Readings and Devotions for January 18-24, 2015

Gods Story

Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
Lord Jesus, you proved to be a formidable foe for the tempter. Give us strength to resist the temptations of this world, and rejoice in the heavenly gifts promised to all who follow you, for the glory of the Lord. Amen.

Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  Matthew 4:1

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Jesus began his ministry with 40 days of fasting and praying. During that time, the devil took advantage of his weakened physical state to attempt to tempt Jesus to abandon God and worship him.

The first temptation preyed on his hunger, tempting him to break his God-honoring fast. The second temptation preyed on his ego, tempting him to prove that he was God’s son. The final temptation preyed on his ambition, tempting him to give up God in exchange for the whole world. But Jesus resisted each temptation, knowing that the rewards of heaven far outweighed any temporary satisfaction earthly desires could offer.

Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow these stories of temptation and Jesus’ early ministry.

Sunday, Matthew 4:1-17, Tempted in the Wilderness

Monday, Psalm 91:9-12, Psalm

Tuesday, Genesis 1:26-27, Creation of Humanity

Wednesday, Genesis 3:1-7, Temptation in the Garden of Eden

Thursday, Deuteronomy 8:1-10, A Warning from God

Friday, Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus Calls the First Disciples

Saturday, Matthew 4:23-25, Jesus Ministers to Crowds of People

How does temptation help or hinder people’s relationships with God?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • How does a community come to agreement about which laws, rules, or norms are to be followed? Which rules or norms are unique to your setting? How are they followed? How are they enforced?
  • What tempts you the most? How can your faith help you resist temptation?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.

Choose one temptation to resist this week. Look at the challenge not as a punishment, but as an opportunity to be free from the object of your temptation. Notice how you feel after one week of abstinence.

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God who gives strength when we are tempted, remind us as we hear your word that you understand what we face. Thank you for sending Jesus. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff.. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt. Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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