From Temptation To Trusting God – Traditional

March 6, 2022 | TRADITIONAL SERVICE

Ps Clement Ong
From Temptation To Trusting God – Traditional

March 6, 2022 | TRADITIONAL SERVICE

Ps Clement Ong

Scripture Passage: Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)

READ | SERMON NOTES

Summary | Keeping our flames of faith alive in the aspect of temptations is man’s perennial struggle. Following Jesus’ baptism where his identity as the Son of God was affirmed by God, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The devil always seeks to tempt and stumble us when we try to accomplish God’s work. In this context, temptation is to entice us to turn away from God. It can start with a thought or subtle idea to take the first step away from God. But God may use these moments of temptation to prove our faithfulness. We all encounter temptations. We might have been broken when we fight back or flee. The question is whether you will continue to trust God through the wilderness. As we reflect on similar situations in our lives, may we choose to seek God who satisfies our needs and help us grow in strength and hope.

1. Temptation of worldly appetite – trusting God’s word over worldly appetite

The devil knew who he was up against but knew Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting. Jesus chose to obey God’s Word over his desire for food. He allowed the Word of God to direct his desire and bring him back to the heart of God. Unlike Jesus, Israel turned away even when God provided for them in the wilderness. Jesus didn’t turn away but refuted the devil with scriptures (Deu 8:1-3). God’s promises and commands hold true today. What worldly food is tempting you away from God? Prestige, career, possessions, etc? These are not wrong in themselves but our attitude towards them direct our walk. God’s Word helps us to know His heart and plan, renew our minds so that we will not conform to the world (Heb 4:12-13).

2. Temptation of personal gain – trusting God’s plan over our own gain

The devil cited scriptures (Ps 91:11-12) to tempt Jesus to demonstrate his divine power and authority. Jesus trusted God’s plan and chose to come to glory through the Cross for our sake. The devil does not want us to have hope in God’s plan, but God proves His love for us in His Son. Are we tempted to test God for our own gain? How is God increasing in us and we decreasing?

3. Temptation of instant glory – trusting in God alone

The devil tried to seduce Jesus with instant gratification and authority. Jesus chose yet again to obey God even if it is the way of the Cross. He chose to love others and put us before himself to become the sacrificial lamb for us. The devil regularly tempts Christians with promises of success, power, health and wealth to lead us to idolatry and eternal condemnation. But Jesus rejects the devil’s offer as there is only One worthy of worship, Yahweh our redeemer. How are we tempted to seek another way of living other than the way of the Cross? Jesus is our High Priest who empathises with us and can help us (Heb 4:15) and give us true rest.

The journey between temptation and trusting is allowing the Lord to transform us in His image. While Satan is trying to douse our flames of faith, God provides more grace to keep our flames of faith burning and growing. May we choose God and worship Him alone.

(Sermon notes by Woo Choi Yin)


PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Let’s recall, reflect, consider and commit.

1. Recall your times of temptations. How did it affect you in your faith and walk with God?

2. Reflect on Matthew 4:1-11. How did Jesus respond to his tempter and temptations presented? What can we learn from Jesus’ responses?

3. Consider how you have grown in faith through wrestling in those times of temptations. What is it that you need to trust in the Lord more?

4. Commit to the Lord an area of your life that you are still struggling in temptations.

  • Is there a faith community journeying with you through the struggle?
  • Is there an opportunity for greater surrenderence to the Lord and allow Him to transform your life?
  • Take some time to pray and seek Him for the next step in your discipleship in keeping watch over the area of temptations. (Matthew 26:41)

Wesley Communications Team
Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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