A PERSONAL PRAYER
Were you afraid when you were in the wilderness? I read in the Bible that you were fully human, sent by the Father to face the same challenges I face, and more… So I think you were afraid.
- When you were in the desert, without food for forty days, face to face with the devil himself, were you afraid then?
- When you heard that they had beheaded your cousin John the baptizer, did fear for yourself and your disciples well up inside you?
- When you stood in the Garden of Gethsemane and the whip and the cross were looming, surely you were afraid that day.
The Bible says you were “tempted by the devil” but were you really tempted inside, or was it just that the devil tried but failed to tempt you?
So many questions…
As for me, I sometimes operate out of fear, and I am tempted for sure. When it happens, the things I believe in and the things I stand for can sort of fall by the wayside. I look for a way to solve my problem. I want a way out. I want to be rescued. I want to avoid the problem that I have to face. Yes, when I find myself in the wilderness, I am tempted to look for an easy way out.
The devil offered you just such a thing, but you didn’t take it. You could have thrown yourself off the pinnacle of the temple and been rescued by the angels. You could have worshipped the devil and skipped the cross, still achieving your goal of bringing the kingdom of God on the earth. But you didn’t go that easy way. You didn’t let fear control you, but faced it and stood for what you knew was right, even though it entailed a cross.
Jesus, when fear or temptation comes knocking at my door in the wilderness, will you answer the door for me?
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Away with you Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” — Matthew 4:10 Read the whole passage for Sunday’s message here: Matthew 4:1-11.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
When have you been really afraid? Did it lead you to turn to God more, or to look away from God for answers from other places? Has there ever been a time, looking back, when you have sold out on your values?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we continue our sermon series “In The Wilderness.” We are looking together at the wilderness times of life, and learning how we must embrace them rather than avoid them. This Sunday, we will look for a second week at the story of Jesus spending forty days in the wilderness and being tempted by the devil. This time, we will consider the version from the gospel of Matthew, and focus on the second and third temptations. When you have been in the wilderness a while, fear can begin to take over. What do you do with your fear? Does it tempt you to take the easy or pragmatic way out of the wilderness, even if it is not the right way?
Our Scripture+Shared Bible study for next week, March 12-18, is on the miracle stories in Scripture, and particularly the feeding of the 5000. It is never too late to join us. Get a Bible Buddy and join in here.
Sunday, March 12 – Daylight Savings Time Begins
Thank you for loving us enough to bring your Son here. For Him to show us through his example of love and sacrifice how we are to live our lives. I pray that one day we will be in accordance with your will. In Jesus name Amen.
-Prayer by BTV
Monday, March 13
Dear Lord, I just thank you so much for all the blessings in our lives. So often we just do not realize that you are there with us every moment of the day. We miss the signs because we are too busy going through the motions of the day. Help us to slow down so we can feel and hear you! We love you so much and thank you in Christ. Amen.
-Prayer by Susan
Tuesday, March 14
Dear Lord, please help us to be supportive of those around us, especially our leaders. Amen.
-Prayer by Dwayne
Wednesday, March 15
Thank you Jesus for my dad, and my mom, and baby Elissa, and for my big girl bed. And for all of my friends at school. Amen.
-Prayer by Sophia, age 2
Thursday, March 16
Dear Jesus, please remind me to live in the now, where you are present. Thank you for taking care of my every need. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me unconditionally. Amen.
Friday, March 17
Dear Lord, How can we thank you for the great gifts you have bestowed upon us? You very best gift to me is that you love me unconditionally, always. Amen.
Saturday, March 18
I pray for the strength to forgive the one that has hurt me. Fill my head and heart with Forgiveness. Amen.
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