Love is Hard

This is Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:21
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What is it about sacrifice that scares us? I am not talking about the Sacrifice on the cross but in our daily lives.

It wasn’t in front of the crowds that Christ was making a sacrifice it was in His private relationship with God. Christ left his baptism and went into the wilderness to fast and pray. I know its popular today to pretend as if the devil doesn’t exist but I want to make it clear to you in this passage it was not symbolism that was trying to temp Jesus from being obedient to God. I also want you to notice that even the devil knows that if he can keep you from being faithful to God in the beginnings of things he will keep you from the great things God wants for you and to do through you!
It’s a lot easier to prevent success than it is to take it away. This is why so many companies today purchase other smaller companies. They see that it is easier to buy a company and shut it down than it is to compete with it. They might even buy a company role it into their larger organization and later tie up the hands of the innovator so that they never become their competition.
In a very real way the devil was trying to do this. If he could just get Jesus to sin he would win and humanity would be condemned forever. This was such a high stakes event for the Devil and For us.
Pay close attention to the questions the Devil asked Jesus. Believe it or not they are the same questions asked of believers today in different settings. Think about the times you might have been put in the circumstance where people are asking of you the same questions.
If you are the son of God turn the stones into bread.
Have you ever been asked to prove God is real by getting God to do a miracle? So many discussions often get to the point that you have to get God to do something to prove God is Real. Here the Devil is using the same kind of thinking to get Jesus to prove who He is. Now I want to point something out: Jesus not only rejects the devil’s temptation He doesn’t doubt who He is to Himself.
Questions like these offered by the devil and others are not designed to get you to doubt the existence of God as much as they are designed to get you to doubt your significance to God and to doubt who you are. Jesus wasn’t shaken by these question not only because He knew scripture but also because He took time to know who He was. He knew who to believe in because God was with Him just as Christ is with us.
The next question by the Devil is that of who do you trust/worship? Wanna know if someone is trying to get you to turn away from God? They want you to trust and worship something or someone else. Often they want you to worship them. They will want you to get your focus off of what God has called you to do. By doing that they will get you to take a knee in worship of something other than God. Perhaps its your job or your marriage or your “Future.” You the devils deal was simple, You get everything I have to offer if you just do what I say. My grandmother used to try this on me as a Child. My mothers mom used to have stuff. Some she earned other stuff she stole from my Uncle Raymond after he died and her deceased husbands. Her house was full of legit antiques worth tons of money. She had a decent bank account. At the time of her offer to me was doing well financially. Her offer was don’t go to your dads and I will leave it all to you. House, Car, truck, land and money. All I had to do was what she wanted. Turn my back on my father.
I rejected her offer because I realized that if I did what she wanted She would own me. That’s the trick of the devil and often of people who want our worship. The devil wanted to say to God, See even your Son turned His back on You. It might seem like a great compromise but it will always have a cost to it. Your cost will be too much compared to what you lose that God is offering. Jesus wasn’t willing to give up Himself before and Now He demonstrates that He isn’t willing to Give up Worshiping God.
Each of these questions are designed to put a wedge between God and Jesus and US.
Luke 4:9 NLT
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!
Luke 4:10–13 NLT
For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
The very next question is designed to force the hand of God to act. To push God into action. This question is also designed to get Jesus and us to Doubt God in two ways.
1. By our fear and 2. By judging God for His action or inaction.
Like the often used illustration of a professor who says if God was real he’d keep this chalk from breaking when he dropped it. God doesn’t have to prove His existence because we try to temp God with our weak logic. Because God is real he has no need to prove he is real, He already knows it. It’s our job to discover or disprove to ourselves. He will continue to be real regardless of our own interpretation of what we find through out our lives. Our interpretation of our fear, doubt, disappointment, emotions or self discoveries are not determinative of God’s existence.
It is the pride of the created to think that we determine what is real and isn’t. Was there ice of on the moon before we found it? When all the best minds had determined that there was no way it could be but we discovered it was and adjusted our thinking. All along the ice was there regardless of our understanding. The same is simply true about God. He is there regardless of our understanding.
Our attempts to push God into acting neither proves or disproves God. Incases Like the one the Devil proposes only will prove gravity and it is always right to reject the devil. You see he is willing to use the laws set forth in nature by God to temp us to disbelieve our faith and our God. It’s a punk move to get you to doubt. Let’s be honest here we wouldn’t respect a god who could be manipulated by us. We would then just judge God by playing games with Him. We would repeat the mistake of the devil and try to take God’s place. Christ rejects the devil. Christ in His rejection and resistance makes the Devil run away. I want you to realize something. All the devil has is temptation. We have all the choices. What happens follows our Choices. If we choose the side of the temptation we have chosen what follows. We also choose what follows when we choose the side of Faith in Christ. The Devil leads to hell and Christ Leads to heaven.
All of this before Jesus goes out and does the ministry. Before His apostles. Jesus Heals the sick. Jesus is rejected by the people who saw Him grow up. When they asked isn’t this Joseph and Mary’s son? It wasn’t an innocent question. I get the sense it was accusatory in tone. Like stating, “Joseph and Mary couldn’t have produced a teacher.” “What could this trash offspring know?”
You really get the sense that Jesus wasn’t just another child but an outsider, a child shunned by the community because the claims of Joseph and Mary that God was the father of Christ and Mary’s pregnancy before marriage wasn’t a sin.
You see He had to be born of sin by everything they understood it had to be. Their understanding didn’t determine the outcome because Christ exceeded their understanding and not only became a great teacher and healer He went on to be the perfect sinless sacrifice of God. The sacrifice that takes aways the sins of the world. At first they tried to kill Him by throwing Him off a cliff near by but Jesus passed through them and went on His way.
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