This Week’s Theme
The Temptation of Jesus
After the Lord Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, the Spirit of God immediately led him into the desert (traditionally considered to be near the region of Jericho) to be tested by the devil. After fasting forty days, the Scripture testifies that our Lord became hungry, and at that moment of vulnerability and exhaustion, the temptations started. The tempter sought to undermine our Lord’s trust in the Father by tempting him to turn stones into bread, to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple so angels could rescue him, and to bow down and worship him, the tempter, in exchange for possession of the world’s kingdoms. In every case our Lord resisted the temptation, quoting God’s Word and standing true to the Father. Our Lord’s stamina and steadfastness reveals his heart for the Father, and serves as a pattern for us as we walk with him during our journey through the season of Lent (and life).
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Dear Savior and Shepherd, who for love of the Father and for our redemption fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards, endured the devil’s temptations, so grant us the strength to overcome our numerous and insistent temptations of the flesh. By your Spirit, help us overcome, and so bring glory to God, your Father and ours. For the sake of Christ, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Judg. 19-21
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Lord Jesus, who faithfully withstood the onslaught of lies and deception hurled at you by the tempter, now through your Spirit fortify our hearts in order that we, like you, can stand in the evil day, resist the lies and deception of the enemy, and glorify you as we walk with you in this sin-cursed, and soon-to-end world system. Be glorified in all we are and do, for your glory’s sake, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Grant us the power to meet the tests even as you met the tests in the desert.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Help us remember, Lord and King, that no temptation we face can overwhelm or overcome us if we cling to you in faith and simple obedience.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Why Jesus Came into the World, John 9.1-41
Phillips, Your God Is Too Small