Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year A): Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5: 12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
Theme: “The Temptations of Jesus”
Message: “How to Deal With Temptation”
- The Temptation to Distrust God’s Provision
- The Temptation to Exploit God’s power
- The Temptation to Idolatry
Quote(s): “Scripture isn’t just beautiful to hear, true to believe, inspirational to our actions, and the revelation of the knowledge of God. As illustrated by our Lord, it is an offensive weapon and a defensive shield that gives us the power to overcome temptation.” – Bruce Laverman
Illustration(s): Opera “Faust.” For a person who was dealing with the devil.
Music: “Holy Ground,” Geron Davis, 1983, Meadowgreen; “Shine, Jesus, Shine!” “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee”
Opening Prayer: With the first rays of the sun this morning you began to make yourself known to us through nature. Now with the light of your Word, and with the direction of Your Spirit we pray that you will continue to make clear to us Your will and Your Way. Amen
Prayer of Confession: O God, our Creator and Redeemer, as we look within our hearts this morning, we are all too aware of our reluctance to listen to your remedy for our problems. We have too often done “our own thing” instead of seeking your counsel and listening to your Word through the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for not seeking your Word, not listening when it comes, and ignoring it when we know better. Give us the desire to follow your commandments, where we will find the fullness of life. Amen
Assurance of Pardon: In this is the love of God seen, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Intercessory: O God, we pray for grace to not distrust your provision for us in the light of “tough times.” Help us, O Lord, not to exploit Your power in the pressures to “use” religion and faith for our own advantage. Grant us, O Lord the wisdom not to turn things into God, and view our objects of desire as our ultimate goals in life.
Offertory: Gracious Lord, we bring these offerings not to obtain your favor, but because by your grace we have already been fully accepted by You. Instead, in gratitude for what you have already done for us we bring these tokens of our love for you and our devotion to make a difference in our world.
Benediction: Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and forevermore. Amen