Sermon- Moment Of Truth, Matthew 4:10 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Moment Of Truth

Away with you Satan! ... homage to the Lord God. Him alone shall you adore
Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon Topic Temptation

Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 4:10


In the Manchester Art Gallery in England there is a painting by Spencer Stanhope entitled, simply, "Eve." In it the serpent is whispering ideas into Eve's ear. You can tell from the look on her face that she likes what she is hearing. She is enticed by the ideas. Unseen by her, the serpent is reaching around behind and bending down the branch of the fruit tree, so that as she becomes caught up in these ideas, a bright red apple falls into her open hand. Although in the painting Eve has not yet taken a bite, nonetheless you know that she has crossed over the line. The combination of ideas playing over in her mind and the bright red apple in her open hand are just too much for her. Paradise is lost. The deep loneliness and estrangement from God have begun. In a very accurate way, the artist has caught the moment of truth that comes with what is called "temptation," in your life and mine.

When we say "Yes!" to God we move into life, into fullness of life, into the life that God intended for us. We become the unique individuals we were created to be. We are given the strength to do God's will by loving other people creatively. When we say "No!" to God, we move into estrangement and into loneliness and into disunity and into anxiety and, ultimately, into spiritual death.

One of the values of the Temptation Story in the Book of Genesis is that you can read it over against the background of the New Testament and appreciate it in a way you never have before. You can experience in a new way the joy, the celebration, the sense of wonder that permeates every page of the New Testament because the goodness of God comes through. Part of that joy comes from the understanding that this good, gracious God gives us strength to resist temptation whenever the moment of truth comes to us. Two lines of John Dryden's poetry catch this very beautifully. The poet is struggling with the problem we [...]

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