|Mathew 4:1-3 (NET)|
|1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”|
|Jesus had just been baptized by John the Baptist in the presence of many. At the baptism, God spoke audibly to the people officially announcing that this is His beloved, or dear, Son in whom He (God) is well pleased. I would have thought that the next scene would have been one filled with Jesus performing miracle after miracle, and proving to the people that they weren’t just hearing things from the heavens, but here is proof that Jesus is the Son of God. However, we know from the scriptures that this was not the case, for Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to spend time with Satan – there to be tempted by the evil one. It seems almost like Jesus was deliberately forced into the most vulnerable position imaginable after such a high point in His life. Additionally, He even fasted for 40 days before facing the tempter.|
|In my observation above, I built the case for us to look at here. I wonder what God wants us to see in this. I don’t believe this was done to make Jesus stronger, or to open His eyes to any spiritual truth, for He is the Son of God. He is part of the trinity, meaning that He is also one with the Father. So obviously this was done as a demonstration for those in attendance, and for those of us that would read the account later, and try to grow from its truth. So let’s look at this in that light. I could only imagine that there were lots of folk there that day at the baptism that doubted this whole announcement from God about Jesus being His Son, don’t you think that they would have been good candidates for a heavy dose of temptation from Satan? Don’t you think that there were some in attendance like Peter, who swore that he would stand by Jesus through thick and thin? Surely they would have been candidates for the serious temptations of Satan so that they could firm up their words into actions? Friends, I believe that this process that Jesus was forced to endure could very easily have been done to show us today that our commitment to our Lord Jesus is more than words alone, but a lifetime commitment that may even come with temptations and/or other actions by Satan that will test our commitment. I believe the word ‘hypocrite’ probably came about because of folk that say they are one thing or the other, but their lives do not exemplify that commitment that they supposedly made. Where do you stand, friend? Stop. Meditate and consider where you stand in your relationship with Jesus today. How would you fare under strong temptations? Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. He will be your guide, especially in times like temptations when you need Him most.|
|Lord Jesus, I am reminded yet again how much You went through for me, and I thank You for Your grace, and Your underserved mercy. Thank You heavenly Father for Your love for sinners such as I. Please touch the lives of those that will read this devotional today. Please search our hearts and show us our weaknesses – our weak commitments and our open doors for Satan to easily attack. Lord, please prepare us to respond to Satan and his attacks using the example You gave us in this account of Your temptation. May we be more like You in every respect, is my request and my heart’s desire today oh Lord, my Rock and my Salvation. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Hebrews 11:1, 5-6): 1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—”he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
THOUGHTS: This whole chapter is known as ‘The faith chapter’. It takes on the job of the dictionary in explaining the meaning of ‘Faith’, for it tells us that ‘Faith’ makes us sure of what we hope for, and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was ‘Faith’ that helped our forefathers know God and please Him in every aspect of their lives. This whole chapter is filled with examples of how our ancestors pleased God in and through their ‘Faith’. Verse 6 goes on to minister to us by telling us that we can only please God through our ‘Faith’, for if we want to know Him, we must have ‘Faith’, believe that God exists and that He rewards us as we sincerely place our trust in Him. I just love this chapter, because not only am I told to have ‘Faith’, but it goes on to demonstrate the very reason it was so important in the lives of our ancestors, and therefore helps me to understand that God has not changed, so if I want to be as successful in my relationship with God as any of our ancestors were, then I had better sharpen my ‘Faith’. This also helped me to reflect on my own Christian journey and identify areas of my ‘Faith’ journey, for if our offspring is to truly walk a path towards, and with God, they will not only look to Hebrews 11 for evidence of ‘Faith’, but they will also want to know how impactful was ‘Faith’ in the life of their dad/uncle/grandfather/brother/cousin. I was able to identify times where I stepped out in ‘Faith’ believing in the true leadership of the God to whom I prayed, and I saw where lifesaving medical help became available to two family members, plus the increase of my family, because of my ‘Faith’ in knowing that God approved of me moving my family to a different country. There have been other instances friends, but I want to challenge you to look into your own life and identify how impactful your ‘Faith’ in God has been in your life. I want to challenge you to talk about that with your family so that they might know that the miracles of God are not only told in the Bible, but in every aspect of our lives today also. If we are truly the only Bible that most folk will read, then it is incumbent upon us to reveal our ‘Faith’ by telling them of the ways that God has worked in our lives and showed His power and His goodness in miraculous ways. Imagine your daughter teaching your grandson about the subject of ‘Faith’ and using examples in your life, rather than, or in addition to those related in this chapter of Hebrews! If our God is truly alive today, then we should be a witness to what He is doing today in and through us, His saints who are alive today! Tell your story friend! Brag on our Savior and allow Him to be praised because of what He has done for you!
PRAYER: Father I am concerned that people are judging our salvation based on the amount of faith we portray. This could negatively impact Christians, however this is exactly what James taught us in James 2:14 when he said: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” As we have come into Your holy presence; as we have invited Your Holy Spirit to live inside of us; as we have committed to live our lives imitating Your character, Your example and Your teaching, we have so much to brag about. Please empower us with boldness, to not brag on anything that we are deserving of, but on the One deserving of our praise and our worship, because of Your outstanding and awesome goodness and mercy to us. Thank You Father, for it’s in the precious and faithful name of Jesus that I ask all this, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
The Holy Bible (Contemporary English Bible – Colossians 1:21-23): 21 You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. 23 But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news.
Thoughts:Paul was reminding believers that all of us were created by Christ, but we have strayed far away from Him. So God sent His Son to die on Calvary so that all of us might be reunited with Him and live in harmony with Him once again. However for those of us that have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and became reunited with Christ, we must learn to live in this old world of sin and strife, but with our eyes fixed on Christ. In fact, living our new, holy, faultless and innocent lives requires our ongoing commitment, as God is key to helping us accomplish that type of life. I liken it to marriage, where couples need to constantly work on their life together. It is not like the older gentleman responded to a question about how often does he tell his wife that he loves her, and he responded “I told her once at the altar, and if anything changes I’ll tell her at that time”!! Friends, I believe that the Holy Spirit is teaching us through the words of Paul, that we are to put on our spiritual armor every day to fight the temptation and evil of the devil. That we are to recognize the powers of God and His righteousness and be ready to use this as our defense as the evil one comes against us. In doing this, we are not only protecting ourselves from the evil one, but we are expressing to the unsaved world how precious the gift is that we claim in Jesus, that we would build a defense against outside erosion factors. Friends Jesus loves us enough that He died sacrificially on a cross for our sins and our future with He and His Father. Is it really too much to ask for us to be loyal, defensive and awesome witnesses of His great love? Satan will tempt us to think that way, but let me remind you: “greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world”! If you are reading this today and cannot identify with the love, sacrifice and provision that I speak about here, please allow me the honor to introduce you to my Savior! Please read the ‘Footnote’ for instructions. This could be the best day of your life!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, staying deeply rooted and firm in my faith does not happen automatically, for I believe that You expect me to re energize my mind with the things I can learn from Your Word, and from Your character exampled for us throughout the pages of Your Word. This not only requires faith, but also a desire to personally do our part to grow in our faith and to keep our eyes and minds fixed on You. Please teach us to pray like never before, and please help us to be so much like You that our unsaved loved ones will want to know You also. Help us to put on our spiritual armor every day so that we can fight off the temptations and leadership of Satan that he will try to impose upon us. Please speak gently, but firmly to the unsaved or uncommitted friend who will read this devotional today. May this be the day of salvation for them. Drawing nearer to You means filling ourselves with more of You. May we be very guilty of this act, is my sincere prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, with thanksgiving, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!