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SUNDAY OF THE TEMPTATION His temptation and ours.

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1 SUNDAY OF THE TEMPTATION His temptation and ours

2 A SURVEY OF THE LENT SUNDAY READINGS Sunday of preparation—Our goal defined Sunday of the treasures—Lay down a treasure in heaven. Sunday of the temptation—His and ours Sunday of the prodigal son—Repentance Sunday of the Samaritan woman—meeting Christ

3 Sunday of the paralytic—another encounter with Christ Sunday of the man born blind—Baptism & another encounter with the Lord Palm Sunday—Triumphal entry of the King Easter Sunday—His resurrection and ours

4 The Temptation of our Lord Matt 4:1-11 ¶ Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’"

5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’" 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’" 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."

6 0 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’" 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him

7 The Temptation, cont. The needs of the flesh and its lusts The vain glory The lust for Riches, powers, and authority

8 Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

9 Our lord was subjected to the same temptation we are all subjected to. Heb 4:15 “ For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

10 Luke 4:13 “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” What does that mean?

11 The Jews try to kill Him Peter tries to dissuade Him from the path of suffering and the cross Judas plots with the high priests to hand Him to them

12 On the cross He is mocked by all. The multitude and the thieves say “If you are the Son of God come down from the cross so that we believe in you” “He trusted in God let Him deliver Him if He delighted in Him”

13 Matt 27:63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 "Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first."

14 What about after His resurrection?

15 Our temptation How can I overcome

16 What is my goal?

17 Life in Christ is both my goal and my means to achieve that goal. “I am the way” “Without me you can do nothing.” St Anthony the Great when tempted by the devils, he told them “I am not able to fight against the smallest of you”

18 Fr. Tadros Malaty and a question about something if it is lawful or not. His answer was “I would be a very shallow priest if I start deliberating about this or that matter whether it is lawful or not. The real question should be: Is the heart empty or full?”

19 Now the real question for me: Is my heart empty or full?

20 Matt 12:43 “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

21 In the lent I should ensure that I get to know Him who was willing to travel half a day to meat a Samaritan woman considered an outcast by all and to give her His living water so she would not thirst. He awaits each one of us to give us His life to revive us and to implant us in Him as the branch into the vine, it is that abiding that will give us the strength to fight the devil and all his temptations.

22 Let us spend more time during that lent season with our bible, not for teaching others as much as it is for our own need for His word that gives life. Let us have more quite times on our own everyday. Let us close the door of our senses to everything that might take us away from an intimate relationship with our Lord.

23 Let us ask Him fervently to bring us to His knowledge. Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, That knowledge that is eternal life, a life in Him who is the way the truth and the life.

24 What we discussed is what we may call the positive aspect of our spiritual warfare against the temptation of the devil. Without a relationship with Christ I am like a lame duck & am building on no foundation. (Please see resources at the end)

25 Some other important ways to fight temptation 1- Close the door from whence temptation comes

26 Matt 5:27 ¶ "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

27 When our Lord talked about plucking the eye it is to mean cutting the sources of temptation and closing the door from whence it comes. We are bombarded with all sorts of temptation in the media, adverts,internet, shopping flyers etc. The question by one of our youth to a priest re: having a girlfriend and the very impressive answer.

28 2-The war is not mine but His. David when fighting Goliath “ David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”1 Sam.17:45. It is not me who is fighting but Him. Lack of this knowledge is why we always tend to fail because we rely on our own abilities.

29 C.S.Lewis defined a Christian as “a person who acknowledges his bankruptcy” Without acknowledging my absolute inability and at the same time have a total trust in god’s omnipotent power, I can do nothing. It is God and I working together; that is the secret of victory. In the prayer for the travellers: “Be a partner with your servants in every good deed”

30 3- Show compassion to others when they are tempted. St Paul in Gal6:1-6” 1 ¶ Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load”.

31 If someone falls, instead of talking about them, let us pray for that person, show them kindness and love and try to encourage them to come back to our Lord. “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” By our attitude we can gain people to christ or we can cause them to leave Him forever, their bloodguilt we will carry.

32 The story of the two monks.

33 4- Have a spirit of Humility Not a pretence, St Anthony when he told the devils that he is weaker than the smallest of them, he was saying the truth, since without the grace of our Lord he could do nothing, neither could we, and if the war is the Lord’s why should I be proud. It is His work not mine

34 5-Do not judge others. Mt 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. When I start judging others for their weaknesses, God will withdraw His help from me and my fall could be worse than their’s

35 Some usefull resources www.Coppticchurch.net www.Copticpope.org (both have the daily church readings, click on katamaros for bible readings & on synexarion for the saints of the day) The Imitation of Christ by St Thomas Kempis (different publishers-most read book on earth after the bible) The unseen warfare (Theophan the recluse),published by St.Vladimir publishing. Practical spirituality by father Athanasius Iskander. (available from St Mary’s Church Kitchener,ON, full text is available online at same Church’s web site www.stmnaryscopticorthodox.org


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