The screams of 5 little boys filled my house a couple days ago when we announced that Quincy Public Schools would be officially closed until February 23rd. Now having only gone to school for 3 day this entire month, these kids are living in a utopian reality where you can wear your pajamas all day, build snow forts the size of Montana and when you’re done you just come inside, drop your wet coats and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. However, it would seem that for most of us, all this snow and disruption of life has caused us the exact opposite emotion. Schedules are out the window, transportation is a nightmare, parking doesn’t even exist and as a result, for almost three weeks now we have been cut off from many of the people that we normally do life with.
This is especially true when you’re unable to gather with your larger church family for weeks at a time. It’s crazy how, for many of us, we didn’t even know each other a couple years ago and now if we go a weekend or two without seeing each other, we feel disconnected. I don’t know about you, but this is exactly how I’ve been feeling. I miss everyone. While these feelings are real and can certainly be discouraging, they also serve as a great reminder of the love that God has given us for each other through Jesus Christ. He’s taken a group of strangers and made us a family, and has given us the Spirit as proof of our adoption.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.”- Romans 8:14-17
The point is that this longing in our hearts to be reunited with our family is not the result of snow in our yard, it’s the result of the Spirit in our life. Because of Jesus, we are family and we long to be with our family now and forever. So while this weekend we are sad not to connect, we can still be thankful that we feel disconnected because it’s only by God’s grace with the Spirit’s help that we could experience this kind of love for one another. And what better way to celebrate this familial bond that we have in Christ, then with a family reunion. So on February 23rd, when we gather for worship for the first time in 3 weeks we will be inviting our kids (3 and up) in to join us and serving hot cocoa after the service. So, make plans now to join us and come in out of the snow, drop your wet coat at the door, warm up with some hot cocoa and enjoy your extended family.
In addition, since we will not be meeting this weekend below is a worship guide that we put together for you to use at home. We want to encourage you to gather with your family, your roommates, or even some of the people in your missional community to reflect on the scripture and pray together. With the Lenten season beginning this week, we thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the Temptation of Jesus.
Story: The Temptation of Jesus
Where To Find The Story: Matthew 4:1-11
After Jesus was baptized, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, where He was
tempted by the devil.
Jesus did not eat for 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of this time, He was very hungry. God’s enemy, the devil, knew Jesus was hungry. He came to Jesus and tried to get Him to sin.
The ￼devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
“It is written,” Jesus answered Him, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on the very highest point on top of the temple. Again the devil quoted words from the Bible, trying to trick Jesus and make him sin. The devil told Jesus to jump off the Temple. If you really are the son of God, the devil said, God “will command his angles, and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,’” so that You won’t even “strike Your foot against a stone.”
Again Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Then the devil took Jesus to the top of a high mountain and showed Him all the glorious kingdoms of the world. “All these I will give You,” the devil said, “if You will worship me.”
Then Jesus said to the devil, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left Him, and angels came to help Jesus.
Jesus was tempted by the devil to sin, but Jesus overcame the devil with God’s Word. Through faith in Jesus, we too can overcome temptation [with help of the Spirit] by turning to God’s Word and by looking to Jesus. Jesus never sinned, but always obeyed God. Through faith in Jesus as our Savior, God sees Jesus’ perfect righteousness when He looks at us. Therefore, we can trust in Jesus as we fight against the devil’s temptations.*
- How did Jesus overcome the devil’s temptations?
- Did Jesus ever give into temptation and sin
- How have you been tempted to disobey God?
- What should you do when you are being tempted?
- Thank God that by His grace he accepts Jesus perfect life in place of our own.
- Thank Jesus that he lived a perfect life of obedience to the Father on our behalf.
- Thank the Holy Spirit that through His guidance in our life we too can resist temptation and obey God
- Pray for some of the needs of your family, friends, or neighbors.
Key Bible Verse
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”- Hebrews 4:15
Other Related Readings
Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13; Hebrews 2:14-18, 4:14-16, 7:26
*Adapted from the ESV Seek and Find Bible (Crossway Books).