Temptation of Christ by the Devil

Temptation 101: Quoting Deuteronomy

Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)

Fasting. Have you ever fasted before? Fasting has shown me how addicted to food I am. I eat mindlessly. Don’t even think about it. I just do it. If I’m hungry (or sometimes if I’m not even hungry), I eat or snack. No questions asked. I not only obey my thirst, I obey my stomach. What I like about fasting is that it gets you out of your brain and into your body more. Fasting makes your faith so much more than cerebral, but a little more gutsy and from the heart. You have a little more skin in the game when you fast. It takes your faith out of the abstract and conceptual, and makes it more experiential and multi-sensory and alive. Fasting teaches you a lot about yourself. Emotions that are already there, are brought up to the surface when you fast. Things about yourself are revealed. It’s harder to hide them or mask them when you’re fasting. Fasting teaches you also to keep your natural impulses in check. To have disciplined strength—harnessed by the Spirit. To have self-mastery. Better self-knowledge. Self-awareness. Self-control—that’s a fruit of the Spirit. The definition of meekness is not weakness—meekness is disciplined strength. Fasting helps you become more meek.

It also powerfully teaches you to hunger and thirst for the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. Through fasting, God imparts to you spiritual focus and spiritual strength. It empowers your resolve to resist natural cravings and caving into temptation. This is not just in the area of eating, but resisting other bad habits, compulsions, attachments, and addictions in your life. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “when you fast…” Not if you fast, but when you fast. Let’s now learn about what happened when Jesus fasted.


February 21, 2021 Service Bulletin and Bible Study

Sermon Art: “Temptation” featured in “Perched on the pinnacle of the temple” by the Arché Foundation, Italy

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