F.10: I am able to experience God’s love, even when I mess up.

A Story

Henry Nowen was a man who could put his experience into words in such vivid ways. He was preaching in a service at the Crystal Cathedral many years ago, and he shared a message that was riveting about, ‘ WHO AM I ?’ At that time, I was concerned about what I did as a Navigator Staff person. I was concerned about what I did as a pastor and men’s leader. I wanted people to give me approval for all my work. Sometimes, I heard gossip about me that I was too controlling. That made me wonder who I was. I also fretted about what I had. We were in full-time work, and we had little extra cash. We did not have much.  I struggled with all these questions of identity until he shared this passage from Luke and his explanation. It was life-changing.

HENRY  stated that we all are asking the question WHO AM I?

  1. How do people measure who they are today?
  2. It comes out in three things:
    1. What you do. You are what you do–carpenter, businessman, mom.
    2. What people say about you. If they say positive things, you are good; if not?
    3. What you have. You possess these things, and they make you feel valuable.

As Jesus was answering these questions, he was tempted by the devil to answer it his way.

Digging Into The Bible

Jesus experienced these three issues as temptations in the wilderness in Matthew 4. Look at these three temptations in Matthew 4:1-11:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word, that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Then the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

The enemy taunted Jesus to do something. “Turn rock to bread.” Jesus responded with scripture, “Man shall not live…”.  The devil wanted him to do something.

Then, the devil tempted Jesus to do something that would give him attention and awe. He wanted him to throw himself off the temple. Jesus responded with good advice.  This temptation is what people will say. The third temptation is to bow down to the devil and the devil would give him everything.  This temptation was about what you have. Jesus responded with scripture, “Worship the Lord God only, and him you serve.”

These are the same things we experience. How do we overcome them? See how the Father prepared him before the temptations. He saw him in Baptism and said, “This is my beloved son. I take great pleasure in him.” Before he faced these temptations, what did God do to prepare him for these temptations? Look back at Luke in the earlier paragraphs.

Luke 3:21-22:

 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Discussion & Discovery

  1. What did the father tell Jesus about himself?
  2. Why was this so important in light of the temptations that were coming to Jesus? To you?
  3. What were the three temptations, and how do you relate to them?

Application & Accountability

  1. What have you heard from the Father now that you are in Christ?
  2. How will you take steps to hear these words every day?
  3. What impact will that have on you in seeing how God sees you?
  4. How can you make this reality a transformation of how you see yourself?

Digging In Deeper

  1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
  2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
  3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
  4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

Similar Verses In The Bible

List similar verses in the Bible: