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Down to Earth

Temptations surround us all, our whole lives. They play directly on our desire to be spectacular and successful. We will always be tempted in one way or another to reclaim the old self, but we become true followers of Jesus Christ each time we resist the devil and draw closer to God. Join us as we look at how Jesus came down to earth and illustrated these very principles to us.

WEEK 1


Temptations at their core are an attempt to cling to the illusion of a false self.


Why do we face temptation?


Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.


The first temptation was in the Garden of Eden.


Genesis 3:6 (NIV)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 


How do you handle temptation as a follower of Christ?


1 John 2:16 (NIV)

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.


Adam and Eve were tempted.


Genesis 3:6 (NIV)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 


Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.


Matthew 4:1 (NLT)

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 


Verses 2-4: Lust of the Flesh > the temptation to be relevant


Verses 5-8: Lust of the Eyes > the temptation to be spectacular


Verses 9-10: Pride of Life > the temptation to be powerful


All temptation circles back to our natural selfish desires.


Who are we tempted by?


Matthew 4:1 (NLT)

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.


1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT) 

8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 


We often confuse the temptation with the tempter.


James 4:7-8 (NLT)

”7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.


When we recognize that temptations, at the core, are an attempt (by the ENEMY) to cling to the illusion of a false self, they become an invitation to claim our true self in Christ.


Matthew 4:11 (NLT)

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.


Shift from a selfish mentality to a selfless mentality.


John 3:25-30 (NLT)

25 A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. 26 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” 27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

WEEK 2


1 John 2:15-16 (NIV)

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.


Genesis 3:6 (NIV)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 


Jesus in the Wilderness

Verses 1-4 Lust of the Flesh


The temptation to be relevant is the desire to do something that is needed, to be appreciated by others, making productivity the basis of our lives. 


Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. 3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’


Jesus did not deny the importance of bread, but rather made it relevant to God.


Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT)

3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.


This temptation hits at the center of our identity and makes you believe that we are what we produce. 


The danger of this temptation, is that it causes us to only focus on the visible results leading us to be addicted to personal progress.


Matthew 6:33-34 (NLT)

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.


Bread is given to us by God, so that we will entrust ourselves completely to God's Word. 


Psalm 119:11 (NLT)

11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.


Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path.


Do you want the the applause of man or the approval of God?


The challenge is to let God and His divine Word shape and reshape us as human beings, to grow each day in His Word.


We do not resist the temptation to be relevant by doing irrelevant things, but by clinging to the Word of God - the source of all relevancy.


James 4:7-8 (NLT)

”7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.


Ephesians 6:10-13 (NLT)

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.


Shift from a selfish mentality to a selfless mentality.


Matthew 4:11 (NLT)

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.