Through September 7, we are featuring the best of 2022 and gearing up for our fall series of devotions that will lead us into the Christmas season and the coming New Year!
We see them in nearly every building and on every floor. On average, people are often unaware of their location, and when disaster strikes, such as a significant fire, panic can quickly set in. What I refer to are those little red boxes mounted on walls throughout the building with a sign that says, “In case of emergency, brake glass.” The fire can become more intense and spread rapidly during those precious moments it takes to run around and search for one of those red boxes. However, once we break the glass and gain access to the box, we can sound the alarm and call for help.
Many Christians tend to treat their Bibles the same way they do those little red boxes. In other words, their Bibles sit on a shelf somewhere, often unnoticed as if a sign on it says, “In case of emergency, open book.” However, and more often than not, when the temptation to sin strikes, the unprepared Christian has already stumbled and fallen. That is why the psalmist encourages us to study and meditate on God’s words both day and night, so we are ready at all times for when temptation strikes, and Jesus gives us the perfect example of how this works recorded in chapter four in Matthew’s gospel.
After His baptism, The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, and after 40-days of fasting, Jesus was hungry, and Satan then arrived on the scene. Satan first focuses on Jesus’ physical hunger and tempts the Lord not to rely on His heavenly Father but to take the matter into His own hands and turn some stones into bread to satisfy His hunger. Jesus replied, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’“
Then Satan proceeds to tempt Jesus’ faith by tempting Him to leap from the temple’s pinnacle. It was to test the Father’s faithfulness to keep His word, which the devil himself recites: “He will give His angels orders concerning You; and on their hands, they will lift You up, so that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.” Jesus replied, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’“
Satan then sets his sights on tempting Jesus by offering Him the very thing He came to save, the world that God so loves. At a mountain’s summit, the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says, “All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me.” At this point, Jesus had enough of Satan’s games, saying, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’“
Then Satan departed the Lord’s presence, and it is essential to point out here that not even Satan can deny Christ’s authority. In each case, Jesus refers to Scripture to ward off Satan’s temptations that challenged the Lord both physically and spiritually. “Now, wait a minute,” you might say. “Jesus was God so naturally, He knew Scripture and could draw on any verse needed to resist temptation.” Yes, you are correct, and if Jesus, who was both fully man and fully God, used Scripture to deflect Satan’s temptations, how much more critical is it for us to know and rely on Scripture being only fully man with a propensity to sin?
Let us be encouraged to study and meditate on God’s word daily so we, too, can fend off the pressures and temptations of the world, and in so doing, let us always cling to the promise of Jesus who said, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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