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This weeks sermon has been prepared for us by Paul Favell

Temptation.  1st Sunday in Lent. 21st February  2021

 

Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit after he had been baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. A great event that signaled the start of his public ministry with the affirmation of the voice from heaven, “You are my son the Beloved with you I am well pleased.” Then after the glory and the assurance the temptation and forty days of wilderness wanderings alone with his thoughts.

 

This time of trial at the start of the ministry; would he remain faithful to the calling, would he be obedient to the will of the Father, even when everything was stripped away? Is that how we find ourselves at times in our own wilderness wanderings when the generosity of God is replaced with bareness and the heavens are closed and nobody is at home, God does not answer our prayer and we are tempted to throw away faith, church, and anything to do with God? How easy and satisfying it would be to blame him and walk away.

 

If the Father could call out ‘This is my Beloved’ on the Jordan’s banks then why could he not allow Jesus to be a superhero and miss out the wilderness temptations? Forget all of the suffering and struggle, is not that what we all long for, a much easier ride through life, why can’t GOD just do something to make life easier. We have to be reminded that we live in a chaotic, fragile and broken world which includes barren deserts. Yet God takes the things of shadow and death and suffering and wrings from them resurrection and a new way. In our temptations we can lose sight that God is on our side; that his love is ever lasting regardless of our circumstances.

 

We often forget that it is not God who wants to trip us up, it is not the Father who wants us to fail, and it was not the Father who tempted Jesus in the wilderness. It was the adversary of God who set about trying to destroy the call that Jesus had to obey the will of the Farther. If Jesus could be tempted to do things his own way, to just satisfy himself and do what he wanted  then end of story; no cross ;no resurrection ;no salvation. Sin and Death would have won and we would have had no hope no assurance. Thankfully Jesus did not give into temptation, His victory is ours.”For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weakness but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are yet without sin.” Hebrews 4v.15.

 

Just to remind ourselves when we are tempted it is not because we have failed it is because we have decided for God and the adversary is against us BUT God is for us, and it is to Him we run to when things are tough.

 

Every blessing for Lent ,Paul.

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