February 28, 2016   |   Pastor Arun Paul

Friends we are in the Lenten Season, popularly known as the season for spiritual awakening or spiritual alertness.

Digging into the history and tradition of the church pertaining to the various seasons in our Christian life, you will discover that the Lenten season is remarkably important. From the early life of the church, it has been the custom to observe with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection with a forty-day season of spiritual preparation. It is also alluded to imitate Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.

Those 40 days in the wilderness in the life of Jesus were very significant and decisive for his public ministry in the world.

Jesus was not taken into the wilderness against his will but was led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, chose to be in the wilderness,. It was not a place of loneliness for him. But, a place of prayer and communion with God the father and the Holy Spirit.

Luke 5:16

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

1 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.’[d]”

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.

The Devil thought these were Jesus’s weakest moments of life as Jesus was hungry and exhausted and his attack on Jesus would be successful.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

But, it turned out to be Jesus’ strongest moments of life to stand against the temptations by the Devil. Today we will be looking at the first temptation.
1 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.’”

During this Lenten season let’s develop a spiritual discipline to be in solitude, away from the world. Let’s spend our time with God in prayer. Let God define our identity, determine our values, and dictate the purpose of our life.