Resist Temptation #193

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)

The devil never stops tempting us to sin, but he can be resisted. Do not draw the conclusion from the record of Christ’s temptations that the devil never returned to tempt him; he did. Satan looked for “an opportune time” to continue tempting Jesus (see Luke 22:28). Never think you are beyond temptation. If you do, then the devil have you exactly where he wants you: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Instead, be sober and watchful, resist the devil and be steadfast in the faith. You are not alone – “the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). Keep resisting temptation!

Conviction to Refuse Sin #192

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only You shall serve.’ ” (Matthew 4:8-10)

The devil does not stop tempting us. Although Jesus resisted prior temptations, the devil still tried to defeat him with sin. With the conviction of truth Jesus refused the devil’s allurement to rule the world while escaping the cruelty and humiliation of Calvary. But, the cost was too great. For Jesus to give in to this temptation would be to worship power, pleasure and self-interest rather than sacrifice Himself in service to the Father. What your eyes see can turn your attention away from God and lead you to worship created things instead of the Creator. When you are tempted by sinful attractions, remember you worship God and only serve Him – whatever the cost. Then, with Jesus you can say, “Away with you, Satan!”

Do Not Tempt God #191

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give his angels charge over you,’ and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (Matthew 4:5-7)

When the devil tempted Jesus he set one Scripture against another, partially quoting Psalm 91:11-12 to entice Jesus to act out of pride and jump from the temple – surely God would keep His word and protect Him from harm. But, Jesus set one Scripture beside another (“It is written again”) and resisted the temptation to sin. Proper interpretation of God’s word never pits one passage against another in order to prove a point or justify error and wrongdoing. Such disrespect for God and His word tests the Lord God, by expecting Him to act contrary to His revealed word. He will not. It is the devil who tempts you to act against God’s word and think God approves. Jesus always calls upon you to fully trust Him by accepting the harmony of God’s word and completely obeying it. That is true trust in God.

God’s Word Gives Life #190

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.

Faith, not Superstition #189

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).

Let Your Light Shine #188

“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?

Faith is Decisive #187

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.

“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)