A Conversation With The Devil

What Did Jesus Do To Overcome Temptation From The Devil?

Ross Sawyers
Jan 10, 2021    47m
Do you believe the devil is real? The scripture tells us he is, and by examining a conversation between Jesus and the devil, we learn that the devil tried to tempt Jesus. By studying what did Jesus do to overcome temptation from the devil, we can learn how to defend ourselves from temptation as well. 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: 00:06 In the mid-90s God was doing a work in my heart and my understanding of him, and that song we just sang was one of the songs that was instrumental in that time in the mid-90s. And I just love the personal way for us to declare that Jesus is our King, and what an honor to serve our King, and to love our King.

Ross Sawyers: 00:32 The scripture tells us in Corinthians that we are to work for each other's joy, so that the grace, which is spreading to more and more people, may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. And that's my prayer that we would be working for each other's joy as we abound in God's grace. The way I know how to honor God is to love him and love others, and the way I know how to love him and to love others comes from his word. In Ephesians chapter 4, verses 26 and 27, it says, "To be angry and yet do not sin, and do not give the devil an opportunity. " And when we're angry, we give the devil an opportunity to dig in deep with strongholds and footholds into our own lives and into the lives of those around us. And we're told in Proverbs 15:1, that, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Ross Sawyers: 01:42 And I think we've seen over the last several months, that harsh words stir up anger on all fronts, we've watched that again and again. And yet the way of Christ, as he declares himself to be, is to be gentle and humble of heart. And as Christians we ask God to continue to mold us to the heart of Jesus, that we too would be gentle and humble in the ways that we walk, the ways that we respond. Jesus moved towards that which was unlovely, he did not move away from that. Jesus moved into that which was difficult, hard, he did not move away from that, and yet he moved with a heart of compassion when he moved.

Ross Sawyers: 02:31 We're told in scripture often to pray. And Paul wrote to Timothy, and it's recorded in First Timothy chapter 2, he said, "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority." He's telling Timothy, and people, to pray for those who are in authority. It doesn't matter who's in authority, it's we pray for those who are in authority. Why is that? "So that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."

Ross Sawyers: 03:13 And I'd like for us to pause and pray for our nation and for our leaders. I want us to Pray for president Trump in his last couple of weeks, and I want us to pray for incoming President Biden, just as the scripture says. I personally have prayed for president Trump over the last four years. I prayed for president Obama for eight. I prayed for president Bush for eight. And I was trying to remember if I knew to pray for leaders in the 90s or no, I was probably mostly mad about what Clinton was doing, and didn't have the maturity to pray. So I just confessed and apologize for that. Yet, scripture says we're to pray, and this is really where things happen. Our battle is not against people, as Christians, we understand our battle is not against political leaders, it's not against other people, it's not against the behaviors of people. Our battle is a Spiritual battle, and it happens in the Spiritual realm. And when we go to God in prayer, I can't think of better ways that we can be loving people and be in the battle of our day, than to battle in prayer. So let's do that please.

Ross Sawyers: 04:35 Father, we exalt you today and praise you that you're our King, and that you're sovereign overall, and that you're in the process of establishing your kingdom in the hearts of men, and women, and teenagers, boys, girls. And that one day you will have a kingdom that is perfect, and that every person that has come through Jesus Christ is a son and a daughter and a citizen of your kingdom. And one day, God, we know we'll be a part of something that is illumined by your glory and lit by your presence, and we anticipate and look forward to that day. In the meantime God, you've given us a certain number of days as citizens in this world, and Father, I pray that we would live these days well, and that we would live them as Jesus lived them. And apart from you, we're not able, in you we are. So today God, we come and exalt and praise you, that you are the anchor of our soul, and that you are our everlasting rock, and you are the foundation for our feet. You're the one that motivates us to love by your love. Father, you're our strength today, you're our hope today, you're our peace today, you're our joy today. And God, our trust is in you. And you tell us that nothing is too difficult for you, and that we're to come to you helpless with everything, so today we come. Father, I pray across our land. I pray, God, for the hearts of people all across our country. And Lord, I pray more than anything today, as Paul prayed in Romans 10 "Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them, is for their salvation."

Ross Sawyers: 06:22 Father, we need more than anything today for darkened hearts to be lit up with the glory of Christ, where we've rejected you, and rebelled against you, and opposed you, and gone our own way, we desperately need your grace and your mercy and hearts to be changed. So God, I ask hearts to be changed, and that Satan would not be able to blind the minds of the unbelieving, but the veil would be lifted and the glory of Christ would shine. And Lord, I pray today for those who've suffered loss this week, tragically, and I pray God that you would comfort families and comfort friends in a way that only you can do, that you'd be a balm for their soul.

Ross Sawyers: 07:04 And then God, I pray for President Trump, as he finishes up his term, I pray God that he would lean into you for wisdom, that he would conduct himself in a manner that would be gracious as he concludes. And Father, I pray that for Vice President Pence, and for all those who are exiting out, that have served these last few years, congressmen and women all across the board. And Father, I pray they would finish well. Lord, I pray for incoming President Biden, and incoming Vice President Harris, the new cabinet, that they'll have the incoming new Congress. I pray God in a way that only you can, that you would channel the hearts of those coming in for your purposes and for your glory. Father, I pray for those who are all across the land leading, governors, in the Senate, and the house, mayors, city councils, school boards, all those who are representing people in multiple forms of government, for our judicial system. God, I pray, there'll be godly leaders raised up in every realm.

Ross Sawyers: 08:16 And Father, I pray where people are not, that they'll see Christ in other leaders, and that that would be attractive to them. And Father, I pray that they'd be shaped by the conduct and the love for each other that Christians have. And Father, I pray this nation would return to, and be, a righteous nation. And God, that we would follow the ways of you. And Lord, we ask your favor in that way, in a way, again, that only you can. Father, I pray where there are echoes of God from President Biden's past, I pray those would raise up within him and that he would govern in a way that's consistent with you, God. And I pray where things are not, that those things would change. And so we implore and ask you God to do that, just as we've done in the past, we asked the same for the future.

Ross Sawyers: 09:11 Father, I pray for those who are in law enforcement, that you tell us in Romans 13, "That you've placed there to restrain evil." I pray God protection over all those who are in law. And God, I pray that they would be led by you, that they would do right, and Father when there's wrong, that that would be righted. And so thank you for them, I pray courage and protection over them as they lead. Father, again, I pray for us as a country, that all of us, that our hearts would be shifted and changed. I pray, Father, that there could be real dialogue that could happen, and that we would learn to be able to agree and disagree, and to do that civilly, and God, you're the only one that can bring that about in the mess that we find ourselves in on this day. And yet I find myself incredibly hopeful in you today, and in Christ alone, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Ross Sawyers: 10:15 If you turn your Bibles to Matthew chapter 4, we'll be in verses 1 through 11. Last week, we started a
series we're calling Real Conversations In Grace and Truth. And what we want to do, is look at how Jesus had conversations with different people. And in that, we'll learn about him, we'll learn about other people, but I want us to dissect how we had dialogue, I just don't know that we know how to do dialogue well anymore, and what better place to learn than from Jesus himself in the different kinds of conversations that he had.

Ross Sawyers: 10:48 Last week we talked about John 4, and in John 4, we looked at Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and we learned how to talk to a marginalized outcast, someone that's far away from Jesus. I did a video this week, that's posted on our Facebook page, that's a summary of it, it's less than three minutes. If you wanted to grab up the main ideas of how to have a conversation with someone that is outcast, marginalized, and not currently following Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: 11:18 The conversation like for us to think about today in Matthew 4, is a conversation with the devil. We see this in verses 1 through 11, and it's a very direct conversation that Jesus has with the devil himself. On Thursday, as I was finishing up the bulk of my study, I told my wife, I said, I wish I would have broken this into two parts because there's too much here. And she said, well, why don't you? And I thought, well, because I have this whole series laid out in a particular way, and it'll throw everything off in the way I've got it laid out. And I thought, well, that's exactly what we're asking you to do in life groups, is to stay somewhere until you actually have it, and that we're being obedient to it when we think about these eight ways we've been doing to follow Jesus. And so I'd just like to model that, and so I would like this week to lay a foundation for Matthew 4, and I'd like for you to interact with me during the week, and it'll be clear to you what I'm asking for. And when I come back next week, I'll be able to more directly work through the kinds of things that you're working through, and we can be a help to each other. And again, that should make sense as we unfold this. I'll give you my email address at the end, it's on the website if you don't catch it. A lot of you have my phone number, I'm great with texts. I would ask on this, would you please email it to me, it'll be easier for me to organize what sent to me. I don't keep email on my phone, so I just can't move things easily. I'm too easily distracted, so that's one thing I've gotten rid of off my phone. But if you could email me, then on my laptop I'll be able to put together what you send. So, thank you for being a part of that.

Ross Sawyers: 13:06 In verses 1 and 2 of Matthew 4, it gets us started in this conversation with the devil. And this would be the idea here, in verses 1 and 2, the reality of the devil. And I write it this way, because I believe that there'll be a number of people whether online or in-person, that doubt the reality of the devil. And when you hear us talk about Satan, or you hear us talk about the tempter, I think sometimes that just kind of goes over and we just kind of say, okay, well, that's what they're going to talk about, but don't really buy that. And for those who aren't believers, aren't Christians, you may think that you don't buy it either.

Ross Sawyers: 13:48 And what I'd just like to encourage us as a church, that this could be a really safe place to ask things that you might think are unsafe. And it might be that you've known Jesus for a long time, and the idea of the devil is just a little much for you, but you haven't thought that I could actually ask that question in the church. And I just want to encourage in your life groups this week, or with someone else that's a Christian. If you have trouble with the idea that the devil is real, let's talk about that. The only way someone's that's not a Christian is going to be able to consider the things of Christ, is to talk about things that are uncomfortable and hard. The only way as Christians, that we will actually grow and deepen in our walk with Christ, is to talk about the uncomfortable things, or the doubts, or things that creep through our minds. We'll be strengthened in those conversations. So, could I just encourage you, if that's a challenge in your mind, to have that dialogue somewhere in this coming week?

Ross Sawyers: 14:48 I would like to see from scripture, and give it little help, as we think about why we believe that the devil is real. And in verse 1, "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." So Jesus was led up by the Spirit. This is the early part of Jesus' ministry, he's just launching it, and the Spirit of God is leading him. And we want to note that, because a week ago we looked in John 4, and Jesus was, in his encounter with the Samaritan woman, it said he had to go through Samaria. He had to, it was a divine necessity for him, he was being obedient to it, and he was following the lead of God. In the same way, it's the Spirit who's leading Jesus, the Spirit led him into the wilderness.
Ross Sawyers: 15:37 This particular instance immediately follows what we might call a Spiritual high, in Matthew chapter 3, at the end of it, Jesus is baptized. And it's a high moment for him, and while he's baptized, the Father says to him, "This is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased." How, how better a moment, than a baptism and a Father saying to his son, I'm well-pleased with you. We long to hear well-pleased from our Fathers, imagine that from God to Jesus.

Ross Sawyers: 16:18 And now, the Spirit's taking him from that moment, and leading him to the wilderness. He didn't go have a party, he didn't go celebrate, he headed to the wilderness. A few of us were able to go to Israel a couple of years ago, and you can't identify exactly where Jesus was, but you can look at the wilderness and say, okay, that doesn't look like the most enjoyable place to hang out. And yet, this is where the Spirit of God was leading him. And he was leading him into a place where there would be richness in his time with God, and there would also be Spiritual battle. Sometimes we think when we go to be alone with God, that it will be nothing but a rich and good experience and time, but Satan is waiting in times like that to bring the battle. And those are often battle times, when we go to be alone with God, that's exactly what occurs here.

Ross Sawyers: 17:13 Jesus was led up by the Spirit. Where? Into the wilderness, into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. He was being led to the wilderness, so he'd be tempted. Now the word tempted is a neutral word, it either means test, or it means tempt, it depends on who's doing it as to whether it's tempting or testing. The devil tempt, a temptation is to move someone towards evil. God does not tempt, he does not move us toward evil. He tests us to prove out our character, our faithfulness, but he doesn't tempt us to evil. Here we see that the devil is the one who's going to tempt, therefore we know this word is tempt not test.

Ross Sawyers: 18:10 Satan is about devouring people. In First Peter chapter 5 verse 8, it says, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to destroy." He is on a seek and destroy mission, Satan is, make no bones about that, that is what he's after. And if he can take Jesus, who is the King, and he's establishing a kingdom and a future kingdom, if he can somehow divert, corrupt, or take Jesus out of play from God's plan, then he subverts the whole plan. His whole idea is to devour and take out, he's trying to do the same to me and to you. In James chapter 1 verse 13, this is one place we know God does not tempt, "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone." God does not tempt people, Satan is the tempter.

Ross Sawyers: 19:25 The strongest temptations oftentimes come after some of the most Spiritually high times. When we ask people to share their stories here, we ask them to not only pray prior to and pray for them during, we ask them to pray and have people pray for them after. So often, Satan will take someone who just does something really well to honor God here, and then blows them up on the very thing they just talked about. We have lightheartedly said, in this morning as I thought about it, I thought, gosh, I've been in on that myself over the years. The kids will go off to camp, and when they go to camp, oftentimes there's this Spiritual high. They come back, and there's change in them, and then it's like a few days it's not there anymore. And so we say, well, this is what's going to happen, there'll be a high, and then there'll be a fall when they come back. And you know, what, what greater time for Satan to tempt then when you've had a group of students that have been under God's word for four or five days, when they've been with group leaders that are loving them and leading them in God's word, when they had to set their phone asides for a little bit, and they can actually get tuned into God for a little while. Wouldn't we expect that Satan would be waiting to wipe that out as soon as I got on the bus or off the bus? Yes we would. And it's exactly what we see here.

Ross Sawyers: 20:54 Satan is trying to derail what has just happened. Someone comes to Christ and what happens to them so often, immediately, there are all kinds of things come at them, and oftentimes they'll fall away. Satan will do everything he can to devour, he is the tempter, the tempter is the devil. The word devil means diablos, and it means slanderer or accuser. In revelation 12, we're told that he's "The serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, he deceives the whole world." As I've watched events over the last several months, to me, it just looks like there's this delusion and this veil over so many. Satan is a deceiver of the whole world.

Ross Sawyers: 21:37 Can you think right now, just off the top of your head, across the world, can you name one Christian world leader? I'm not saying there's not any, I'm just saying, can we name any that are prominent Christian world leaders. This is a world that is under the deception of Satan himself. The real battle here, as I mentioned at the outset, is not with people, the real battle is right here with the tempter and with the devil. It's not with our country, it's not with our leaders, it's not with the world itself, the battle is with the devil

Ross Sawyers: 22:23 In verse 2, "After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry." Jesus is in the wilderness, he fasts, that's a time to lay aside the food to focus and feast on God. No doubt, rich times alone with God, and at the end of that 40 days and 40 nights, he's hungry. The way to win against the tempter, is to feast on the Father. In eight ways, we've talked about abiding, that was one of our eight ways, abiding in Christ. That means to remain in Christ, to be in his word, to enjoy and delight in the presence of him. And it's in that abiding that Jesus had with his Father, that I believe enabled him to withstand what was about to come his way.

Ross Sawyers: 23:09 Now in Jesus' humanity, he was hungry, as you and I would be. In John chapter 4, we found he was thirsty. And just like you and me, he gets hungry and thirsty. And here he's hungry, and he's at a vulnerable point. Not only does Satan attack coming off of high points in our spiritual walk, he also attacks at our most vulnerable points. Have you ever noticed that in marriages that oftentimes some of the worst fights happen somewhere around 10 or 11 at night when we're tired, and we're the most vulnerable, and Satan's going to do whatever he can to take advantage, to disrupt and fracture that relationship. I don't know what you're like when you're hungry, but have you noticed those might be some times that Satan comes in, and you're a little bit short tempered. And then as my son said one time, when you think about children, middle-schoolers, what more vulnerable age could there be then for Satan to come in and rob them of everything they've got. Satan comes in at the Spiritual highs, he also comes in at those points of vulnerability.

Ross Sawyers: 24:30 Now the conversation begins at this point, this sets us up for the conversation and how Jesus had this conversation with the devil. And what I'd like to do is is layout three things that I believe are helpful for us to know how to have the conversation with the devil when he comes at us like this. And I'd like for you to take these three things, and this week think about these and respond. I'll show you as it unfolds, but this is where I'd like you to get in to this with me. Now, Jesus response with scripture from Deuteronomy, and context here shows us that the comparison is between Israel and their 40 years wandering in the wilderness in the Old Testament, and Jesus, who's the true Israel, now 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, and it's two separate things that happen as to the victory of what takes place.

Ross Sawyers: 25:31 So here's how the conversation begins. The first thing we learn from Jesus is, to decisively counter the doubt, decisively counter the doubt. This is what I mean by that verse 3, "The tempter, Satan, the devil himself, came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Now remember, he's hungry, and the devil's coming to him, and this is a temptation of independence. This is what he does, this is what he does to you and me, to be independent of God. That's what Satan is doing here, he's getting Jesus to go rogue and to do something apart from God. Could Jesus, since he's the son of God, command these stones to become bread? Yes, he could, he could do that. That was not God's plan for him, the minute he submits to what Satan wants in his temptation, the whole plan is diverted and corrupted of what God has intended through Jesus Christ. And so at the core of this temptation is independence, it's an independence towards self-gratification, it's an independence to question or distrust God. You're hungry, he's not feeding you, he doesn't really care for you. It's creating doubt, creating doubt.

Ross Sawyers: 26:54 It's the same as in Matthew 27:40, when Jesus was hanging on the cross and the crowds were mocking and saying, if you're the son of God, then come down from the cross. It diverts the whole plan, and trying to cast doubt, trying to cast doubt on him. Same thing happened in Genesis chapter 3, when the serpent came to the first woman and said to her, "Did God really say, did he really say you should not eat from any tree of the garden? See, if we can create doubt, just create doubts, that's what Satan is, creates a little bit of doubt in your mind. Did the God really say that? Did God really say this? I just want to plant a little seed, get you stirring on a little bit, just get you to doubt just a little bit. That that's what the tempter does.

Ross Sawyers: 27:47 How does Jesus respond? He responds decisively, and he says in verse 4, "It's written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." In John chapter 4 with the Samaritan woman, Jesus said something similar to the disciples. He said, "My food is to do the will of my Father." My Father's will is more important than physical food itself. And this is what he responded with, he responded decisively.

Ross Sawyers: 28:17 Here's an example of how this happens today, and this is what I want you to think about specifically, and if you could, send it to me this way during the week. Here's the doubt, prayer does not work. I've heard that several times over the last year. Prayer doesn't work, why should I pray? It doesn't work. I'm asking God things, he's not doing what I want him to do, it doesn't work. Which by the way, that doubt is not a doubt so much about prayer, as it is a doubt about God. Prayer doesn't work. What's a scriptural way to respond to that decisively? James 5:16 would be one place, he said, "The prayers of a righteous man accomplish much." Our prayers do accomplish much, there's a number of ways we could talk about that. That's one way Satan creates doubt, it's by the way, why we spend more time on social media than we do praying. For some reason we think we're going to be more effective here, than we are on our knees.

Ross Sawyers: 29:39 It's the first temptation, we're having a conversation with the devil, that's how Jesus had it. How do we have it? The same way, decisively counter the doubts, and decisively counter it with God's word. In First John 2:16, John writes, and he describes the way that some of these temptations play out. And this one, in this verse, would be the lust of the flesh. He's getting Jesus to look at something else, to crave that that's something different than what God desires, and then to act independently of God. That would be the essence of sin, by the way, is to act independently of God.

Ross Sawyers: 30:15 The second temptation that comes in this conversation, we see how Jesus' responds, decisively counter the scripture twisting. Decisively counter the scripture twisting. So he just causes doubt in general, and then Satan twists scripture. In Second Corinthians chapter 2 verses 10 and 11. Paul says, "That I do all things for your sake in your presence, and if I forgive anything, that's why I'm doing it. So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we're not ignorant of his schemes." Satan is a schemer, and one of the ways he schemes is to twist scripture. How does he do it with Jesus? "Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple." This is in Jerusalem, some would say it's about 300 feet above the Kidron Valley, some 450 feet, so somewhere in that range. It's high, whatever it is. And said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”.

Ross Sawyers: 31:27 The tempter is coming, he puts him out here and he says, quotes scripture, Psalm 91. This is not what Psalm 91 is about, it's not about daring God to rescue us from something sensational. This is a temptation to the sensational. The first temptation was to independence from God, this one is to sensationalism. We understand sensationalism today, it's basically how we're functioning. It's what can be the the more dramatic, how can I make this to where I can draw you back to social media, to watch on TV. Our news cycle is filled with sensationalism, social media is filled with sensationalism, it rules the day, quite candidly.

Ross Sawyers: 32:20 The problem with sensationalism is, you can never get enough, and you always have to beat the thing before it. So if Jesus were to jump off the temple, and God miraculously comes in there and spares Him from the fall, we see this from the way the crowd responded to Jesus, anyway. There was one miracle, show me another one. Oh, you could feed them there, can you heal them here? If you can heal here, can you exorcise the demon here? If you can exorcise the demon here, what's your next act? That's sensationalism, it's tempting God in ways that were not to tempt him or to test him.

Ross Sawyers: 33:05 How does Jesus respond in verse 7? “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” He quotes scripture, he comes back in response. He said, no, I see what you're doing, you're twisting the scripture, and you're not to put the Lord your God to the test. I'll give you scripture back, and I'll give it to you in right context.

Ross Sawyers: 33:33 Here's an example, and this is what I like you to think about this week. What are ways that you know that Satan twists scripture today, and then what's a scripture response to that twisting? These things are so critical to know and understand, it's how we'll survive well in the days ahead. Here's the example of scripture twisting, Matthew chapter 7 verse 1, "Do not judge lest you be judged." This verse is a whipping stick that our culture uses against Christians, and really against the culture as a whole. We can't say anything today, we can't assess something, we can't disagree on something. No judgment, no judgment, don't judge me, you're judging. Oh, what is Jesus saying here? The word here for do not judge, is to not have a critical spirit, or a fault-finding spirit. He's not saying you can't make assessments about things. He's not saying you can't see what something is, and call it what it is. Now how do we respond to that scripture twisting? With scripture, and we read the rest of what that is in context, Matthew chapter 7 verses 1 through 5. And what Jesus says is that we're to get the log out of our own eye, before we look at the speck in someone else's eye. He doesn't say we can't make assessments about what's going on, he is saying, be careful, step back, look at the log in your own eyes, it's probably bigger than the thing you're seeing in somebody else. Take care of that with humility, then you'll actually have the right spirit to approach someone else with the speck in their eye.

Ross Sawyers: 35:38 Twisting, this is the right scriptural response. What do you see out there today, where scripture's being twisted, and how would we respond back. In First John 2:16, I go back to it, the phrase in there that captures this temptation is, the boastful pride of life. It's the boastful pride of life. That's of the world, that's what Satan uses to tempt people. The third part of the conversation, verses 8 through 10, decisively counter the lies. Satan uses doubt, he twists scripture, and then he just flat out lies. Again, verse 8, "The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”. In John 8:44, Jesus talks about the devil and he says about him, that he is the father of lies, that's who he is, the father of lies. What's happening in this temptation is, shortcuts. Satan is saying to Jesus, hey, look, go look at all the kingdoms out there right now, look at Egypt, look at Rome who was ruling at the time, look at Greece, look at everything in all their glory, and I'll give that to you, all these things are yours.

Ross Sawyers: 37:21 Now the scripture says, that God is Supreme sovereign and authority over everything, everything that is is his. He also, for a period of time, has allowed Satan to be the ruler of this world, the god of this world who blinds the minds of the unbelieving. And there is a period of time where Satan is being allowed to roam and rule. And when we see that happening, the devil says, look, I can take what I have, and all these things, I'll give these to you. Jesus is King, Satan's rule is temporary. We're moving toward a day where Jesus will rule overall, and the pathway to that is through the cross. If he did anything that subverted, or did not go through the cross, then it diverts the whole plan. Jesus will be the King, and he's not going to shortcut the plan of the Father to be the King. The temptation that comes to us so often is to shortcut, to try to get certain positions, to try to get our way. We shortcut integrity, we shortcut paths, there's a temptation that Satan brings to do so. But what we find here is, that this is a lie because these things are temporarily Satan's, this'll be Jesus' anyway. And who knows, he's the father of lies, if he would even do what he said, he's not someone that you could trust. But we see the real motive inside of him, he says, "If you fall down and worship me."

Ross Sawyers: 39:08 We've been talking about establishing worship, where there is none, the worship of Jesus. We saw last week in John 4, that God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. God seeking people, worshipers of his. The scripture, especially in the Gospel of John, First John, is really clear, this is hard for us to hear right here. What Jesus was saying in John chapter 8:44, Satan is the father of lies. He was talking to religious people, saying you're doing the desires of your father, the devil. The reality is, we have one of two fathers today. Either the devil is our father or God is our Father, we're either following the ways the devil or we're following the ways of God. We are worshiping one or the other, it might be overtly, or we might not even realize what's happening. Because that's what Satan does, he blinds minds of unbelievers, and deceives. Jesus responds and says, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”.

Ross Sawyers: 40:26 Worship is to give worth to, it's to center around something. And Jesus' responds from scripture to say, the way we center our lives is around God himself, and it's not you Satan that I serve, it's not you Satan that I worship. And you might notice in here in these scriptures is, and the reason I said it, decisively, is it doesn't look like Jesus playing around in the conversation. This is not a conversation to play around with. It is to be decisive with God's word in response to the doubts, the scripture twisting, and the lies of the evil one.

Ross Sawyers: 41:07 Here's an example of how this one might play out today. Here's the lie, this is all over our culture today. It's your body, do with it whatever you want. That's a lie from the devil. The scriptural response to that, one scripture, First Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." Our bodies are not our own, they're gods, and they're intended for God's design.

Ross Sawyers: 42:02 In First John 2:16, when we look at that, the phrase that we would grab out of that is, "The lust of the eyes." And that's what Satan is doing here, he's saying, hey, take a look at all of this, it can be yours. Take this shortcut, get outside of God's will for just a moment, and it's yours. Jesus refutes each time with scripture, verse 11, "Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. The devil left him, we know in Luke chapter 4 when this account is told again, that he left him until there would be an opportune time to come back again. He's not going to leave us alone, he may wait a bit, he may wait until we get a little complacent, and then he'll come in. He'll either come after a spiritual high, or he'll find a good vulnerable moment, and he'll take advantage.

Ross Sawyers: 43:06 But the initial victory is Jesus's, and it foreshadows the victory that Jesus would have on the cross over Satan, over sin, over shame, over the wrath of God, over anything that is not of God. It's won at the cross, Jesus wins here, he's establishing his kingdom. It's by way of his shed blood, and broken body, the power of the resurrection that raised him from the dead so that he could not be held. And that we then, in Christ, are able to walk in victory. We don't have to walk around whimpering, we don't have to walk around looking at our shoes all the time like we're defeated. We don't have to walk around like we have no love or no power because of the way things are culturally. Jesus Christ conquered all, and in Jesus Christ, we have the same love, the same power of the Spirit, the resurrected life, we have everything of Christ in us to be overcomers, and to walk in victory, and to not lean into circumstances as our source of joy, but into Jesus Christ himself. And when we work for each other's joy in Jesus Christ, then we'll stand firm in our faith, and we'll be the most victorious people of

Ross Sawyers: 44:32 Father, thank you for, yeah, that's cool, thank you. Father, thank you for your kindness to us, and the victory that we have in Jesus today. I'm grateful, Father, for our church, and grateful for believers all over the country and all over the world today. And Lord, I pray we would walk in victory, and that we'd walk in light. And that, God, wherever you place us, that we would advance that light into the darkness. Father, I pray that we might learn from you how to have conversations with the devil on the lies, and the doubts, and the scripture twisting, that comes in the way he does that all through our culture, God. Will you help this week. as we ponder these things, to really identify the ways that the enemy does that, so that we can be laser focused in the way that we respond back to i,. God. And I pray that we would find our battle to be on our knees, and come to you, and lean into you for the victory, God. And help us to love those that are lovely to us, and help us to love those that are not lovely to us, in the name of Jesus Christ. And it's in Christ' name that I pray.

Ross Sawyers: 45:50 We have a couple of questions just to reflect on today, or just whatever God might be saying to you. And then after we're done with our reflection, Elvis will come and wrap us up, and my email address and the things I've talked about for you to consider this week we'll be on the screen as well. So let's, let's be quiet before the Lord and consider his encounter with us today. Amen.

Unknown: 47:15 Lord, we've been so encouraged in just how faithful you guys have been jin giving. And so we just thank you for continuing to give online, and we ask that you can leave your offerings on the way out. So thank you so much for being with us today. Have a wonderful day, stay warm out there. Thank you.

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