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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mike Novotny » Mike Novotny - How Do You Face Temptation

Mike Novotny - How Do You Face Temptation

Mike Novotny - How Do You Face Temptation
TOPICS: Hope From Israel, Temptation

I'm so grateful for what happened here. And you should be too. I'm standing, right now, on a sunny, beautiful day in the city of Jerusalem, and just behind me is the Temple Mount. Before the Romans ripped down every stone, that is where the holy temple of the Israelite people stood. And that's the place where the devil tried to tempt Jesus so that you and I would have no chance at being with God. The devil knew that if Jesus slipped just once, if he compromised his faith a single time, if he listened to the father of lies instead of his Father in heaven, then we could never be forgiven because Jesus wouldn't be the perfect sacrifice. And about 2,000 years ago, in a spot much like that, Jesus made sure that you would be saved.

Let me read to you the familiar story of Jesus' temptation. "Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “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'”".

Some people think that that was the actual spot, the southwest corner of the temple. Just below was a massive staircase, where thousands upon thousands of Jewish pilgrims would have come to celebrate the Jewish festivals. And just imagine it, if Jesus would have jumped in full view, and they would have gasped. And then the Father would have sent an angel to pick up Jesus before his foot hit a stone. They would have loved him. "If you're the Son of God, prove it!" the devil taunted him. But, do you know what Jesus did? He didn't jump.

You know, I play on Saturday mornings, some church basketball. And I've noticed, even among us Christian guys, that when someone eggs us on, dares us, taunts us, we do dumb things. "I bet you can't make it from there," you say to the guy who definitely can't make it from there. And he does, right? Because he wants to prove you wrong. We're tempted by those moments and Jesus faced that temptation too. "If you're so good, if you're the Son of God, then do it, prove it". But let me read the end of this beautiful story. "Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”"

Jesus didn't jump. Can you picture him just standing up there with a frustrated devil? Can you see the face of our Heavenly Father smiling upon his perfect, obedient, righteous Son? I hope so. Because that's the way the devil and the Father feel about you. The devil's so frustrated that when you have Jesus, you have eternal life. He can't crush you, make you plunge into this pit of despair or hell because you have a Father who loves you because Jesus was obedient.

We have to think about the great things that Jesus did on the other side of this city where he died on the cross, but it's in places like this where he was perfectly loving, perfectly obedient and because of that, we are perfectly holy and completely saved. Thank God for his obedient Son. That's the powerful Gospel message we learn right here in the city of Jerusalem.
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