A Conversation With The Devil (Part 2)

Learning How To Counter Satan's Lies With God's Truth.

Ross Sawyers
Jan 17, 2021    50m
Would you know how to recognize temptation from the devil? This timely message teaches us how to recognize the devil's lies and temptations in our lives and that the remedy is the Word of God. We need to counter Satan's lies with God's truth. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Ross Sawyers: 00:07 It's so cool to think about how God has led us to do life in our small group world, our life groups. And it's not just happening in this area, it's happening all over the world. That's the primary way that people connect, is in the way they do their smaller group life. And part of our vision 2025, which is establishing worship where there is none, is to establish that in other places, Africa included, and this past summer we began a partnership in Burkina Faso. This week I saw the world watch list on the most persecuted countries in 2020, and Burkina Faso is towards the top of that list with Boko Haram, and others, that are coming hard after Christians.

Ross Sawyers: 00:52 We are a part of partnering with three church planters that we're sponsoring as a church, and then three others that we're assisting that were already on the grounds, six church plants in different villages in Burkina Faso. And one of them, this particular man on the screen here, he just recently trusted Christ and was baptized. And then the next picture is him with his small group, that now he's leading. And when we've been talking about those foundational truths of the eight ways, and best ways that we can love God and love others, and pass on what it is that God is teaching us, this is an example of that. It's a man who's a new believer, he did not know God, now he does. And he's already leading a group of people to follow after Jesus, it's a beautiful picture of what we continue to pray, is that God will raise up more and more people that'll step out and lead smaller groups of people.

Ross Sawyers: 01:55 Next week, we'll be having baptisms here as well. If that's something maybe you've been praying on, or wrestling through, that would be a great opportunity for you just like this man in Burkina Faso. And then there's opportunity always to be launching and leading groups, just like we talked about this morning, excited about the ones that God has established.

Ross Sawyers: 02:16 If you turn your Bibles, if you have a Bible with you, to Matthew chapter 4 we'll be in verses 1 through 11 again, this is part two of what we began a week ago. You may have the scripture on your device, and what I'd like to ask you to do whether online or in-person today. If you have a Bible, we'll be traveling a lot through multiple scriptures, and I'd encourage you to do that with me. And it's a way, I think, to just grow in finding things in the Bible or on your device. And then, I have several slides that'll make sense in a moment, and I would encourage you to take pictures. I think it'll go too quickly for you to be able to write, if you like to take notes, and I'm going to pick and choose among things on those slides. So I'd encourage you to have your phone ready to take pictures, and same if you're at home, you can take a picture of the screen. And I think it will be helpful as you study God's Word maybe this week a little bit more.

Ross Sawyers: 03:14 As we think about that., and before we start in Matthew 4, I do want to say thank you for, we encourage every week on the generosity, the giving. And in 2020, 121 has been just incredibly, radically, generous in the way of giving, and I just want to say out loud, thank you for that. The year ended extremely strong, and it enables us to do the kinds of things that you've already seen this morning. We gather here in worship, the life groups, our partnerships all over the world on mission, those are just small examples, and significant examples, of what God does through our giving, so thank you. And I want to always draw us back to our motivation to give, we should never give because we feel manipulated, or we feel guilty, or we're moving in behind some emotional plea. Rather, Second Corinthians 8:9, I think gives us a really solid base and motivation, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." Christ gave up everything, so we could have everything, and that motivates us to be generous givers. And I love this body of people, 121, so thank you for your faithfulness in that regard.

Speaker 3: 04:45 We started, a couple weeks ago, a series called Conversations With Real Truth and Grace, real conversations. And we're doing this because it appears to me, culturally, we have lost the art of being able to have a real conversation with someone, we've certainly lost the art of being able to have a conversation with people with which we disagree. And I thought a great way for us to learn, would be to look at how Jesus actually had conversations. And really look at how we had the conversations, not just the content of what he said. We began in John chapter 4 with Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman, and it gives us a great picture of how to have a conversation with someone that is far away from Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: 05:34 Last week we talked about a conversation with the devil, in Matthew chapter 4 verses 1 through 11. And I even said last week, I understand a number of people that are here may not even believe in the reality of the devil, and I hope we can be a safe space for you to even wrestle through what you believe is real or not real. We looked at why we believe he's real, and how Jesus had conversation with him. And I went into last week intending to do one day on it, but seeing the richness of it, I wanted to come back in a part two. And hear responses from you during the week of ways that the devil brings temptations to you, and then how you would respond scripturally. So the bulk of what we'll do this morning is a little bit different than what we would, as a norm, do in our scripture. But these are things that you sent me, and it was really rich to read the depth, and the thought, and the ways that God is working in the kinds of ways that you're tempted. There are ways that I'm tempted, differently than you might be.

Ross Sawyers: 06:46 Generally though, we probably face a broad base of similar kinds of temptations. So how do we respond to those? And what I would say today, is that Jesus responded in his conversation with the devil with direct scripture. He was decisive, and he came back with scripture against the lies, the doubts, and the scripture that twists, that Satan would twist with him. And that could be discouraging if we're not quite sure how to respond to something. But I would simply say that what God is calling us to do, is to start right where we are today, or continue where we are today, to abide in Christ, to remain in him. And the more we hang out with Jesus, the more we'll know how to respond when the devil brings temptation against us. And so this shouldn't be a day to be discouraged, you're thinking, well, I don't know where to find that. Over time, the more and more you grow in your relationship with Jesus, the more and more you'll be comfortable in these kinds of responses, so I hope you'll find yourself encouraged today in this regard.

Ross Sawyers: 08:00 We talked about the reality of the devil, and in the first two verses of Matthew 4, Jesus was actually led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness, into the desert, the desolate, to actually be tempted by the devil. And it was here that Jesus was in both a spiritually rich time, and a vulnerable time. It was a time that he had just come off of being baptized, and now he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. And no doubt, a part of that time was really rich time with his Father. At the end of that time, he's vulnerable because he's hungry, as you and I would be, 40 days and 40 nights of fasting. And it's at this point of vulnerability now, that the devil brings his temptations. , He does the same with us spiritually high times, vulnerable times, he'll attack.

Ross Sawyers: 08:55 We don't have to look at this though, as a friend of mine said years ago, too often, we're walking around looking at our shoes, our heads down, we're just down, things aren't good, they're not going right, they're not going my way, I'm defeated, I'm looking down. He said, look up, quit looking at your shoes. Because we actually have the victory to walk in, in Jesus Christ, it's a matter of where our eyes are. We can keep our eyes on our shoes, and be all down about everything, or we can keep our eyes up on Jesus, and we actually walk in victory. To walk in victory, we have to know the tactics of the enemy.
Ross Sawyers: 09:34 Our government spends billions of dollars every year, in part, to understand those who are evil and those who are enemies across the world. As they learn what their tactics are, and know what they're about, then we can counter those tactics. Apart from knowing them, we're flying blind, we don't know how to respond. Or we could look at it from a sports analogy. This weekend was a big weekend for state championships in high school football in Texas, and it's a big weekend for NFL playoffs. And the coaches and the players have spent countless hours watching film, drilling down, watching one play, watching one player, watching again and again and again, and watching the tendencies of that player. Why? So that they could exploit the other team, apart from understanding what the other team is going to do, it's difficult to be your very best and to win. Sometimes raw talent will do that, all this time is spent understanding what the other side's going to do, what their tendencies are.

Ross Sawyers: 10:54 Now. Satan knows our tendencies. He's not inside of our mind, but he does know what we're doing, he sees how we respond, and he's waiting for just the right moments to seek and devour and take us out. We can counter that when we know his tactics and the way he works. This pains me to say this, but I'm going to anyway, because I think it's one of the best examples. The University of Alabama football team, when they step onto a field, they fully believe they've won the game, there is no doubt in their minds that they are the most prepared, they're the best athletes, and they will win, and they will dominate you while they're doing it. And this particular year, they did it. Now, there will be a time where all dynasties like that fall, but we are like that in Jesus. We have the victory in Jesus Christ, on the cross, in the resurrection, and we don't need to walk around with our heads down, we walk around in victory with our eyes on Jesus. When we step onto the playing field, we've already won the game, the enemy is already defeated. We just have a few skirmishes, and some battles, and some big battles, to fight along the way, and that's what we want to make sure as Christians we're most equipped to do.

Ross Sawyers: 12:39 There's three things we talked about in the ways that Satan goes at this, he brings doubt, he twists scripture, and he lies. What I want to do, and I learned from the first service, so it was an advantage for you today to come at 11. I tried to go through every one of these, I actually accomplished it. And when you see the list, you'll think, wow, this was the best move ever to be here at 11 today. And so what I'd like you to do is be able to take pictures of the screen, so feel free anytime you want to, when we changed screens, so you'll have all of the ones that people sent me this week. Which by the way, I just so appreciated what you did this week, it's incredibly helpful. and it was just good to see what's going on at 121. And so, I'll pick and choose, I don't have any rhyme or reason to why I'm choosing something, I'm doing this on the Holy Spirit fly here. Because I actually thought going through all of them was a great idea, until I was done and then I didn't think it was such a great idea. So I could persevere and make you endure it as well, or I can try it this way, and then I'll choose for next time which is best.

Ross Sawyers: 13:53 All right, decisively counter the doubts, this is what Jesus did, he was decisive. And I want us to think decisively, how do we counter the doubts that Satan brings with scripture, and I'll work through just a few of these, picking and choosing, to how we can work through them.

Ross Sawyers: 14:17 The first way that the devil tempted Jesus, was with doubt. And he made Jesus, he tried to get Jesus to doubt the goodness of God. And here's a few ways that we might see today, that Satan does this and cast doubt with people. There's no way God can possibly love me. If you have your Bible again, I said earlier, if you want to try and find them quick. Did anybody do Bible drills growing up? I realized that's not going to be everybody. Some people like a few, you know, someone here, let's do Bible drill. I'll give you an award, you know, for whoever can do the most. At the end, I'll give you a certificate or something. And now, if you pop up and read it, then I'll know you really did it growing up, you'll understand.

Ross Sawyers: 15:08 But First John 4:10, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Satan will cast out and say, did God really? That's a good way to think about the doubts, he's kind of whispering in our head. Did God really say this? Do you really believe that God can love you? I mean, look at what you've done, look at the way you think, do you really believe that God can possibly love you? And yes, decisively, God loves you. God can possibly love you, it's not dependent on you, it's not dependent on how good you are, it's not dependent on how bad you are. It is God initiating a love for you, it comes from within himself, it's incredibly free.

Ross Sawyers: 16:04 Skip one and go, is scripture really authoritative and accurate? When we think about God's Word, is it really authority? Do you really believe that this is authority? And do you really believe it's accurate? I mean, come on 2000 years ago, I don't know? In Second Timothy chapter 3 verses 16 and 17, "All Scripture is inspired by God, it's God breathed, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." Yes, it is authoritative, it is accurate.

Ross Sawyers: 16:51 Each person can determine their own gender. The last few years we've had that whispering quite loudly in our culture, that it's up to each person to determine what their gender is. Now, I want you to know on topics like these, we're speaking to, I'm being decisive and direct in the pattern Jesus was. This would be the kind of conversation where someone is struggling here, where we would want to graciously spend a lot of time with a person. It's not just, I throw the scripture at you, and I win, that's not the point. We're just trying to show from scripture how God views these things, and how Satan can cast doubt in there. But these are long conversations with people, and gracious conversations with people. In Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 it says, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." It is not up to us to decide what our gender is, God is the one who has determined what our gender is.

Speaker 6: 18:03 That's not really a human person in the womb, this is one of the challenges in the conversation about life in the womb, is that really a person when someone is pregnant. And from Psalm 139 verses 13 through 16, says, For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, hen as yet there was not one of them." One place among many on the sacredness of life. And from the time of conception, til the time a person passes, God is in the detail and he values that life, and he's numbered the days of that life. And we trust him in that, to that end.

Ross Sawyers: 19:12 Doubt, a good and loving God would not allow pain and suffering. This would be a way that Satan tried to cast doubt to Jesus about God's goodness to him, about feeding him. This would be a place where I think a number of us would have had these thoughts along the way, depending on the kind of pain and suffering that's come into our lives. And the question is, if God is a good God, then would he allow that. We find from Genesis chapter 50 verse 20, "As for you..." This is in context of Joseph and his brothers, and his brothers had betrayed him, and then Joseph in the end God had put him in charge of different things, restored with his brothers. But now their dad died, and the brothers are a bit concerned that Joseph is going to come after him. And this is what Joseph says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." Oftentimes, people mean evil, and that does bring pain and suffering, but God means it for good and he'll bring about the result he desires. God takes that, which is painful in the suffering, and he brings good. Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." There are so many things going on behind the scenes of what God is doing, that we can't see, that we trust that he's working these things for good, even when I can't see it

Ross Sawyers: 21:06 Counter the doubts, those are some examples of things that you sent in. Let's think about how Satan twists scripture. This one's a little harder, because the scripture that we see in these, it's true scripture. What's important is what's in parentheses, and how people twist that scripture. And this is what Satan does, he takes what's good, what's good of God, and he tries to twist it, and then that starts to mess with it. This is how cults get started, it starts with scripture that gets twisted. And once it's twisted, and you buy it, then it's not a good road.

Ross Sawyers: 21:54 So let's look at a few examples of how that twisting happens. In Philippians chapter 2 verses 9 through 11, it says, "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Powerful part of scripture. Some people will take this and use this as a verse for universal salvation, it really doesn't matter what life looks like here, in the end, everybody's going to be with God, everybody's going to bow the knee, and will enter in to heaven. We have to read scripture as a whole, and it's true that in the end, everyone will bow because everyone will acknowledge that Jesus is King, it's what happens in this life that matters in the next life. And for those who've refused Jesus, will not be in heaven. One verse that would be a response to this, would be Second Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 9. Somebody beat me on that one, there's no question. "These will pay..." The ones who don't know God, and those who don't obey the gospel. "These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." It's clear all throughout scripture, there'll be a separation in the end, there's not a universal salvation.

Ross Sawyers: 23:49 Exodus 21:24 is a twist, it's "Eye for an eye tooth for tooth.", it's in the law in Exodus. People will take that and use it, so they can take their own personal revenge, and that is a twisting of the scripture. A way to respond to that is Romans chapter 12 verses 17 through 19, "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord." It is not our place to take personal revenge on someone else, it is a twisting of scripture to say that that is your place or mine. God is the one who will do that, and it will be done rightly because it's him, not us.

Ross Sawyers: 24:52 Let me skip down to the prosperity gospel in Second Corinthians 9:69, it talks about he who sows generously will also reap generously, and that he use sows sparingly will get back sparingly. And then in Luke 6:38, it says, “Give, and it will be given to you. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over the [inaudible] of your life. Whatever measure you deal out to others, will be dealt to you in return. " This you'll see on, you might have a background in this, you might have watched television preachers. And you're listening to them, and you're hearing, hey, if you give $10, then God's going to give you back a hundred dollars, if you give a hundred, you're gonna get back a thousand. It's a whole idea, it's a prosperity gospel. It's saying whatever you give, God's going to give you back. 30, 60, a 100 fold. And people are really wealthy today, living off of that. What's been really cool in recent years, some of the primary ones who have preached this prosperity gospel, have repented of it publicly, and God has done a neat work in them from what I can see. In Luke chapter 6 verse 24, a way to respond, again, there'd be a number of places to respond to this idea. But in Luke 6:24, Jesus says, "Woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Jesus isn't acting like this is a good thing that you're rich, because you're misunderstanding what you're to do with your wealth. And then in John 16:33, Jesus says, "In this world you'll have tribulation." And we only have to look at Jesus' life, it's a life of poverty. And Paul who lived a life not of wealth, to partly dispute this aspect. Now, you say that, you say, okay, well, probably most of us in here by standards in the world are wealthy. So what do I do with this? What is the idea? Well, one, I hope you see the twist, the idea is not because you gave enough to God, that you've received what you've received, that is not why you have what you have, or why I have what I have.

Ross Sawyers: 27:13 But that next one, that scripture twist, Matthew, 19:21. Jesus is talking to this wealthy young ruler, the guy says, Hey, I'm following the commandments, I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, is there anything else? And Jesus says, yeah, you need to go sell everything that you have, and then come follow me. And the man walked away, and he was distraught because he was a wealthy man, and he didn't want to give it up. Some will take that, twist it, and say, that's what every person is supposed to do. To follow Jesus, you have to sell all that you have. That would not be accurate, the reason that Jesus said that to that man, because he knew it had that man's heart, and what was the ultimate satisfaction to him? And he was testing the heart of that, man, because this is what supreme for you, not Jesus. In First Timothy chapter 6, verses 17 through 19, it says, "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches." So don't fix your hope on it, "But on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed." God gives us what he gives us, so that we can take care of our families, and so that we can give well to those who are in need. And what we'd want to know, is it were hanging out with Jesus in a way that we know the things he wants us to be giving to, he did not give us things so that we could ultimately be consumers.

Ross Sawyers: 29:02 Those are a few from a twisting side. The other ones are actually really excellent as well, but I want to move on. There's a third way that the devil temps, and this is just with outright lies. By the way, you may hear some of these and think, well, that doubt sounds like a lie, or that lie sounds like a scripture twist, some of these overlap, it's not always just real clean categories, Satan is good about all of that.

Ross Sawyers: 29:32 Let's look at some of the lies. If you are good enough, religious enough, or keep trying harder, you'll be saved. , If you're just good enough, keep trying harder, go to church a little bit more, then you'll be saved. Ephesians 2:8-10, says, "It's by grace that we've been saved through faith, not as a result of work, so that no one may boast." It's God's grace that anybody comes to him, you cannot be good enough or bad enough for God to love you. It is by his grace that we're saved, through faith in what Jesus Christ did for us on that old rugged cross. We're his workmanship in Christ Jesus, he sees us as valuable.

Ross Sawyers: 30:22 The next lie, God helps those who help themselves. This would be a good plaque in your kitchen, it would be a good mantra as you walk out the door. Pull up your bootstraps, get after it, and if you help yourself, then God's going to help you. The reality is, we're incapable of helping ourselves, especially in the matter of salvation. God is the one who is our helper. In Psalm 54:4, it says, "God is our helper." Yes, there's responsibility on our end. Yes, there's things for us as we walk in obedience to Christ. But God is just not about helping those who help themselves, this is a cultural mantra.

Ross Sawyers: 31:22 The next lie, truth is relative, so just live your truth. This one is all over us, truth is relative, it's whatever you want truth to be, and then I'm to respect your truth, and value your truth, and let you live your truth. That's a lie. It is why we find ourselves in cultural chaos, because there is not an underlying truth. Let's just think about this room, and in your living room, if it was just, okay, what is your truth? All right, now I have to figure your truth out, so I can live appropriately and abide by your truth, so that I don't offend you. What's your truth, now I have to know your truth, I have to figure out how to live with you. And what's your truth, now I've got to figure out your truth and how I can live with you. My son, probably the most frightening things I heard in the world he works in now, and you've known this forever, I just haven't been right in the middle of it, like I have been with my sons. Now that I understand a little more, that it's not what you say in the workplace or what you intended, it's the way you're perceived that gets the greater weight. Let's think about that for a real long, it's whatever your truth is and the way you perceive truth, and then that's how we live. Now, there is an objective truth in John 8:31-32, If you're going to be a disciple of Jesus, "Then walk in truth, and the truth will set you free." The truth is actually free, but the truth is a person. John 14:6, "Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life." Truth is not an idea, it's not a philosophy, it's not a concept, it's a person, and the person of Jesus Christ.

Ross Sawyers: 33:20 A lie, Jesus is not God, but he's one of the many of the great teachers in history. John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That's one place among many, Jesus is God, he's not just a great teacher among many.

Ross Sawyers: 33:37 Let me skip one, if we have diseases or illnesses, God is punishing us. Sometimes we think that sometimes our behavior is directly related to a particular sickness or illness that we get, but it is not always that God is punishing us. John 9:3, "Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." The question was, why was this man born blind, did his parents sin or did he sin? Why is he being punished? It's not always about being punished, God works through the hard things.

Ross Sawyers: 34:18 Skip down a little bit to, I'm not beautiful. A teenage girl sent me three, and this was one of those. And she said, this is just what I needed to do to be able to make it through high school, to lock into God's truth. And she had ones about image, and different things, and I just loved how she locked in to what she did. And in First Peter 3:3-4, it talks about having a gentle and quiet heart. And you know what, sometimes people don't like that idea of describing a woman, but I don't understand that, why that's offensive. Because Jesus, in Matthew 11, when he described his own heart, he said, "I am gentle and humble in heart." A person is never more like Jesus than when they have a gentle spirit and are humble in heart. What a compliment in the beauty of someone, when gentleness and humility is what flows from their heart.

Ross Sawyers: 35:24 And then let me just skip to the last three quickly. Follow your heart, that's a problem in our day, if you just follow your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says that, "The heart is deceitful, and who can understand it?" Our hearts are deceptive.

Ross Sawyers: 35:44 And then the next one, science is on the level, or above the level of God and his word, as the
authoritative truth source. Science is good, but it is not authority, it is not on the level of God, and it is not on the same par as that. Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Everything begins with God, he's over everything, he's the ultimate authority.

Ross Sawyers: 36:14 And the last one there, this is just how God made me. We run to this lie on a number of fronts, we try to excuse multiple behaviors by saying, this is just how God made me. If it's sin, we're born with a sin nature and we choose to act on it, the only way to break from that is in Christ. And we're new creations in Christ in Second Corinthians 5:17, "God changes our hearts, he molds and shapes us to himself." To say, this is how God made me, wired me to a number of things, fill in the blank. But God changes our hearts, a new creations. Philippians 1:6, "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

Ross Sawyers: 37:17 Those are things that you sent, and I hope that's a little bit helpful to all of us to be encouraged as I was, as I read these different things. It helps us to practice a little bit more, I'd encourage you to look at these this week and see, is there other scripture that comes to mind for you. Or look at these scriptures, and maybe it encounter something that Satan's been doing to you.

Ross Sawyers: 37:41 The last part of Matthew 4, Jesus, he tells Satan to be gone, and then the scripture says that angels came and ministered to Jesus. We're told in scripture that if we resist the devil, and then draw near to God, the devil will flee from us. Jesus resisted the devil in scripture, we can do the same. And know temptation has overtaken us, but such as is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not allow the temptation to overwhelm us, but he'll give us an escape route every time. It's a matter of, will we take that escape route.

Ross Sawyers: 38:33 One, mom sent me a story the other day about her son, and her son's eight years old now. And when he was in preschool, he was having nightmares. And the nightmares were such, that he dreaded going to sleep at night because he knew what it was going to be like during the night. When they would talk about it, one of the things that he did not believe, is that angels could actually protect him, because he had a cultural image of an angel. And that cultural image was of a little boy in a dress, and he just couldn't imagine that a little boy in a dress could somehow protect him from the nightmares that he was having. And a friend of theirs drew a picture and sent it to them, and this picture has been on his wall, above his bed, ever since. And it's this picture of an angel, because angels are fierce, and they are warriors, and they fight for us. The angels ministered to Jesus, and they fight for him. They also bought scripture CDs, and to this day, they still play scripture over him as he goes to sleep every night, God's Word is just running through his mind. Angels ministering, protecting, resisting the devil, and drawing near to God. God will do the same with each of us when those temptations come. This mom made one note to me, in addition to telling me that story. She said, Jesus already knew these verses before the attack came, she's equipping her son to have the scripture so that he can resist when it comes. We prepare beforehand, we hide God's Word now so we can fight when it comes.

Ross Sawyers: 40:55 And we can do this with confidence from God's Word, this is what we know about his word, that the Word of God is living and active, and it's sharper than any two-edged sword. It's piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, and it's able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. All scripture is inspired by God and it's profitable, it's for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.

Ross Sawyers: 41:32 Finally, put on the strength of God and move in the strength of his might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you might be able to resist the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, it's against the rulers, it's against the powers, it's against the world forces of this darkness. It's against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day in having done everything to stand firm. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly, as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuousness, not in strife and jealousy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.

Ross Sawyers: 42:51 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you'll be careful to do according to all that's written in it. And then you'll make your way prosperous, and then you'll have it success. Have I not commanded you, God said, be strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Ross Sawyers: 43:21 Now, how blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law, he meditates day and night. And he'll be like a tree, firmly planted by streams of water, it'll yield its fruit in its season and its leaf will not wither. Oh, the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, it makes wise the simple, the commandment of the Lord is pure and it enlightens the eyes. The precepts of the Lord are right, they rejoice the heart, oh, they're more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine told, sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them, your servant is warned, and in keeping them there's great reward. Your word, God, is a lamp to my feet, and it's a light to my path.

Ross Sawyers: 44:30 How can a young keep his way pure? By keeping it according to the word, because your word I've treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you. You give light to me as you unfold your word, and understanding, give that to the simple. Establish your footsteps in the word, and then we'll be like Ezra, for Ezra set his heart to study the word and to practice it, and then to teach the ordinances and statutes in Israel. When we study it, and we practice it, we teach it tor the strongest of all. When we think about God's Word that way, it's why those promises that often are familiar to us, e may know some of these, we may not, but we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and we don't lean on our own understanding, and all our ways acknowledge him and he'll make our paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, but fear the Lord and turn away from evil. That is actually what will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones? Oh, Lord God, behold, you've created the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm, nothing is too difficult for you. Nothing. As a matter of fact, the steadfast of mine, he will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in you. Trust in God the Lord, friend, in God the Lord, we have an everlasting rock. Oh, when we're tempted to worry, Jesus said, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: 46:35 Don't let Satan lie to you, therefore I urge you brethren by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. Use your spiritual service of worship, and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For Christ is our life, we're hidden in him. Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let's also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and now he set the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility by sinners against himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

Ross Sawyers: 47:40 Our motivation from the love of Christ who did not seek to do his own thing, but that of his Father. In Christ, we're the most thankful, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. But thanks be to God who always leads us in his triumph in Christ, and manifest through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. For we are the fragrance of Christ to God, among those who are perishing, among those who are living, to some an aroma from death to death, to others an aroma from life to life. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Unknown: 49:04 Thank you so much God, just for today, God. For you and for who you are, God, just to have a place where we can gather and worship you, here God and online. And God, just that you meet us where we're at, and God, we are so thankful for that. And God, we're thankful that you are truth, that you have everything in this world and out of this world and control, God. God, we just thank you so much, and we ask all this in Christ' name.

Unknown: 49:31 Thank you all so much for joining us today, in-person and online. We just want to remind you upstairs at
12:30, in like 14 minutes somewhere right around there, will be the membership class. So if you are new and you're interested in becoming a member at 121, we there'll be more information for you upstairs. There is also food and childcare, so you can get free food and a free babysitter for a little while, which is always a really good thing. And just as always, y'all been so faithful in just giving in your tithes and offerings, you can do that on your way out or online. Thank you so much, and y'all have a blessed week.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051