Passage: Matthew 4:1-11
Lord we come to your word with joyful thanks that you have qualified us to share in your inheritance, you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son you love, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Give us wisdom in understanding, readiness in obedience, eyes to see your goodness, and lives marked by our hope in you. Amen (See Col. 1:12-14)
We all know things are not the way they’re supposed to be. Often the solution is suggested in psychological or sociological terms: better education, improve socio-economic conditions. These are very important factors to caring for others and certainly require our best effort and attention. However, there is a real supernatural evil called Satan or the devil as work corrupting and destroying. How does understanding there is real evil help or challenge your understanding of what’s wrong with the world?
Read Matthew 4:1-11. What ideas or phrases surprise, encourage, or spark questions for you?
Three times the devil tempts Jesus. Three times Jesus resists. The first temptation deals with Jesus’s identity as the Son of God. The second is a matter of distorting Scripture, picking and choosing what to is preferable to believe. The third is giving up the eternal for momentary benefit. Our identity, truth, and comfort are all good things, but each can get distorted by lies. How does seeing Jesus’s resistance to these temptations equip you in resisting these lies?
In what ways do you wrestle with the devil’s lies about the value of your comfort, the hustle of creating and sustaining your identity, or seeking truth?
James 1:13-15 teaches us that God does not tempt us, but there is a very real battle against temptation from Satan. James gives a graphic picture of the growth of temptation into sin. What practices can we use to turn away from our evil desires and receive/rest in our freedom in Christ?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ – not counting our sins against us, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18