Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

The First Sunday In Lent  

"Temptation Happens"
Matthew 4:1ff
Rev. Kelly Bedard

1. Temptation does not mean you're outside of God's will: "...Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil" (v1)

2. Temptation does not usually involve an obvious or undisguised evil: e.g., ending hunger, dramatic faith display, kingdom-building

3. Temptation does not indicate morality so much as it does ministry: when you're helping the down-and-out, the devil and his forces will be opposing you

(Outline inspired by Testing That Never Ceases
by Fred Craddock in Christian Century, February 28, 1990)


1. Take a poll among the churches: it’s usually the obedient and not the disobedient who are struggling, being opposed and tested. The disobedient seem to have a knack for locating the cushions. (Craddock)

2. Every church engaged in the ministry of Jesus knows painfully well that there is another team on the field and it is often surprising and disappointing to learn who their members are. Of course, churches that do not extend themselves in addressing human need seldom if ever face opposition.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:31 PM