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Journal Guide - Temptation - Matthew 4:1-11

Matthew 4:1-11

Hi all. My name is Daisy, and today I am inviting you to join me once again as we open our Bibles and spend some quality alone time with God. So, to follow along, you just need your Bible, a pen, and a designated journal. Our Alone With God journal is the perfect journal for this devotional. So, if you have our Alone With God journal, please use it. And if you don’t have our Alone With God journal and would like one, please reach out to us at wordbymail.com to order yours. The Alone With God journal is perfectly crafted to help us to spend alone time in the scripture and really get quality time with God so that he can transform our lives through the Living Word.

Today we are going to be meditating on Matthew 4, verses 1-11. It’s a little longer passage than usual. I will read through this passage once, and then I would like you to take some time, pause, read the passage on your own, and really sink into the scripture. Really meditate on it. Take a few minutes and really listen to what God is saying.

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.’”
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.

Go ahead and read that passage again, slowly, and let it sink in. In the Respond section of your journal page, in your own words, write down what God’s Word is saying. Ask God to speak to you through this passage.

I used to work at the concession stands at the baseball fields when I was a teenager. It was one of my first jobs; I think it was my first job. And I remember on the hottest week of August (and it gets really hot here in Nashville – it’s gross, it is sweltering, it’s bad) and the air conditioning unit in the concession stand broke. I was so thirsty, and I was so miserable from the heat. And I wasn’t supposed to take anything without paying for it, obviously. But I was so thirsty that I snuck this cold Gatorade from the fridge, even though I didn’t have the money to pay for it. And I was at the baseball field for five hours, but I failed my test that day by taking that Gatorade that didn’t belong to me that I couldn’t pay for.

And I cannot imagine the temptation that I would have given into if I had been starving in the hot, dry, unbearable heat of the desert for forty days and forty nights. I can’t imagine how thirsty and hungry and tired Jesus must have felt. And Satan knows our weaknesses, so it only makes sense for him to tempt us with the things that we desire the most. The devil knows how to lure us away from God in our most desperate moments.

And, unlike Jesus, many of us, especially me, do not have the strength to turn away from temptation. I cannot sit here and tell you that I would have turned down a glass of water or a piece of bread if I were in Jesus’ position. I would want to, but my mind can’t wrap around the thought of that. I just truly think I would have given in. And that makes me so sad.

So, let’s apply the scripture. In the Apply section of your journal, write down your thoughts. How can you apply this scripture to your life? What are the things that stand out to you about this passage? What are your biggest temptations? What would make you stumble?

Okay, now we are going to move on to the response portion of this devotional. We are going to take a moment and respond to God with action. In the Respond section of your journal, write down how you can make practical changes in your life to avoid temptation. What are your biggest temptations? And what is a pattern that you know that you notice when you’re falling into temptation? What lifestyle changes need to be implemented to help you turn your back on Satan and keep your eyes on God, just like Jesus did? Take some time to reflect and respond to God.

Okay, finally, we are going to close in prayer, and I will close us out in prayer. Then, in the Pray section of your journal page, write a prayer of your own in response to this time with him. Make your commitment to God, and thank him for speaking to you through his Word.

Let’s pray.

Lord, protect my mind and my heart from the enemy. Give me the strength to walk away from temptation and to choose you instead. I know that my flesh is weak, but you can strengthen me. You can strengthen my will through the Holy Spirit. And I ask that you do. Change my life from the inside out, Lord. Renew me. Give me a new identity in Christ, and set me free from temptation. In Jesus’ name, amen.