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Briefing: This appears to be a training mission. Was there a time in your career where you were faced with a temptation that seemed to be made specifically for you? It was as if the person tempting you knew exactly what your weakness was.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 4:1-11. What kind of temptations did Jesus face and how did He handle them?

On the Street: As a Christian, have you ever been told that there are different kinds of temptation? There are temptations that we are expected to fight through then there are those that we are told to flee from. Part of the battle for Christians is being able to recognize what kind of temptation you are facing and then how to handle it.

Let’s put it into an example that we can relate to. Say you get dispatched to a call for service. After you get the call and are in route to the location, you start running scenarios through your mind. If this call is X then it is a civil matter, if it turns out to be Y then it is a criminal matter.

Sometimes we confuse temptation with God’s testing. We are to persevere through His testing of us because it is given to us as an opportunity to succeed and please Him. We are to flee from temptation (James 1:13).

As LEOs, we are trained to be fluid and react appropriately depending on the situation. Every traffic stop is not the same. This is a fundamental part of Officer Safety. Why don’t we train new Christians with the same techniques?

Highlights from this Read: This is such a rich story. In the first verse, we see that Jesus is led into the desert by the Holy Spirit. This is a test. In verse two, Jesus is hungry. I have often heard it said that we are most vulnerable to temptation when we are hungry, tired, or lonely. In my own life, I have proven this to be true time after time.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are performing your official duties and the person you are talking to decides to explain the law to you? I think it is interesting that Satan tries to trip Jesus up by using scripture. Jesus wrote the scripture! (John 1:1)

The last verse in this lesson is eleven. Luke’s account says something that we all need to take note of, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time.” – Luke 4:13.

Investigational Resources: Here are some other places in the Bible to study about temptation: James 1:12-16, 1 Peter 1:3-8, 1 Corinthians 1:12, 6:18, 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11, and 2 Timothy 2:22. Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:1-13 are companion stories.

Officer Safety Principle: It’s not a sin to be tempted, Jesus was tempted. It’s how we handle the temptation that determines if you have sinned or not.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!