Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:3-4)
Just as your body is sustained by food, your soul is sustained by the word of God. You wouldn’t dream of eating poison. Yet, if you feed upon the doctrines and philosophies of men that is exactly what you are putting into your heart. Such things never satisfy your soul; indeed, they starve you of the spiritual nutrients you need for spiritual health. Trying to live without the word of God is starving yourself of the salvation, joy and living hope it gives. Bring your life into harmony with God’s word and you will have life abundantly.
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)
Today is Friday the 13th, the day of superstitious trouble according to common folklore. Of course, we know Friday the 13th is just another day on the calendar. But to the superstitious it is a day for taking extra precautions against harm. Superstitions arise from a lack of knowledge and understanding. And while some are playful and harmless (like the baseball player who will not change socks until his team loses), other kinds of superstition can destroy the soul. Faith in Christ is not built on superstition; it is built on faithful eyewitness testimony as well as incontrovertible evidence that He is the Son of God (John 20:30-31; Hebrews 11:1). Our confidence today and tomorrow rests upon the revelation of truth, the gospel of Christ. Those who think faith is superstitious do not understand the difference between the two. Faith is established by evidence; superstition results when people are without knowledge and understanding. “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Light wonderfully illustrates the life of a Christian. First, it should be obvious you are a disciple of Jesus Christ – just as obvious as a city nestled on a hillside (v. 14). Next, you are to function to your potential, just as a lamp gives light to those in a house (v. 15). A Christian is a light of righteousness in this dark world of sin. Thirdly, your life has purpose; Your life is to show others the good works of living for Jesus so that they have a reason to believe and glorify God (v. 16). Is it obvious by your life that you are a Christian? Are you fulfilling your role to provide spiritual light to people around you? Are you an example of good works so that others may come to Jesus, the Light of the world?
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)
There are few things more frustrating and disheartening as indecisiveness. It is so discouraging when God’s people are spiritually indecisive. Vacillating between Jehovah God and Baal, the once mighty Israel had become a weak, pathetic, faltering nation. Faith requires making a choice and having the commitment to follow through. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and all who believe it to be so follow Him – they do not limp along in fearful uncertainty. Genuine faith instills the confidence to serve the true and living God while rejecting all impostors. Live your faith today and do not be silenced by fear and doubt.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
The dangers of pride are legion. Pride destroys so many things, tantamount among them is your immortal soul. In the process, as pride is allowed to live in your heart it will destroy your reputation, your godly influence and your integrity. Arrogance proves fatal to friendships, marriages, family relations, the brotherly bonds of Christians, life’s joy and heaven’s hope. Simply put, “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). Give up pride or it will destroy you. Live today in humble obedience to God, and be blessed. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. (Proverbs 16:17)
Highways are designed to be free of obstacles so we can travel with ease, speed and safety. Choosing righteous living instead of evil is the difference between traveling a winding dirt road and a multi-lane freeway. Still, even on the freeway we must be careful; neglect leads to injure and even death. We grew up learning to “drive defensively” to avoid accidents. Protect your life today by “driving defensively”. Make decisions that honor God and keep faith with Him. As you live for God you are guarding your life from the danger of evil.
How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. (Proverbs 16:16)
Christians live in a material world, but our citizenship is in heaven. Jesus taught us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. One way to do that is to “get wisdom and understanding” by fearing God and keeping His commandments. King Solomon had both great wisdom and great wealth. He was in a unique position to judge which of these is more valuable. He concluded wealth will not ultimately satisfy the soul – it is vanity: “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). But, to possess wisdom equips both the rich and the poor with necessary tools to live with God now as well as obtain eternal riches in the next life. The choice is yours – and there really is no comparison. Be wise and lay up for yourself treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).