Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, 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 shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 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 your God to the test.’ ” 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.
Throughout my life I’ve heard this phrase: “the devil made me do it.” As a youngster hearing this phrase on the Flip Wilson Show, this made me laugh. Ok, I’m showing my age.
However, in the present day this phrase no longer makes me laugh. Instead, it worries me knowing that I am confronted with the sins of this world. In my reading of this passage, I’m reminded that Satan is always out there and his evil influence on me is very strong. Satan tempts us everyday and he won’t stop until he gets our attention and tries to change our hearts.
Jesus is my rock and stronghold in this battle with Satan. Jesus is omnipotent. However, we as humans are weak and sinful. As Christians, we need to rest on Jesus and turn to Him when tempted with sin. The temptations of fame and glory can be overpowering. The desires of man to have everything (riches and accolades) are ever present in this world. It can be hard to resist being influenced by our worldly values of gaining fame, fortune and power. I know my weaknesses and when my world becomes dark, I know I must turn to God and thank Him for saving me even though I do not deserve His grace and mercy. Knowing that Christ is perfect, unchanging, and my stronghold, provides me strength and encouragement to face my struggle with temptation.
As Christ did in this passage, we also must rely on Scripture to strengthen us during our battle against sin and temptation. During this Lenten season, as we reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus we realize that the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation was made. As believers, we look forward to the hope of eternal life free of Satan’s temptation; that death has no power over us!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us make known what You have done in our lives and – like the leper – go out and share the Good News of our healing with the whole world. Let us tell everybody of Your mercy, grace, and healing. May there be many who are healed all around us. Lord Jesus, use us all to declare with boldness and joy Your healing and restoration.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.