Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Book of Matthew: Morning Moments with God, Day 6

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Day 6: Jesus is Victor and We can be too!

Matthew 4: 1- 11
Please read the Scripture for the day in your own Bible.

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." (Matthew 4:1) I fully remember that Jesus was tempted in the desert prior to beginning His ministry, but what I never saw before were the words, "...led by the Spirit." Jesus was led by the Spirit of God to be tempted by the devil! It was approved by God for the devil to tempt Jesus. I have to admit I was a bit surprised. I have always felt that God wouldn't test us. It sounded too harsh for God to do, but as I look back on my life, I'm beginning to see some testing that maybe God allowed and I'm okay with it. Back in 1991, as many of you know from reading my blog, my family became involved in a cult. We were Christians that fell. I was one of them. It was a brutal testing of my faith, but God never abandoned me. He brought me through and I know Him better because of it. I have had other tests through the years, some were to wake me up, to stop my whining, to have me grow up, or to get me to go deeper. All of the testing did the job- they brought me closer to Jesus. But why would Jesus need to be tempted or tested? Well, He is our high priest, I believe He endured it for us.

"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." (Matthew 4:2) I take part in a church-wide fast twice a year. I usually give up sugar for a week. Once I did a true Daniel Fast for a week and I was a mess. Oh, I was a mess just giving up sugar too! I was tired, irritable, and just plain miserable and that was a ONE week fast. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights! and so yes, I would agree, "...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 does not live on bread alone, but on very word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) Oh, how my blood boils when I read the words, "IF you are the Son of God..." (Emphasis mine). If? IF? Satan, the devil, knows that Jesus is the Son of God- he had been in heaven with Jesus. If that had been me, I would have lost it. If I had been on a fast for forty days and nights and Satan said, "IF" to me, I would have put him in his place. (And if you are now wondering if my big mouth has gotten me in trouble- you would be right). But not Jesus. He is perfect. He knows what He is dealing with and is not rattled, He knows who He is and does not have to defend Himself. Jesus simply quotes Scripture to Satan and poof! Satan moved to the next temptation.

"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 you God to the test.'"  Satan lost the first round of the fight, so in his second attempt to tempt Jesus to sin, Satan uses Scriptures. Satan knows Scripture AND he knows who Jesus is- don't be fouled. Satan, many times acts like a gnat or a mosquito, buzzing around our head, trying to annoy us, and distract us. Here Jesus is, hungry, probably physically weak, and He's got Satan flying around Him. Jesus simply quotes Scripture, and once again, poof! Satan moves on to the next temptation.

Again, 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." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."Then the devil left him and angels came and attended him." Jesus fought for us in that desert. He fought to win that battle with Satan. He fought to minister on earth for three years, die on the cross, so He could rise again and beat death- for all of us! He won that battle for us! That whole time He was being tempted His eyes were on His prize- you! You are God's delight. You are worth fighting for. You are worth fasting for. You are worth dying on the cross for.. Jesus won for you!

Pray with me.
Jesus, thank you. Thank you for being in submission to the Father and allowing yourself to be tested by Satan. Help me to humble myself in all ways to the Father too. Thank you for winning! Thank you too for showing us how to win against Satan. Help me to be in your Word each day so that it will get deep down inside my heart that I might quote Scripture to Satan as he tempts me into sin. Lord, I love you and want to be just like you.  Amen.

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