Sermons

FILTER BY:

← back to list

Oct 22, 2017

Deliver Us

Deliver Us

Passage: Ephesians 6:10-17

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Lord, Teach us to Pray Sermon Series

Category: Temptation

Keywords: evil, temptation

Temptation is being tempted to NOT be who God calls us to be.

Devotional

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. -- Ephesians 6:10-11 (NRSV)

This week our sermon series explored the concept of temptation in the Lord’s Prayer. What is temptation, and how do we oppose it? I love this line Suzanne Lyles used in our children’s Sunday School Teacher Enrichment: “Temptation in and of itself is not sin. Rather, it is the place in between God and sin where we stand when faced with a choice.” Temptation involves choice, to stand with and for God, or to be less than God created us to be and surrender to sin. Sometimes, the choice is just to stand. All our choices, actions, and words must be evaluated in light of God’s will and God’s kingdom as we discussed a couple of weeks ago. We know that when we are not in tip-top form – affected by weakness in our lives as the analogy HALT describes: Hungry, Angry/Anxious, Lonely or Tired – we are more susceptible to temptation, just as when Jesus was tempted in the desert. So, like Jesus, we need a strategy to protect ourselves, to strengthen ourselves against temptation, to make the right choices and be able to stand. The Ephesians text above tells us to put on God’s armor, but what if you are not sure where to find your “belt of truth,” or you fear your “shield of faith” might be tarnished or flawed?

On Sunday the youth did an activity asking them to identify the real-world ways they can protect themselves from temptation, things like reading and reflecting on Scripture, regular prayer time, praying for each other, enjoying time with likeminded Christians, listening to Christian music, and serving others together. Teams did a relay in which these activities became safe stepping stones (on paper plates) to avoid the “floor of temptation” to win the relay. Teamwork was involved, balance, and holding on tightly to something stable.

So what are your stepping stones? Who’s on your team to help you stand when temptation comes along? It’s clear that we can’t do it alone, so we depend first on God through prayer and engaging the Bible. We also rely on support and encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ, to help us stand, make the best choices, and be who God created us to be. For we are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus to do the good things God planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10.

Prayer

Great God who has made us Your masterpiece, help me today to be strong, to rely on You and others, to be all You created me to be. Use me today to build Your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Written by Betsy Hudson. Betsy is Director of Grow Ministries and also is Youth Leader at Arcola Church. She is also engaged in studies at Wesley Seminary.