Everyone deals with the temptation to live in a direction opposite of God's. Even Jesus faced temptation in his life. How do we as Christ-followers face these temptations? What sorts of temptation will we face? How do I handle that temptation in a Godly way? Even though Jesus faced temptations of many kinds, Jesus never gave into temptation and sin. Jesus faced temptations in three primary areas: pleasure, popularity and power. His example gives us hope and direction in how to handle the temptations that we face in our lives.
Week 1 - Overview
This week discusses the nature of temptation. Temptation is something that everyone faces. No one should feel like they are alone or the only one who is tempted in a certain way. Our encouragement is that Hebrew 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, yet he didn't sin. We can trust in Jesus' example to get us through our temptation spots.
Week 2 - Pleasure
The temptation to do "what feels good" is all around us. Music, movies, substance, sexuality, the Internet, and many other areas are constantly enticing us to give into pleasure. The first temptation that Satan throws at Jesus is to satisfy his hunger with bread. As all of us know, eating is an enjoyable experience, especially when we're hungry.
Week 3 - Popularity
Everyone wants to be popular and well-known. Our culture has become extremely Narcissistic. Our temptation is no less. Our culture promotes our dreams of becoming the next American Idol or having 100,000 followers on Instagram. Jesus was tempted to attract a follow of people, not by speaking the truth and pointing people to God but by doing something amazing (and base-jumping off the corner of the temple over the Kidron Valley would have been truly spectacular). How should we handle the temptation to grab up as big of a following as possible?
Week 4 - Power
Whether it's the captain of the soccer team or the president of the student body or the funniest kid at the lunch table, we all want that position of power. God created us to "rule over his creation" but we've taken that command and turned it upside-down into something never intended after the Fall. Satan tempts Jesus to avoid the cross by becoming the "King of the World" but this wasn't Jesus' mission. Jesus' mission was service and sacrifice. If we are going to overcome this temptation, we'll do it through service and sacrifice as well.