Mark ked worship today and brought us the Word from Matthew 4 1-11. Songs included Do Not Fear, Blessed Be Your Name, My Lighthouse, This I Know (Ungizungezile).
Mark opened up by considering the idea of Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Mark works as a chef through the day and he reflected on the fact that unlike a lot of people, food is not a big temptation or weakness for him. He can happily go right through the day without being tempted by food.
Mark reflected that some of the temptations around us can be really extreme. Mark’s temptations are much more mundane. His weakness is electronics, gadgets, computers and games like FIFA 25 even on his phone. Just to prove God has a sense of humour, someone’s phone started ringing at this point!
We are surrounded by influences through our electronic gadgetry and social media. We can use it for good, sharing what happens at church (or even recruiting town pastors) . But then there is also the temptations of buying stuff we don’t need from Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. Even worse is the temptation to post unkind comments or put people down over social media.
Mark shared that he is going to cut back on his gaming throughout Lent. He encouraged us to resist the temptations in our life and set aside that time for prayer and reflections. Spend more time with God. Mark challenged us to think about how we want to deal with temptations, how do we choose to deal with temptations, who we might want to discuss temptations with.
Mark reflected that often his temptation to buy more electronics is nipped in the bud after a simple conversation with his wife! For bigger, more difficult stuff, often God is the only one you can take the temptation and choice to. Mark reflected on the fact that the world doesn’t seem to have a focus anymore on fighting for and keeping right relationships. In his own family, his grandparents seem to be the only ones who had a lifetime relationship. The key to their success seemed to be that they talked about everything. Often that was just his grandmother putting his grandad right.
In discussing temptations, think seriously about whether or not it takes you away from God. Also don’t be afraid to ask for forgiveness if temptation sometimes wins and you make wrong choices.