Posts tagged “Temptation

Sermo Dei: Invocabit 2017

Posted on March 6th, 2017

What would you do if you could do anything? The great basketball coach John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” It’s those moments when no one is watching when our true self emerges. When you can do what you choose, what do you do? And if you could choose anything, what would it be? Among the most common myths is that you can achieve freedom by having more resources and less responsibility. If you had more money and less work, then you’d be free. If you had more time and fewer people making demands, then you’d be free. It’s a lie. Freedom is not found in time or money. And slavery is…

Sermo Dei: Septuagesima 2017

Posted on February 20th, 2017

February 12, 2017 • Matthew 20:1-16 • Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia On Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a sign advertises a so-called gentlemen’s club. It’s not for gentlemen. This particular den of iniquity is called “Temptations.” The gaudy neon sign displays an apple. The devil himself is mocking the people there: “I don’t even have to try with you, because either you humans don’t know your own story, or you’ve relegated it to myth. You are easy prey.” But the audacious display of hedonism is not the only shingle the devil hangs out. In more refined places, his signs are lit with a softer glow, the lettering elegant, the product respectable. He has written “Temptations” with invisible ink. And you buy what he’s…

Don’t make judicial sentences out of temptation

Posted on February 26th, 2013

For nature and weak faith cannot, indeed, abstain from these, just as it cannot easily divest itself of other emotions such as impatience, wrath, and concupiscence. But they should remain only thoughts; they should not become axioms that are fixed and speak the final word or are established by our judgment and conscience. I cannot prevent my heart from being disturbed by strange vexations. Hence one should follow the advice of the hermit to whom a youth complained that he rather often experienced imaginations concerned with lusts and other sins and to whom the old man replied: “You cannot prevent the birds from flying over your head. But let them only fly and do not let them build nests in the hair of your…

The temptation to consume

Posted on February 14th, 2013

Jesus’ first temptation “is not just about consuming food; it is about consuming, period. It is about our…appetite for stuff.” -Russell Moore, Tempted and Tried

Refusing to force God’s hand

Posted on January 3rd, 2013

Regarding Satan’s quotation of Psalm 91 in the temptation account: The Devil was right, you know. Jesus refused to heed his offer not because the tempter was wrong but precisely because he was quoting an accurate Scripture. God indeed would rescue his anointed. But the anointed is the one who waits on God and who refuses to force his hand. We must suffer with Christ before we are glorified with him (Rom. 8:17). To seek a “security” apart from Christ, a vindication apart from Christ, is to taunt God by asking, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Russell D. Moore, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, pp. 125-126

More bread than Satan can provide

Posted on November 14th, 2012

Regarding the temptation in the wilderness after forty days of fasting, Russell Moore observes, Jesus flees Satan’s temptation not because he doesn’t like bread, but because he wants more bread than Satan can provide and because he wants the bread in fellowship with his Father and with his bride. Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ

Learning who you are apart from what you want

Posted on August 22nd, 2012

As this temptation wages war on us right now, the first step we need to take to break its power is to recognize what the appetites are there for in the first place. And that means recovering a sense of who you are apart from what you want. Russell D. Moore, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ

You are on the verge of wrecking your life

Posted on April 16th, 2012

Don’t mistake the stillness of your conscience for freedom from temptation. The Scripture says that temptation is “common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13). The issue isn’t whether you’re tempted, but whether you’re aware of it and striking back. You are on the verge of wrecking your life. We all are. –Russell Moore, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ

Temptation begins with an illusion about the self

Posted on April 4th, 2012

Temptation begins with an illusion about the self—a skewed vision of who you are. The satanic powers don’t care if your illusion is one of personal grandiosity or of self-loathing, as long as you see your current circumstance, rather than the gospel, as the eternal statement of who you are.  –Moore, Russell D. Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ 

Faith is the courage to endure and call upon God

Posted on April 3rd, 2012

In our new nature, when that gate [to paradise] has been reopened, we are very different from what we were in our old nature. Nevertheless, until we die, we are still painfully related to it. We do not escape testing and temptation because of our faith. Faith is rather the courage to endure the old world and to call upon God, certain that God will hear and answer even though he may at times seem not to do so.   –Oswald Bayer. Living by Faith: Justification and Sanctification