We will be in Matthew chapter 4.

Continue on in Matthew. We took a break and looked at Proverbs last week. We’re going to pick back up in Matthew chapter 4. Turn there with me in your Bibles.

Matthew chapter 4.

And start in verse 1. It says, Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But He answered, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written, He will command His angels concerning You, and on their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone. Jesus said to Him, Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord Your God to the test. Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. And He said to Him, All these I will give You if You will fall down and worship Me. Then Jesus said to Him, Be gone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord Your God, and Him only shall you serve. Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.

In the final eruption of Mount St. Helens in May of 1980, it was not a sudden event. For two months prior to the massive blast, the most deadly and destructive in American history, earthquakes and volcanic activity signaled a major event was underway. Authorities had plenty of time to sound the alarm and warn those living nearby of the looming danger. Yet despite the seriousness of the threat, some people chose to disregard the warning. Probably the best known of those who refused to evacuate was Harry Randall Truman, the 83-year-old man was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. He had survived the sinking of his troop ship by a German submarine during World War I, and he was not about to leave because, as scientists thought, there was danger. Truman told reporters, I don’t have any idea whether it will blow, but I don’t believe it to the point that I’m going to pack up. But on May 1980, Truman and his lodge were buried beneath 150 feet of mud and debris from volcanic eruption, and his body was never found. And that’s tragic, but at the same time you think, well, you had the right information to get out, and it was within your power to get out, and you didn’t. And you think about the very recent fires in California, so many people lost everything, but so many people lost their lives. And while they knew, hey, fire is coming, it was not the same for them. They did not actually have it within their own power to get out, to be set free.

Paul says in Romans, I have the desire to do what’s right. Paul says, I know the difference between right and wrong. But Paul says, I don’t have actually the power, the power to carry it out. So Paul has this war within himself of what he knows to be right and what he knows to be wrong, but Paul’s very honest that I can’t do that which I know I ought to do.

And so as we talk about the kingdom of God, we’ve largely been talking about how God protects us really from ourselves. We are in the fallen line of Adam, and we have a sin nature, and for our sin nature, God would justly judge us because of the sin nature we’ve inherited. But Jesus is going to have an interaction with Satan, and what we really see that Matthew’s talking about is not only do we lack power to do anything about our sinful nature, we lack power to withstand God’s enemy who is enticing and who is tempting us into sin. I do not have, you do not have, Paul doesn’t have what it takes to withstand Satan and how he comes against God’s kingdom. So how can it be that we can follow Jesus, be in this holy righteousness, remember God’s kingdom is, it’s God ruling in our hearts, our minds, our lives. How can we do that if we’re defenseless against God’s great enemy? So Jesus is going to come up against the devil, and we’re going to see how he interacts with him and learn what it looks like to withstand temptation. So what do we do when temptation calls? We’re trying to follow Jesus, but along the way, the enemy is constantly attacking and warring against us. We’re trying to follow Jesus, Back at verse 1, it says, Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry. Mark’s Gospel says the Spirit drove Jesus out immediately into the wilderness. Luke’s Gospel says Jesus was full of the Spirit. So all three Gospel accounts are making it very clear for us Jesus wasn’t anointed with the Spirit as some kind of ceremonial, showed His baptism. He is immediately after His baptism driven to be led by and empowered by the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit does not lead Jesus to what we would think or what people would have hoped He would have been driven to. This is Heaven’s Messiah. This is the Son of God. And remember the Apostle John says He’s the Son of God come from Heaven and He has the full power of Heaven within Him. He has the Spirit without limit. He has the Spirit without measure. So you think we would see some kind of awesome display of grandeur. Some like awesome majestic display of who He is. But that’s not in fact at all what we see. The Messiah full of the Spirit, led of the Spirit. He is led to and Jesus submits. Because remember Jesus is, and we sang it, He’s true God of true God. Yet in humility He’s not exercising His full independent nature as God, as a full and real man. He’s led of the Spirit. He submits to the Spirit, leading Him into the opposite of a place of grandeur. The desert, the wilderness.

The Spirit leads Him immediately in His ministry to that place which is uninhabitable, barren, dangerous, ugly. I think there’s a lesson to be learned here friends about what the truly Spirit filled Christian life looks like actually and often. If Jesus was first and then deep led into what was not preferable, why do we expect anything easier, or different if we would say we’re Spirit filled Christians as well? And the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. God’s adversary will try Jesus, put Him on trial to really discover what Jesus is or is not. And Christ is going to be pressed to His limit. The enemy is aggressively offensive against Jesus. And at that it says, this is after Jesus has fasted 40 days and 40 nights. And that’s not self-induced. Jesus didn’t inflict. He didn’t inflict that on Himself. The Spirit led Him to do that. So Jesus is beyond dehydrated. He’s beyond starved. He’s at the point of physical death. And in this very frail, weak condition,

Satan comes to tempt Him. I think we have to be very honest with the Scriptures and what they’re teaching us here.

God allowed Jesus to be tempted with evil. God allowed Jesus to be tempted by the devil. And this gets to the mystery of God’s self-counsel and God’s wisdom. While Scriptures clearly teach that God cannot do evil and that God Himself tempts no one, it certainly does teach us that God allows evil, allows Satan to operate in His universe to the degree God allows and for the allotted time period that God allows. If it wasn’t so, God would just be one major player in the game of God. And Satan’s another major player and it’s a game of wits and power to see who comes out on top. But that’s not the universe that we live in. God is in control. God is good. And God is sovereign. So in God’s self-counsel, under His thumb, He lets evil, He lets Satan run their course within the scope of God’s will and for God’s purposes. You see it in Job. Satan goes to God. The enemy goes to God and says, Hey, Job only serves you because he’s so blessed.

God gives Satan permission to wreck Job’s life. You see it with Peter. Jesus does not say, Hey, Satan’s asked to sift you like wheat, but I’m going to stop him. He says, Hey, Satan’s asked to sift you like wheat and I’ve prayed for you that your faith isn’t going to fail. And obviously we can go all the way back to the garden and see how God allowed Satan in the form of the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve. But we have to take into account the scriptures that would teach us in James where James says, God tempts no one. He says,

Let no one say when he is tempted, I’m being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted with evil and He Himself tempts no one. Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. The prophet Isaiah in 46.9 says, Remember the former things of old for I am God and there is no other. I am God. There’s none like me. God says He declares the end from the beginning from ancient times things not yet done saying my counsel shall stand and I will accomplish my purposes. And then Paul says in Romans all things are from, through, and to God for His glory. So if it’s true then God is in control. God is sovereign in His own wisdom, His own goodness and self-counsel. He’s allowing you and I at times to be tempted by evil to experience great persecution and heartache. Should we not be wise as to why God lets it happen? And then secondly, how are we supposed to respond? I think so. And as a huge footnote, huge footnote, I want to say this. We live in a very materialistic society. Care about what you can see in front of your face, what you can hear, what you can touch. All the while we forget there’s a very real spiritual realm and reality happening around us all the time. Satan is not some guy in a red spandex suit and he belongs in cartoons or some ancient book. Satan’s very real. He’s very present. Demons are very real. They’re very present. They’re pressing against your life. They’re pressing against your children. He wants to have you. So again, as wise, discerning, biblical Christians, you need to be aware of that. You have a very real enemy.

Go back to verse 3 with me. It says, And the tempter came and said to him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But he answered, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. So the devil is not in doubt concerning who Jesus is. He knows who Jesus is. And later on in Jesus’ ministry, when Jesus starts to exorcise demons and cast them out, the demons admit that they know who Jesus is. And like a crafty snake, Satan says, Hey, if you’re the Son of God, why don’t you turn those stones into bread? Makes good sense. Why not? He’s the Son of God. He can do that if He wants to do that. He’s hungry. So why not do this?

And Jesus responds, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. And Jesus didn’t make that up in the moment. What Jesus just did is He quoted Moses in the Old Testament. So I want to go there and see what Moses is talking about. Deuteronomy 8, verse 2.

Moses is speaking to the people, at the end of his life, the end of his time leading them, at the end of the 40 years in the desert. And he’s referring to an event that happened at the beginning of the 40 years. He says, And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, that He might humble you, testing you to know what is in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and He let you hunger and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know that He might not know. He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. And in Exodus 16, verse 3, the people say, Would that we have died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full. For you have brought us out to the wilderness to kill this whole assembly by hunger. So Moses in Deuteronomy is referring, to an exodus when they said, You’ve brought us out in the wilderness to die. After God has shown Himself so great and so powerful to save the people in the wilderness, they doubt God. And God responds by saying, Hey, you’re not doubting

your servant Moses. You’re doubting me, is what God tells the people. And here’s how God responds. God says, Hey, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to drop literally bread and quail from heaven every day. And I’m always going to provide enough for you every day. Never take more than you need for that day because I’m going to provide for you tomorrow. The people don’t do that. They take more than they should take and God gets angry with them and it rots and it stinks and He causes worms to grow in it when they try to keep it. And then God said, Hey, on the sixth day, take a double portion because on the seventh day I want you just to rest. Man, know that I’m your provider. Just rest. They didn’t do it. On the seventh day, they went out. And they looked for food and God says to Moses, How long will these people disobey Me? How long will they refuse to hear what I have to say? So you see in Exodus, God let them hunger. Yes, God let them suffer for a moment to expose their inability to do what Jesus can. Wait on the Lord.

Jesus knows God will provide what He needs, when He needs it, and how God wants to give it, especially when we’re tempted to provide for ourselves. So Jesus 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness does what the Israelites cannot do 40 years in the wilderness. In our want, in their want, wait on the Lord. Jesus is saying, Man lives by the bread God gives, not the bread that man can supply himself. So friends, when temptation calls, we’ll succumb to it if we refuse to, one, wait in our want. Wait in our want. And I’m not talking about wants like, hey, I want that to be nice. I’m talking about wants I’m talking about very real needs. And we do have real needs. Like, I like to eat food. Like, I get hungry. That’s not a bad thing. Like, I have kids I have to provide. They need to eat. My wife needs to eat. They need clothes on their back. I need a roof over my head. I want my family to have physical health. I want to have good physical health. It’s not a bad thing to, like these things I need in life. I have spiritual needs. I look at the Scripture, like I want to be holy. I want to be righteous. I want my children to have faith and to grow up to know God. I want my wife to be a godly woman. All these things that are good and right and I need to have, that’s not the sin to recognize what’s good and right. The great sin, the wicked folly, is in daring to gain the provision, divorce from the hand of God. And I think there you say, well, hold on. Like, I’ve got hands and arms and feet and legs and a brain that I can provide for myself. That’s a very dangerous posture to have to think that even what you can in your own self will do, God didn’t give that to you. As if God chose not to give you that brain and you came up with it on your own. You have that intellect on your own. You have that creativity on your own. You have those hands. You have those legs, those arms, on your own, and you can do it. You can’t do that. God in His grace has allowed you to have the very smallest things in your life that you think you have, you don’t. So again, the sin isn’t the attainment of the thing. It’s the belief it can be attained apart from God’s hand. And we saw this in the garden so many weeks ago. The fall, the demise of Adam and Eve, it was their great attempt to gain independence apart from the God that they were created to be dependent upon. That was the problem. So herein lies the key, friends, to understanding why God allows seasons of suffering, why He allows us to be tempted at times by evil in our life, to teach us to wait upon Him alone for power and provision. And Jesus masterfully displays this in His willingness to wait.

Jesus says, God decides what I need, when I need it, and how He wants to give it. Jesus is a real and full man. And as a real and full man, led by the Spirit and full of the Spirit, the Spirit’s going to do in Jesus what He’s going to do in you and me if we’re truly led by the Spirit and full of the Spirit. And you know what that is? Drive us into a deeper dependence on God, how we’re supposed to be. And that’s going to require seasons of pain, seasons of suffering, sometimes kicking and screaming, experiencing great attacks by the enemy, because God, in our heart of hearts, He wants us to know who we trust. Us or Him? In my heart of hearts, who do I really love? God or myself? So as hard as it is to say, we have to say, thank you, Lord, for these trying times. We have to say thank you because God disciplines those He loves. The one that God holds dear, He allows for them to be raked over at times, to be very much so attacked by the enemy. He said so. He said, I let you hunger. But you know what God says right after He says, I let you hunger? In Deuteronomy 8, verse 5, He says, know that in your heart, that as a man disciplines his son,

the Lord your God disciplines you. That’s why He did it.

So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and by fearing Him. Just as God gives us gifts, good gifts because He’s a loving Father, God takes away and God hurts us sometimes because He’s a loving Father. He’s working through that to bring us into a greater dependence. He’s growing our faith. He’s growing our belief and His reliability, His power and His provision. And the Hebrew writer spells it out so much better and in a fuller way than in Deuteronomy. In Hebrews 12, verse 9, it says, We have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them. But He disciplines us for our good that we may what? Why is God disciplining us? So we can share in His holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. We must say, church, God is not good because He keeps us from harm and trial. God is good because He allows us to walk through it. The question becomes, am I going to learn the lesson of holiness and righteousness as Job did? Because Job lost everything. And Job’s wife said, are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don’t you curse God and die? That’s what Job’s wife says.

And Job says, shall we receive good only and not evil from the Lord? And here’s what I want us to do as a church, here’s what I want you to do as a father of Jesus, is deconstruct this version of God that we so often get, not even from secular culture, but from church leaders and the church itself. And I want us to read this version of God and let’s replace that God with the God of the Scriptures. God does not exist to make us healthy and wealthy and give us everything we ever wanted. God doesn’t revolve around us as if we are the center of the universe. God is and God exists for His own glory. And for His own glory, God’s going to rip us apart and remake us until we look just like His son Jesus. And it’s going to hurt because God loves us and He refuses to let us die in our sins. He’s going to expose us. He’s going to put us to the fire until we look like Him. God’s teaching us in our want, in our need, wait on Him alone to be our true provider.

It reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia when the children go to meet Aslan the lion for the first time. And they don’t know he’s a lion.

Ooh, says Susan, I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.

Safe? said Mr. Bieber. Who said anything? Not safe. Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.

Friends, following Jesus is not safe.

But it’s good because Jesus is good and God is good and God’s bringing us to a greater place that we would never arrive if we didn’t walk through the suffering and we didn’t experience the temptation. We’ve got to constantly recalibrate our definition of the word Christian according not to personal preferences, not cultural preferences, not even so many times at what the church says. But what does the word of God say it means to follow Jesus? And following Jesus and the power of the Spirit so often looks like suffering for the glory of God. And I’m grateful for John Piper, a very popular book, Don’t Waste Your Life. And John Piper talks about that wartime mentality. Like we’re not home right now. We’ve got these few moments in this life to fight for God. And when you have a wartime mentality, you’re okay with doing without luxuries. When you have a wartime mentality, how do you expect to be attacked and you want to fight back? And so we have God in heaven who’s there to supply all our needs in the battle. But we’re not going to think about the Christian life like a battle if we’re constantly trying to set up home now like this is forever and it’s not. So we’ve got to constantly be recalibrating the mind according to these few moments we have to live for God’s kingdom now. What is the word of God teaching about suffering for Jesus now? And I do think as well,

there’s a great spiritual discipline in keeping up with Christ. Christians around the world outside of your box because it’s really easy in the West. Like I’m right here. Like this is my life. And you forget, man, there are people around the world right now meeting, fearing for their lives. I’ve never had to experience that. I’ve never known what it means to like wonder if my kid’s going to get shot up because I’m sitting here like talking about Jesus. Like that’s crazy. And so we kind of get out of your own world and be a prayer warrior that in not just yours, but the churches globally and their want, they would wait on God and wait for him to do a mighty thing. We’ve got to learn to do that.

When temptation calls,

back at verse five with me.

It says, then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, if you are the son of God, throw yourself down for it is written, he will command his angels concerning you and on their hands, they will bury you. Up lest you strike your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, again, it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.

So Satan takes Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem. It would have been Solomon’s porch, southeast corner overlooking the Kidron Valley.

And Satan here exercises his knowledge of Scripture, which is crafty because who can argue with Scripture, right? But Jesus is wise, not just to the Scriptures, but what the Scriptures mean and how to appropriate them, which is all important. Jesus responds again with a passage from Deuteronomy. Look at Deuteronomy chapter six,

verse 16.

Moses again says, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massa. So now we have to ask the question, well, what happened at Massa? So let’s go back to Exodus chapter 17. This is what Jesus is referring to. Let me just read this little story here for us. It says, therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, give us water to drink. And Moses said to them, why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord? But the people thirsted there for water and the people grumbled against Moses and said, why did you bring us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst? So Moses cried to the Lord, what shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me. And the Lord said to Moses, pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel and taking your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb and you shall strike the rock and water shall come out of it and the people will drink. And Moses did so. And the disciples, he called the name of the place Masa which means testing and Meribah which means quarreling because of the quarreling of the people of Israel because they tested the Lord by saying, listen to this, is the Lord among us or not?

Is the Lord among us or not?

Which is a super stupid question. Don’t take it as honest curiosity or like real curiosity. There’s no real concern here. It’s a wicked doubt. So let’s answer the question. Was God among them or not?

Well, let’s see. In Egypt, they’re in slavery and He turned the Nile into blood which ruined their economy. He killed all their livestock. He gave them boils and sent gnats and turned Egypt to darkness but not where the Israelites lived in darkness. And He killed all their firstborn sons and then when they chased them, He split the… Red Sea opened so they could walk across on dry land and then He killed all of Pharaoh’s army in that same sea and then they were thirsty so God told Moses, hey, throw a log into the water and it’ll make the bitter water sweet and then they were hungry and God drops bread and quail out of the sky. So it’s not actually all that hard of a question to answer, is it? And that just happened. This wasn’t like decades ago. This just happened. The whole battle of the… That was the previous chapter. This just happened. And they dare say, is the Lord among us or not?

Israel failed to remember how God was so obviously and faithfully with them. And it moves them to challenge and to test God to see if He’ll provide even though He’s made it so very plain. Friends, God tests the human heart. We dare not test Him. God is who God has always been. Who He has been. Who He is and who He is. He will be. God does not change. And Jesus is wise then to this. God’s power and provision is sufficient when it’s needed because Jesus is very much so aware that God’s character and nature don’t change. So He has no sinful inclination to try and test and doubt God because Jesus is perfectly mindful and sure of who God is. Numbers 23.19 says, God is not man that He should lie or a son of man that He should change. Has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not fulfill it? So again, Jesus is what they are not. He’s perfectly mindful of. He remembers who God has always been and that informs how He acts in the present. All they can see is what’s happening. It’s all they can see. So when temptation calls, secondly, friends, we’ll succumb if we refuse to remember the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in times past. When temptation calls, we’ll succumb if we fail to remember the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in times past. And God is always good. And God is always faithful. It should never be put to a question. And there’s a difference between saying, Lord, I’m baffled and confused. I don’t understand why you’re allowing me to experience what I’m experiencing right now. That happens. Just honest. God doesn’t want you to be dishonest. Lord, I’m confused about why you’re letting this attack come. But it’s altogether different to be baffled and confused about God Himself, who He is in His… nature. That’s very, very different. But we do this because we’re forgetful creatures. What matters most, we let it get buried under layers of just like day-to-day life, the cares and worries of just going about our business. We’re hot in seasons. I’m mindful of God like here and there, but life just presses in on me more and more and I forget. And so in times of peril, I say, hey, God, how come you don’t look like and act like I want you to look like and act like in my life? Rather than remember, hold on, God has always been who God has needed to be in my life. And who God is and God’s needed to be has always been perfect and sufficient in my own past and in the Scriptures. God’s never failed me, so why can’t I just back off and trust God to be God? So you see, there’s a great arrogance in telling God who He should be. Because consider it. Who would have ever thought about the way God provides? Hey, Moses, stick your rod in the Nile and it’s going to turn to blood.

That’s incredible. Who would have thought of that? Hey, Moses, put your staff in the Red Sea and it’s going to part. Hey, Moses, throw that log in there and the bitter water is going to turn sweet. Hey, okay, bread’s going to fall from heaven. God always provides in a way that reminds us no one knows how to provide. No one knows what I need, when I need it, the way that God does.

God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for enemies. Exactly. Who can ever think of how God supplies so perfectly? His goodness, His faithfulness, it is acute. But I will say that’s when we remember. That’s the all-important caveat. When? Human pride, though, tests and challenges. And if you read through the accounts of God in the Old Testament with Moses, you read through Exodus, you read through Numbers, you read through Deuteronomy, you know what words you see over and over and over again? Remember. Hey, Moses, remind the people. Hey, Moses, remember. Hey, Yaron, remember what I did back then. Hey, put four blue tassels on the corner of your garment so you can remember what I said and what I did. Hey, build this memorial out of stones so that years from now your children say, hey, why are those stones there? Then you can say to them because God saved you out of the hand of the Egyptians. Hey, remember, remember, remember. Put it on the doorpost of your house. Teach it to your children as you go. God pays us the grace of saying, hey, remember to remember.

And it’s so kind of God because in our fallen state we forget and we’re just so prone to wonder from a God that’s made Himself so plain to us. And you see it in the Psalms as well. Usually when you think about the Psalms you think they’re very happy and clappy and bless the Lord. Some of them are. Really the majority of the Psalms are sad. They’re desperation. The psalmist is being attacked. He’s being overcome by his enemies. But what is his great weapon? He says, I will recount the wonderful deeds of the Lord. He remembers who his God is.

I had the privilege, and I do say privilege, I had the privilege of going to the hospital this past week to visit

an older lady. She used to go to church here. She’s just not physically able to come anymore. But several of the folks that have been here for a long time knew her. And so she was in the hospital with some bleeding and she was there. And so I went up there to see her. And sweetest lady ever.

And we just got to talking. And she said, well, how’s the church going? How’s everything going? And I said, well, we’re just trusting the Lord, you know, seeing what He does. And she said, well, that’s what I’ve got to do every day.

And that means so much more coming from someone who has actually done that. Here’s someone who’s in their very old age saying, man, I can look back and I can just see decades of how God was so good. God was so faithful to me. And I don’t think we cherish senior saints the way that we should. And seeing how they’ve been through the fire and how God has tested them and refined them. So that was a blessing for me just to remember, man, look at this lady and see how she’s run this race. It was a grace for me to just be able to see her and talk to her and pray with her.

But friends, I want to challenge you to consider

is anything too small in your life to remember how God’s been faithful to you? However old you are, that’s how long you’ve been breathing.

You ever thought about that? You ever said, God, hey, thank you for breath

because without it, I’d be dead and you keep giving it to me. You give me as long as it works. Hey, Lord, I’m still here, which means you’ve fed me. Hey, Lord, I have a roof over my head. Hey, Lord, you’ve been nothing but good to me in the big and the small things. And we do have to be mindful of our time. We live in a very fast-paced culture. Like, don’t stop, don’t stop. Like, don’t stop the thing. Like, we all, like, we wear it like a badge. Oh, I’m so busy. I’ve got to go here and over there. I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that. And I think what it does, it’s a scheme of the enemy that keeps us from doing what Jesus is really good at doing. Jesus is good at stopping. He’s good at, like, meditating on, like, who His Father is. Jesus, in a very busy ministry, He constantly, He sneaks away in the darkness by Himself in the morning. He’s away and He’s alone because what is He doing? He’s reminding Himself of who God is. So I would ask you, do you know who God is? Do you have much of a relationship with who God is in the Scriptures? Have you seen His faithfulness from Genesis to Revelation? Do you know who God is? You keep an account, and I started this last year some, keep an account of things that God’s done in your life. Man, I had this spiritual battle. This thing was happening. I’m writing down the verses God gave me in that time. Man, the encouragement that different Christians gave me in that time is what God did. So years down the road, I can look back like, oh my gosh, man, that was the worst season. But look how God brought me through that. And you think, who boldens your faith in the Lord and who He is and what He’s going to do in the future?

You have to be remembering people.

So verse 8.

It says, Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain

and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. And He said to Him, All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship Me. Then Jesus said to Him, Be gone. Be gone, Satan, for it is written,

You shall worship the Lord your God

and Him only shall you serve. Then the devil left Him and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.

Jesus has been wise to something this whole time.

He has recognized this whole time the great problem with what Satan has been doing. He has been saying and has been offering.

If we look at John 8.42, Jesus says it very plainly. John 8.42, Jesus said to them, speaking to the Pharisees, If God were your Father, you would love Me. For I came from God and I am here. I came not of My own accord, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear My Word. You are of your Father, the devil.

And your will is to do your Father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in Him. When He speaks, He speaks out of His own character for He is a liar and the father of lies. Because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Jesus knows full well Satan, what He offers. It’s not His to give. He’s the father of lies. And He bends and He twists the truth about who God is, the truth about what God has said, the truth about who we are to God in order to steal God’s glory away from Him. He dares us to weigh on ourselves. I’m going to provide for Me. I’m going to be independent of myself. He dares us. He challenges. He entices us to forget who God is, how faithful God has been. Satan wants God’s glory. He wants us not to worship the only God who loves us and has created us and has provided us with glory. He has provided all things for us and so He’s drawing us away. But here Jesus is wise to it. Jesus knows it. You cannot exchange the glory of God for anything greater.

Jesus knows that. Jesus is already King and He’s going to prove Himself to be King in His perfect life, in His sacrificial death, and in His resurrection. He is King of kings and He is Lord of lords and He will prove it by His perfect obedience to never want to be king. To never once misstep. To never once fall into temptation. Though Satan tries to attempt Jesus to get the right thing the wrong way, Jesus knows the only way to get the right thing is to go through it the right way and that’s according to obedience to the Father.

One commentator said what He offered was the kingdom without the cross. And Jesus knew what a great lie that is. Jesus suffered according to the will of God. He suffered and He died, friends, because you and I are weak. You and I cannot help ourselves. You and I cannot resist the enemy. He is too strong for us. But Jesus, the Son of God, the God-man full of the Spirit, obeys the Spirit and all the way through, He suffers evil through, all the way through the cross and to the grave and He shows Himself to be the perfect, obedient Son of God. And so it is because of this Jesus who suffers for us. He identifies with us in our suffering and by the Spirit, Jesus is within us empowering us not just to know truth. He doesn’t just give us information. He gives us the power to actually obey the truth, love the truth, keep the truth. So it’s not just information and desire to do what’s right. It’s also the power to carry it out.

Hebrews 2, verse 17, Therefore He had to be made like His brothers, that’s us, in every respect so that He might be made like us. We become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make satisfaction

for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. So do we have what Jesus has, a single-minded devotion to the truth about who God is, what God has said, and the power of the Spirit? If we do and tempt Him, if we do and tempt Him, because we’ll wait, we’ll remember, and we’ll obey. We’ll share in the suffering of Christ that we may also share in glory with Him. Let’s keep our eyes on Christ, His victory for us and His example. Let’s keep our eyes on future glory knowing it’s worth whatever loss we experience now. Let’s fight hard now for the kingdom of God to the glory of God. I’m just going to close with what Paul says in Romans 8, verse 14.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and of children than heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,

provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified. With Him. Let’s pray.

Lord, this morning I just come before You

and Lord, we just pray that

Lord, You would break down our defenses.

You would break down, Lord, just the walls that we put up. Lord, the callous that we allow to grow in our heads and our hearts. Lord, when we’re in that place of Lord, operative, operating as if we don’t know You, living our lives as if we’re dependent.

Because, Lord, we know from Your Word that we don’t deserve to know You and we don’t deserve to be called back to You, but by Your great grace,

You have pursued us and You’ve called us and You’ve sent Your beloved Son, Jesus, and Jesus so humbly and in obedience and with the same love and desire, He’s come after us that we wouldn’t die on our sins. He’s loved us.

And so, Father, we just pray really what we learned and read in the Scriptures this morning

that much like, just like Jesus,

we would just trust the Lord in all things. We would show ourselves to be truly sons and daughters of God through Christ and how we obey and how we love the truth.

Lord, when You put us through seasons of suffering, when the enemy attacks, Lord, would You be our only help? Would You be our only hope?

Lord, remind us this morning of how utterly weak we are on our own, but Your Word says in our weakness, Lord, You are strong.

So, Lord, teach us what it means to be dependent on You this morning,

to see Your great love, how You’ve loved us in Christ, but also, Lord, let us see Your justice and how, Lord, those who are not in Christ and have not been forgiven of their sins, Lord, You still come against them with Your wrath, and it isn’t Your desire, Lord. Let’s be reminded that we would repent, that we would truly place saving faith in Jesus, that He alone has been right and been good in our place.

Lord, I’m just praying that that You would believe the Gospel this morning, that we would abide by the truth of the Gospel this morning.

And in all things, You would receive the worship, You would receive the glory. Let’s do Your name. We just love You. We praise You. Amen. We say that in Jesus’ name.


Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: Matthew 4:1-11