• Tony Birkhead

Week 2-Hearing the right Voice!



If We Are Not Reading God's Word We Are Not Hearing the Right Voice!

INTRODUCTION

The key to hearing God’s whisper is found in His Word. When we believe we are hearing from God on any issue or direction we need to always check what we believe we are hearing with God’s Word. He will never contradict Himself. Jesus used Scripture as He was tempted. He used Scripture to show His Father and glorify Him. Scripture can direct us and help us to make right decisions. Committing Scripture to memory is the tool as we battle temptation.

KEY SCRIPTURE

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What type of candy would you say most tempts you to eat the entire bag?

Do you think being tempted is a sin? Does everyone experience temptation to the same things and in the same way? Explain?

Why do you think God’s Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry?

How did Jesus respond to this temptation? What does this tell you about how we can respond to this kind of temptation?

What is one thing that distracts you from daily studying the Word of God? What habit or routine needs to change for you to make the study and memorization of the Word a priority?

PRAY TOGETHER

Jesus, help us to recognize temptation when it comes our way. Help us to recognize when we are most tempted and place guardrails in our lives to help us in those times. If we do give in help us to repent quickly. Thank you for always making a way to escape. Amen!

MOVING FORWARD

  • What are some practical ways you can remind yourself of God’s strength as you are tempted this week?

  • Choose a verse and commit it to memory to help you fight temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:105, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

  • Go to mylivingwater.cc Click the “More” tab. Choose “Pray4everyhome” and register to pray for your neighbors.

COMMENTARY

Matthew 4:1-11

4:1-4. Jesus’ temptation immediately followed His baptism. Many of God’s people have faced strong temptations immediately after spiritual mountaintop experiences. Jesus’ baptism has been viewed as the beginning of His public ministry. In His temptation, Jesus faced choices regarding how He would accomplish the mission God had given Him. Would He choose God’s way or Satan’s way? At the beginning of these temptations, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. Did the Spirit do the tempting? No, the tempter did. Although led by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus was tempted by the devil. An important note of difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of Satan is evident in this verse. The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, but the devil was responsible for the temptation. This verse warns us that we must never blame God for temptation nor should we view Satan as having power equal to God’s. The devil is always bound by what God permits.

Satan attempted to prove Jesus faithless. God permitted Jesus to be tested to demonstrate His faithfulness. Satan attempted to create division between God and His Son. The devil works against God’s purposes and God’s people. The temptations Jesus faced were real temptations. Yet He steadfastly and repeatedly resisted temptation (Heb. 4:15).

The temptations recorded in Matthew 4 happened after Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights. After a 40-day fast, Jesus was hungry. Jesus was both God and man. As a man, Jesus experienced the same kinds of physical needs we experience. What did the devil mean by the phrase “if you are the Son of God”? The phrase also could be translated “since You are the Son of God.” Satan tempted Jesus to use His power for selfish gain. Would Jesus base His kingdom on selfish desires or on service? The devil looked at the desert with its barren rocks and tempted Jesus to tell these stones to become bread. Jesus responded to the devil’s temptations by quoting Scripture. In this instance He quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 to remind him that man does not live on bread alone. Jesus knew that human beings need physical food. But He also recognized people’s greater need for spiritual food. We need every word that comes from the mouth of God. God’s Word can satisfy our deepest needs.

4:5-7. Satan took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and had Jesus stand on the highest point of the temple. Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself down from the high point. The devil quoted the written Word of God in his attempt to convince Jesus to claim God’s promise of protection. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12. These verses refer to God’s protection of the faithful who remain committed to Him. As we might expect, he twisted the meaning of Scripture. The psalm does not teach that God’s people are free to abuse God’s power to satisfy a personal whim. Why did Satan tempt Jesus to abuse God’s power in this way? People are drawn to the spectacular. If Jesus jumped and was rescued in a supernatural way, He could gain followers. But He rejected the temptation to build His kingdom in this manner. Jesus again responded to temptation with the Word of God: Do not put the Lord your God to the test (see Deut. 6:16).

Jesus refused to abuse God’s power. He refused to build His kingdom with spectacular displays of power. Jesus resisted the temptation to bypass the cross and His redemptive mission by refusing to yield to this temptation.

4:8-11. In this temptation Satan tried to tempt Jesus with instant power apart from the way of the cross. He tempted Jesus to use worldly methods to achieve His purposes. The setting was a very high mountain. The devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. The devil claimed the rule of the world and offered to resign his claim if Jesus would bow down and worship him. Jesus faced a clear choice. He could follow the will of the devil or that of God. Jesus would receive glory after His death and resurrection, but Satan tried to persuade Jesus to take the easy way and receive instant power, authority, and wealth apart from the way of the cross. Jesus knew, however, that the end does not justify the means. God’s will cannot be accomplished by worldly methods. Note Jesus’ firm response: Away from me, Satan! In this response to the devil, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. God alone is worthy of worship. Jesus resolved to center His life on God’s purpose. Jesus refused to resort to worldly methods to achieve God’s purposes. Jesus knew that God’s will cannot be done apart from doing things God’s way.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

3:16-17 Inspired means “breathed out by God” (see textual footnote on 3:16). Because Scripture comes from God Himself, it is profitable in many ways, ultimately leading us to righteousness, maturity, and service. All Scripture refers to the OT, but by implication to the writings of the NT as well (1Tim 5:18; 2Pe 3:15-16).

#prayer #hearingGod #whisper

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