Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tough Choices

Get Thee Hence
 Pastor Jerry was ministering on Temptation; which is dangerous, enticing and often is the extra desert.
 
Most of us have played hooky, called in sick, fudged on our income tax; there are the trivial temptations and those to the extreme.
 
Temptation takes us from a place of safety to danger. 
 
Babies are tempted to get into things that mother says not to touch.  Some lessons are learned the painful way.
 
Pastor gave an illustration when he was 16 and a group of he and his friends rode their bikes down to the river.  An electrical station was there with a high fence and warning signs of danger NO Admittance. 
 
His buddies encouraged him to climb up and go over the barbed wire and then let them inside.  He managed to get to the top, but then he slid and the wire cut his new blue jeans and his leg.  He still has a scar about 18 inches long on his left leg.  He remembers that his mother was more concerned about his new torn jeans than his bleeding leg.
 
We are aware of the story of creation, Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 and how God told Adam and Eve to eat of any tree in the garden, except "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil."  They were forbidden to even touch that tree.
 
There are many decisions about Good and Evil and the consequences of certain choices.  If those decisions brought tragedy to us, more often than naught we reach out to blame others, as Adam and Eve did.
 
In some cultures the serpent is given importance.  For instance the symbol of the medical profession is a serpent on a pole.  Another thought is the serpent represents long life because it sheds its skin each year.rebirth and fertility because it annually sheds its skin.
 
Children test their parents and authority and consider, “What harm could one bite do?”
 
Consequences follow and abandonment.
 
Fast forward to the Temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11 
 
Jesus had previously been baptized by John and then spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness.  He was tired and hungry and Satan appeared as an angel of Light to entice and tempt him three times.

Satan used silky words, “Do as you please, it will be good for you, you need this!” 
Jesus moved away from the abyss and walked away.

In each instance, Jesus knew who he WAS, and he used Scripture to defeat Satan and then angels came and ministered to Jesus.  Jesus passed the test and did not succumb in defeat as did Adam and Eve.
 
Each of us when tempted must realize “Who WE are and WHOSE we are.”
 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. Amen! God sent His Son to redeem His beloved. And even as we fail in this weak flesh He loves us and His perfect word won't be taken from us. That's true love...

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  2. A great reminder for everyone.
    Happy Tuesday Hazel:)

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  3. Realizing whose I am is important for me! Temptation will always be there but I belong to a God who is bigger and stronger!

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  4. I love the image of "silky words." Yes--satan speaks to us with a slippery tongue that lures and cajoles. Thankfully, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the through the name of Jesus, we can overcome!

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