FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


Temptation By The devil

Matthew 4:1-11 

Intro: The word tempted  means to:  test  examine  prove

Luke 4:1 tells the  same … But … Mark 1:12 uses the  word “driveth.

The word driveth does not mean that Jesus was compelled forcibly against his will to go there, but that Christ was inclined to go there by the Spirit, or  was led there. The Spirit of God, for important purposes, caused Him to go.

In Luke  4:13 – he (the devil) departed from Him for a season.

Here, we must conclude that he tempted Jesus again. In the Garden,  the devil tempted Jesus to draw back from the Cross.

The devil attacked Jesus through Peter and with the Pharisees

Mark uses only 2 verses regarding the temptation of Jesus. Mark adds the “wild beasts” in the wilderness.

The  wilderness is a lonely – unproductive place. There are many dangers in the wilderness –

snakes – jackals – lions – wolves – The devil through all he has at trying to bring Jesus down.

Hebrews 4:15  (tempted in all points)

Back to Matthew 4 – 40 days – fasting – hungry – the devil waited until Jesus was at His weakest point ….  when He was most vulnerable.

In each instance, Jesus quoted Scripture – Matthew 4:4, 7, 10.   My friends – stick to the Bible

Read it – memorize it – believe it – obey it.

All Christians are tempted in one way or another.

Tempted not to read your Bible – not to pray – to quit – to get discouraged – tempted to stay home from church – tempted in one way or another.

Remember … all temptations are from the devil and not from God … James 1:13

I run into Christians who quit because of what somebody said or did to them or about them.

That’s the devils delight.  Peter denied the Lord and cussed and swore about not knowing Jesus … peter denied Jesus. Jesus was betrayed by a friend – Judas.  Yet … He did not cave in and quit serving the Lord.

Many times, I hear someone say – pastor – you don’t know how that hurt me. They told a lie about me – they hurt my feelings … so … I’m just not to go to church any more – if that’s they way Christians act.

Sad but true … Many Christians act like idiots …. But Jesus Christ is still the same – yesterday – today and forever.

Always remember this … Jesus died in your place on the Cross of Calvary … not some long tongued gossip … not some self proclaimed Pharisee.

I do know how that hurts because I have been there and yet … I have never quit preaching – serving – going to church – praying – reading  my Bible – witnessing  – tithing – giving to missions etc. etc.

Not long ago, the devil attacks by using my kids – he has probably attacked many of you  with family – kids – tearing down … wearing you down.

John was hurt, physically by a faculty member at Bible college. I had to have a go round with them because they  were refusing to take care of the matter.  Said that they would not pay their part of the medical bills for him … etc.

I found out my daughter, living in another state, was in trouble. I went to get her out …. Now she  is safe from the threat of harm and death. Through this – I received death threats and it does play on your emotions and the stress level is high.

Pharisee’s attacked  this church and attacked me and the devil tries to bring harm – to divert me and you from what we should be doing.

I have had, over the years, my life threatened simply for telling folks about Jesus.

Folks have said that I have said things that I never said — I think they call that lies.

Yet, I have trusted in the Lord – read my Bible – made mistakes … like we all have … and when my focus strayed from Christ to people … I confessed that sin and put my eyes back on Jesus.  I turn to the Scriptures and to prayer and just trust the Lord and seek His direction.

Psalms 121

EXAMPLE: (Pastor related to me … Miss Jones … widow … came to church Sun. mornings … about 3 of 4 Sundays. Often called the church, 3-4 times a week, with questions as she  was trying to learn.

Miss Jones  often hosted get together’s for some of her lady friends that she used to work with.

One Friday, as she inventoried her liquid refreshment, she discovered that she needed to order another case.

She called the liquor store … so she thought …. but out of habit, dialed the church. The pastor …. just about to leave … simply answered “Hello.”  Miss Jones said … Hi, this is Helen Jones – I need another case of  ………….. and please deliver it to my house  ASAP.  “Well, Miss Jones, said the pastor, how are you, this is pastor Johnson …..

Miss Jones started yelling into the phone ….. Pastor  Johnson … what are you doing at the liquor store?  She told .. all over town … that her pastor was a customer at the corner liquor store.   Sometimes, that’s how malicious gossip spreads.

The devil uses many things to tempt us …. 25 years ago … when  managing a large furniture and appliance store, in Wisconsin … I was working with smaller churches – helping them – preaching and teaching etc.   was making – then – $52,000 a year.

I reasoned within myself – “I can be a business man and use my $$$ to help struggling Christians – preachers and churches.”  The temptation to drop out of the ministry  to  do what seemed right in my own eyes.

God made me miserable and I went in one day  … after much prayer … and quit my job and took another job in a much smaller store, as manager, for half of  what I was making.

Now let’s get back to the part about Christians being hurt … Pastor, you don’t know how that

hurts …  and yet, I believe I do.

When I was a pastor in Iowa, late 1970’s , God was blessing. A town of 500 – 600 folks and a church of about 25 people.   After 4 years – avg. 126 in S.S. and 175 in church. Souls saved every  week and baptizing almost every Sunday.  Problems surfaced …. the deacons  met with me and told me that it was time to leave. They had a pastor stay for just 2 years . You’ve over stayed your welcome … (they never said anything about a 2 yr time limit to me)  No problems,  just time for another pastor.  I said that God was blessing – souls saved – I would leave when God let’s me know it’s time to go.

They said .. you get new people – they  will get elected to office and we’ll be out. This is our church.  I said “I thought it was God’s”

So … they helped me  along. I received no pay check, ( 2 kids to feed). I got a job and kept preaching. We lived in the parsonage –  they shut off the phone  and electric. No lights,  fridge can’t keep food etc.  It was fall … furnace  don’t work w/o electric.

One deacon – whose dad was not saved – spread all over town, a vicious lie – “The preacher kicked me outta church.”

I asked him why he said that … it was not true … he smiled … a wily smile … “No  one will believe you. I was raised in this town and know almost everybody … they’ll believe me, no matter what I say.

A while later, the church I pastored  before coming to Iowa – said they would move us back there at their expense – and they did.

Before I left … the sin was exposed … much to my surprise. Immorality in the church … adultery – wife swapping – orgies etc.

The  greater harm was done. The deacons unsaved dad, died unsaved; he hated me  as he believed the  lie … a lie that was not true. (All lies are never true).

Most of the folks walked away from that church. One family, to this day, has never darkened the door of any church. That church – to this day – has never run over 30 – They “hire” a pastor for 2 years and he has to leave after 2  years.

Ichabod was written over the door – their testimony for Christ has been ruined.

When someone tells me – Pastor, you don’t know the hurt … you don’t know how it feels to have Christians dump on you … I can say … Yes I do.

Now … every pastor has had similar stories and preachers, today – go through similar things.

Why? The devil tempts – tests – examines them – me and you … he tries to get you and me to quit.

Missionaries have the same problems …. the devil uses people.

Remember … each week … in America … over 150 Baptist preachers quit the ministry because of  “Christians”  fighting with and attacking their pastors. Who wins? The devil.

Preachers have shared with me – how the devil used folks in churches they pastored – to fight them  over stupid stuff. Folks who  want to run the church their way. I never gave  in, one pastor shared with me … “After a while, my carnality takes over and I finally – just tell them off. Be cause that’s all some people will understand.”

Recently a pastor shared with me the church sent him a note, put it in his mailbox, when he was gone. They wouldn’t talk to him face to face, they were cowards. They said that they would no longer pay him his salary.  Why? No apparent reason …. no Biblical reason.

He is hurt by this. The devil has won in that church and souls will not be reached in their area – the Gospel is hindered.

Maybe that’s why preachers seem “tough” when you get to certain areas of the local church …

They guard against the trouble makers … the liars …. those  who are  always negative etc.

You get tempted – in one way – you get hurt – so do preachers. Most preachers have been where  you are and even more so.

The devil gets you – where he believes … is your most weakest point.

Yet …. Jesus Christ died for my sins and for yours – on the Cross of Calvary …. NOT the nay sayers … not the liars … not the trouble makers … not the sowers of discord …. not the Judas’s

Hebrews 12:1-3

Our focus – is to be on Jesus –  not on people – problems – self will –  but on Jesus.

The devil fights every Christian – every church – every family – he tries his best to ruin your testimony and hinder churches from winning souls – from preaching the Gospel.

The devil attacked Jesus Christ – tried to hinder Jesus from doing the will of God, the Father.

Jesus stuck to Scripture. He never gave in.

The devil wants to destroy churches, homes, marriages, lives, etc.

he uses suttle things … gossip … lies …. someone to sow discord …. someone to destroy … someone to tempt you. in various ways.

Never give in.

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