Wilderness of Temptation

intro (read aloud before the discussion)

In the wilderness, the enemy is always trying to tempt us to sin and Jesus is seeking to lead us out of the bondage and trap of sin. Whatever else may be going on in a wilderness season, the battle over bondage and freedom is always raging.

SERMON DISCUSSION (Use as a guide for dialogue, let God lead, and read the verses aloud)

1. Read Matthew 4:1. The wilderness and temptation: why do these two experiences always go together? Why do you think we are often unaware that temptation is always happening in the wilderness?

2. Read Matthew 1:21. Sin means literally to “miss the mark”. Sin can be defined as taking something that God made and abusing it. Share a common way to “Miss the Mark” by abusing something God made.

3. Read Matthew 4:2-3. How has the enemy been tempting you to turn stones into bread in the midst of this wilderness season? How has that battle been raging for you?

4. God said to Cain, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have  you, but you must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Talk about how there are only two options when it comes to sin – mastering it or being mastered by it.

5. Read Matthew 4:4. What is the truth that would practically speak into your battle with a particular sin pattern in the midst of the wilderness? What truth would help set you free in the midst of temptation?

MINISTRY TIME (Invite the Spirit of God to come – “Come Holy Spirit”)

Invite the Spirit of God to come and begin to break the power of that sin pattern.

Have a time of repentance and experience the incredible forgiveness of God.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION (This is a weekly practice as we seek to become more like Jesus)

“Taking a thought captive” has been a spiritual practice for thousands of years. In a moment of temptation this week, take that thought captive and speak truth into the moment. “I am more than a conqueror in the name of Jesus. This sin pattern will not lead to life. I choose to accept the grace from God to master this instead of be mastered by it.

daily reading (Tune into the daily “Together On Mission” podcast here and let’s start every day with Jesus)

1 John 1 | Psalm 11

Genesis 4 | Psalm 12

Romans 6 | Psalm 13

John 8 | Psalm 14

Matthew 4 | Psalm 15

Catch up on daily reading or choose a passage, any passage and enjoy

Tune in for Week 1 – “Back to the Basic”