Wesley Word – February 22, 2023

Carolyn Lemaster   -  

To go along with service on Sunday, February 26, 2023

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth – Conversations With Jesus: Conversation With The Devil

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 & Matthew 4:1-11

This week we are starting the season of Lent, the 40-day (not counting Sundays) period of spiritual preparation prior to Easter. Our sermon series during Lent will be Conversations with Jesus.

During most of this series, we will be looking at some of Jesus’ one-on interactions with people in the Gospel of John. This week, however, we begin with the Gospel of Matthew and Jesus’ conversation with the Devil during the temptation in the wilderness. But first, we need to go back and look at the conversation that the Devil had with Eve.

The Devil tried to get Eve to question God’s Word by asking, “Did God really say…?” Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable to make one wise. These three things fall into the three categories of temptation described in 1 John 2:16: the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Jesus’ conversation with the Devil exactly parallels the one in the Garden. Jesus is tempted to misuse his power to meet his physical needs. Jesus is tempted to worship the Devil by being shown the splendor of the kingdoms of the world. Jesus is tempted to misuse his power to bring attention and glory to himself. And, throughout the conversation, the Devil is misusing Scripture.

Jesus is able to resist temptation by being fully submitted to God and by properly understanding and applying the Scriptures. As it says in James 4:7, “Submit yourselves to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

The good news is that the Devil still has not learned any new tricks. We can resist him and his temptations by submitting ourselves to God and by properly using His Word.


New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/

  • February 22        Mark 6:1-29
  • February 23        Mark 6:30-56
  • February 24        Mark 7:1-23
  • February 25        Mark 7:24-8:10
  • February 26        Mark 8:11-38
  • February 27        Mark 9:1-29
  • February 28        Mark 9:30-10:12
  • March 1               Mark 10:13-3 1


Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Occasionally in school I was asked, ‘If you could have a conversation with anyone who would it be?’. Were you ever asked this question, even if it was not in school? I don’t know if they still ask this kind of question for middle schoolers and high schoolers, but getting my children to answer my regular questions can be difficult enough.

Depending on the season of my life I would answer this question with different answers. In middle school I would have answered with Elizabeth Candy Stanton. High school would have been a different person each year, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Plato and anyone in the Tudor family, Gandhi. It has changed so many times in my life, just as the seasons of our life change.

Conversations with Jesus would be the ultimate conversation. However, I recently finished watching all the seasons of The Chosen. Watching that, I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of one of the thousands of people who Jesus preaches to, let alone have an individual personal conversation with Jesus. The thought brings tears to my eyes. AND then the doubt creeps in, who am I to think of these things? That is the devil’s work.  After all, it is the oldest trick in the Book. It is the same trick that Satan used on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan went to Eve and said to her, “If you will eat of that tree over there, you will be like God. You will be as wise as He is.” So, Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, and it sure wasn’t like Satan promised. In fact, they lost their place in that beautiful garden. That is one of Satan’s very best tricks and he still uses it today. He will promise us great things, or let us think of these things, like who we would be able to have a conversation with. If we will just do what he wants us to do. But the prize is never what he promised. In fact, it may just end up costing us our place in God’s kingdom.

So our activity this week is a thinker (I am excited to hear how the kids answer). Ask the people closest to you who they would have a conversation with if they could sit and speak to anyone. Then ask the why, why do you choose that person?

“The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue.” – JRR Tolkien



  • Ash Wednesday Service – TODAY, February 22, 7:00pm, at First Presbyterian Church. No WOW this evening.
  • CAT Survey – Wesley is participating in the CAT (Congregational Assessment Tool) provided by the Iowa Annual Conference. The CAT is an extensive survey for the whole congregation that will help us better understand the needs of our church.  We ask that you take the online survey as soon as possible, but before March 6.  All who are interested and able are invited to complete the survey. Go to www.wesleyonline.org/cat and click on “Take Survey.”
  • New Membership Class – For those interested in becoming members of Wesley Church, Pastor Brian will host a New Membership Class on Sunday, February 26th at 10:00am during the Sunday school hour in the parlor.
  • Men’s Lenten Breakfast – United Methodist Churches in the area are hosting a series of breakfasts for Men during Lent each Saturday at 8:00am.
    • February 25th @ Cedar Valley UMC
    • March 4th @ New Hope UMC
    • March 11th @ Sweetland UMC
    • March 18th @ Wesley UMC
    • March 25 @ Spangler Chapel UMC
    • April 1 TBD
  • Lenten Taizé Services – Sunday evenings during Lent at 5:15pm in the chapel on February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, and April 2.
  • Jackson Concert Series—OPERA Iowa presents “Beauty and the Beast”, March 3, 7:30 pm. This is a 90-minute, family-friendly event!
  • Children’s Program– Join us on Sunday, March 26th at 10:00am for a Lenten play presented by the children of Wesley!