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Berni - ceo, Christianityworks

The First Temptation

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Matthew 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (NRSV)

Your enemy, the devil, has a number of very nasty habits. Up there at the top of his list is his habit of kicking you when you’re down, waiting until you’re at your weakest point and then seducing you with a false remedy to your suffering.

Suffering is not something that any of us wishes for ourselves. Nevertheless, it comes our way from time to time. The greatest suffering of my life happened almost three decades ago in the midst of a terrible betrayal. Honestly, it was very nearly the end of me.

But I’ve come to the realisation that it was the greatest opportunity that God would ever hand me. That’s why the temptation of Jesus, amidst His suffering, resonates so deeply with me to this day.

Matthew 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (NRSV)

When you’re suffering, the temptation that the devil will dangle under your nose is to end your suffering in your own strength. Jesus could have turned those stones into bread when He was weak and famished.

But He chose instead to rely on God, to stand on His Word. Suffering never makes sense at the time, but in the midst of it we have perhaps the greatest opportunity of our lives – to trust in God, to experience His faithfulness firsthand. Don’t squander that by falling into temptation.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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