Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Shepastor: "It is Written..."
The story of Jesus’ temptation vividly depicts the treachery of the devil, seeking to derail Jesus from his mission and life’s purpose by trying to persuade him to get off track, give in to his weaknesses and to satisfy his cravings for a season. But Jesus was equipped with something far more superior than the tempting tactics and words of Satan. Jesus had the words of his father hidden deep down in his heart.
The Lord is also our heavenly Father and it is his words that give us life. Jesus’ responses to temptation tell us something about the power of knowing God’s word.
Consider Jesus’1st response to the devil.
Verses 3 and 4 of our text declares,
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Jesus shows us how to use God’s word as a shield when we are hungry. Even though he was hungry, he trusted His father’s words over the temptations of Satan.
When the enemy comes against us, using our “hunger,” doubt about God, doubt about ourselves, doubt about God’s promises, we’ve go to know what is written! We’ve got to know God's Word. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God's Word is the light and life and breath of our souls. When you know God's Holy Word, when you stand upon His promises, when you quote His wisdom to yourself, you beat back the lies and temptation that the devil sends your way.
Proverbs declares that life and death are in the power of the tongue. When we don’t trust what is written in God’s Word we open ourselves up to a world of defeat. But when we trust God’s Word, when we speak God's word over and into our spirit, God breathes life into us. When you trust God's word, you are less vulnerable to the lies that Satan tells you about yourself. You trust when God's word says, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." You trust God's word when it says, "I know the plans that I have for you." You trust God's word when it declares that you are the righteousness of God. You trust God's word when it declares that if you confess your sins God is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Knowing what is written and hiding that word in your heart will help you resist the enemy’s falsehoods.
When Satan tried to tempt Jesus to look to him for power and authority, to look to him for prestige and material things, Jesus simply replied,
"It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. "
Jesus knew that there was nothing Satan could offer that would truly be of benefit. Jesus knew that the ways of His father, the teachings of His father, the love of His father would lead him into paths of prosperity.
Jesus was able to resist the lies of Satan because He believed His Father, He trusted His Father and He adored his Father. When Satan tried to tempt Jesus to look to him for power and authority, to look to him for prestige and material things, Jesus simply replied,
“It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. “
Jesus knew that there was nothing Satan could offer that would truly be of benefit. Jesus also was clear about his mission. Jesus knew that the ways of His father, the teachings of His father, the love of His father would sustain him for his purpose. He didn’t have to “sell his soul to the company store.” It is so important that Fathers set the right examples for children. It is critical that fathers teach their sons and daughters the benefits of right living. The world, especially today, is filled with temptations of “get rich quick” schemes, the thrill of power, the glam and the glitter associated with high style living.
But all of those things will leave you feeling empty, unfulfilled and cheap when they are obtained through illegitimate means. So often men and women have sold themselves out through lying, stealing, cheating, manipulating, pushing others aside doing whatever they feel necessary to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. They do so, however at the expense of their souls. They do so at the expense of their reputations. They do so at the expense of their children. No matter how high you climb, if you do so with evil tactics, your ladder will soon come crashing down. What then will you say to your children?
But if through righteous living, honest work, hard work, faith in God and the support of others you have been elevated by the Lord, no weapon formed against you will prosper. We have to teach our children that it takes prayer, hard work, faith and perseverance to succeed. We can’t have everything we want over night. Sometimes we have to wait. Sometimes we have to sacrifice. Sometimes we have go without. But if your children see that you have pressed your way, worked honestly, tried diligently, come up against some difficult circumstances and yet remained faithful, they will see you as someone to look up to and someone to pattern their lives after. The false promises of the world won’t lure them away.
Finally, Jesus’ confidence in what was written made him confident in his identity. In each of the devil’s attempts, he began by questioning who Jesus was, “If you be the son of God….” “If…..” Inherent in the “if” is the question, are you really who you say you are?
Insecurity, self doubt, low self-esteem has caused many a person to do themselves harm, get involved with the wrong crowd and make many wrong choices, all because they don’t know who they are.
Every day, the devil is bombarding people with the question – “If you be so and so then do thus and so….” When the enemy comes against our personhood, against our worth, against our purpose, we’ve got to know what is written…we’ve got to know down deep in our soul who God says we are. We must remember that we are made in the image of God.
Get to know what is written in God’s Word about your life, about your purpose, about your self-worth, about your future…Jesus has taught us, Jesus has shown us…Jesus had died for us…through Christ, we have the victory!
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,