil we can tell him in the name of Jesus Christ, "Get lost. Leave me."  And at that moment he has to leave, but he will return the first chance he gets.

Our scripture today states that Jesus was full of the holy spirit when he returned from Jordan, but was led by the devil, Satan, to the desert, where He was tempted by the devil for 40 days. He ate nothing during that ordeal.

Often, our temptations come in less than 40 minutes, not 40 days.
Jesus' 1st temptation was, after not eating for 40 days, to turn stones into bread. The wilderness was not a wilderness of trees and sand, but a wilderness of limestone, many in the shape of a loaf of bread. The devil told Jesus if He wanted people to follow Him, He could use His power to turn the stone to bread.
Jesus' answer used Deuteronomy 8:3, noting man will never find life in material things.

The real task of Christianity is not to produce new conditions of faith. The church must stand firm in the words of God in an effort to make new disciples.

Jesus' 3rd temptation was compromise. The devil took Jesus to the highest mountaintop, requesting that He look around at all the kingdoms of the earth.

He asked Jesus to fall down to worship him. All this fallen world is his and he promised to give it to Jesus in exchange for worship.

Jesus once again answers quoting Deuteronomy, this time with 6:13. Jesus states there will be no compromises! Right is right, and wrong is wrong.

We are tempted daily to make compromises in our walk with the Lord. The devil looks at things of this earth in a gray color. Our lord looks at all things as only black-wrong or white-right and full of the glory of the father in heaven.

In making compromises, we are looking at life and actions as a color blind state of being.

Jesus 2nd temptation was to use His power for Himself and not for the kingdom of God. The devil took Him to the highest point on the temple, asking Him to fall down off the temple, which was 450 feet high. Jesus replied, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Jesus saw quite clearly that if He produced sensations He might be nothing more than a 9-day wonder. Sensations don’t last; they are like a flash of light in the darkness and are then gone. It is hard to serve the Lord day in and day out without being tempted over and over. And to believe or say that you are never tempted is nothing more than a bare-faced lie. When tempted one should say, "Lord help me with the temptation I am facing. Help me be stronger, that I will not yield to that temptation again.

"When I realize I have been tempted and yielded to that temptation, cover me with Your grace and eternal love, and forgive me in your precious name.