Bible Reference: Luke 4:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 1–2 From the moment of his baptism, Jesus was overflowing with the Holy Spirit. He was taken by the Spirit from the Jordan into the lonely wilderness of Judea to experience the ordeal of testing by the accuser for forty days. He ate no food during this time and ended his forty-day fast very hungry. 3 It was then the devil said to him, “If you are really the Son of God, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread for you.”
OBSERVATION: Being led by the Holy Spirit, we know that the timing of everything done by Jesus was perfectly ordained. No doubt, a very high point in the ministry of Jesus Christ, and in the relationship between He and His Father, was His baptism. Imagine being told audibly by God Himself, that He (Jesus) was His (God’s) beloved Son in whom He is well pleased! Wow, I’m sure that kind of encouragement would give you a boost in spirit for the rest of your life! Let’s see what encouragement lies ahead in this for us!
APPLICATION: I’ve heard friends talk about the kind of challenging day they had avoided the Word of God at the beginning of their day. I’ve also heard just the opposite – about the peace one may have had after an intimate time with God in prayer and in the Word. However, I believe the message in this Scripture for us today, will remind us of a few things:
1). Jesus was so pumped up after experiencing God in baptism in the Jordan river, that He willingly and obediently went into the wilderness, knowing that the same God who reassured Him of His love, would also be with Him through the most challenging times of life, and especially in the wilderness;
2). There are no respecter of persons in Satan’s world. If anything, Satan will make it a point to go after God’s chosen children, because the others are already his! But we are reminded in Scripture that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’. Our part is to stay in fellowship with the One that we choose to follow, so that there is no doubt in our minds, or question of confidence in the power and willingness of our Master.
Friends, I’m here to tell you and/or remind you, that there is no other god like my God, for He is the One that came down in the form of a dove, blessed and encouraged His Son, then strengthened, directed and protected Him in the wilderness, so that you and I might be reminded of the love and awesome protection our God has for all of His children, including us. The other lesson I see in this Scripture for our meditation is that temptation came upon Jesus when He was ready in His spirit, His mind, and in the current circumstances of His life. What about us? How prepared are we for the temptations of Satan when we depend on a relationship with God that has not been infused by your input or deliberate effort since last Easter when you attended church in order to satisfy a nagging mom? When you really can’t find your Bible, because you haven’t seen it since you walked back in the house from that same Easter service? When you’ve estranged yourself from the commitment you made before God to your spouse, and you have separated yourself from them and your children, because you couldn’t stand the demands they had on your life? When your only friends are those that you meet up with at the local bar for a drink. Ones that have warned you not to call them outside of that place? How spiritually and mentally prepared are you for the temptations and challenges of your day? Do you have a support team standing besides and behind you, that includes a friend like our awesome and powerful Savior? If not, why not? May I encourage you to read my Footnote and the associated links included, to see if God might have some additional decisions for you to make today? We know from Scripture that our God is able, will you test that today by surrendering your life to Him? I implore you do do that today, my friend!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, it is evident that Satan is still very much alive today, just as he was in the Wilderness when he tempted and tried You. We carefully read from Your Word how You overcame the temptations of Satan, and we have reminded ourselves how this is still a BIG problem for us today. Having been given the answer to this dilemma, I pray that we will humble ourselves before You, seek your face, and surrender our lives before You. Please Lord, touch the hearts of my readers whose hearts are hardened to the things of Christ. Help them to understand that the answer to all of life’s challenges lie at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. May we surrender our all to you today, is my humble plea. AMEN!