TEMPTATION

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell those stones to become bread…”Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”Then the devil left him, and angels came and I began to serve him. – Matthew 4:1-11 (CSB)

MESSAGE

Jesus urges us not to be anxious – about our lives, our needs, or our future (Matthew 6:25-34 CSB), but I’ve always found that easier said than done. Or, perhaps, easier read than obeyed. I’m a planner and a nurturer by nature, so finding myself unable to know for sure if I can take care of all the people and all the things leaves me unsettled at best and spiraling with uncertainty at worst. When control has been wrenched from my hands in those situations, my strongest urge is to yank the reins by doing the only thing I can: worry.

But worrying like that is disobeying God. Simply put, it’s a sin. And I know that. He’s shown me many times – just as many times as He’s proven perfectly capable of taking care of all the things and all the people without my interference or input. Still, I struggle. In the face of bad news and doubt, my old friend worry often welcomes me with open arms.

Are you a worrier? Do you fight the urge to fret and fuss instead of trust and believe? Or perhaps you’ve mastered casting all your anxieties on the Lord and depending on Him for your needs. Perhaps your biggest struggle today is something different. Whatever temptation you face today, you are not alone. Every one of us is confronted with the thing we long to do but know we shouldn’t, with the thing we’ve done in the past but have sworn not to do again, with the exact thing we crave most in our weakest moments.

Even Jesus was tempted in the same way.

Every single one of us battles temptation of some sort. What specific temptations are you facing today? We are most vulnerable to sin when we are weakened in some way. Where do you need to lean on God’s strength in order to resist the devil? Reflect on these things, and tomorrow we will look at how Jesus fought the devil’s temptation for the Father’s glory, and how we can, too.

PRAYER: “Dear Lord, help me not to rely on myself to avoid temptations. But give me the strength to stand on Your word and resist temptation.” Amen.

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: DAY SPRING

TWO STEPS TOWARD KNOWING GOD’S WILL

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him.” -James 1:5 (TLB)

If you want to know God’s will, then you can start with these two steps:

Admit that you need guidance.

Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (NIV).

If you’ve never felt God guiding you, maybe it’s because you’ve never admitted that you need His guidance. You go to work assuming that you know what to do without praying about it. You make financial decisions, vacation plans, or career decisions before stopping to pray about them. If you’re single, you might even ask someone out on a date without first asking for God’s guidance.

You think you know, but you might want to stop and admit that you need guidance, because it’s the first step in getting God’s will for your life.

Ask God in faith for directions.

The Bible says in James 1:5-6, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it. But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (TLB).

Notice there are two keys to knowing God’s wisdom. First, you’ve got to ask the right Person: God. You don’t ask your hairdresser, mechanic, or radio talk show host. You need to ask the right Person!

Then, you ask with the right attitude: expecting God to answer. Have you ever asked God to lead you, but you didn’t really expect him to? You must ask, expecting God to answer.

God honors faith, and He promises wisdom for the next step of your life.

Talk About It

What are the big decisions you’ve made about your life recently? How did you know it was God’s will? How did prayer affect your decision?

Who do you go to when you need help discerning God’s will? How does that person point you back to God’s Word and prayer?

Why do you think God wants you to pray expectantly?

REMINDER: Let’s be reminded we are still in the Lenten period and we should continue to fast, pray and read our Bible.

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: PASTOR RICK’S DAILY HOPE