Monday, March 14, 2016

Luke 4:5-8

Luke 4:5-8
And after leading Him to a high place, he revealed all the kingdoms of the civilized world in an instant of time.  And the devil said to Him, “I will give to all this authority to you, and the glory of it, because it has been given to me.  And if I should desire, I give it to you.  Therefore, if you should bow to the ground in reverence in my presence, all will be yours.  And answering, Jesus said to him, “It has been written, ‘Bow in reverence to the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The second element that the devil desires to test with respect to Jesus is the human ambition.  We all want to succeed.  We all want our name to be known.  We all want to be recognized.  Granted, we don’t all necessarily want to be in spotlights that are too big.  But we all want the respect of our friends, bosses, managers, teachers, etc.  The devil comes to Jesus and tempts him with positions of authority.  The devil tells Jesus that he will give over dominion of the world to Jesus.  Jesus could rule it all.  Jesus hands the prime spotlight to Jesus.  All Jesus has to do is accept it.  But he doesn’t.  Jesus knows that the spotlight belongs to the Father.  As it should.

Are you ever tempted to step into the spotlight?  When can our own ambition get into the way of what God is trying to do within us?

Second Thought:

At the same time, the devil is also speaking for the human desire of approval.  We want to be accepted.  We want to have people willing to listen to us.  We want to feel like other people accept us.  The devil is handing this to Jesus as well.  The devil is giving Jesus a place to feel welcome if He would just revere him.  Of course, Jesus knows that He already has such a place.  He has it with God.  God has already accepted His creation.  He has already given His approval in saying that His creation is God.  He has already said that we can be in relationship with Him.  Honestly, there is no meaningful source of approval that isn’t originated in Him anyways.

Do you ever let a desire for human approval move you in a way that results in a behavior that God doesn’t want?  How can you learn to be satisfied with God’s approval and only the approval of others that is rooted in God’s approval of you? 

Third Thought:

I’ve already hinted at my third point here today.  Jesus’ response is once more to turn to God.  Jesus has already told the devil that man is satisfied by more than worldly food.  Now, Jesus tells the devil that God’s approval is better than anyone else’s approval as well.  God’s plan is better than any plan of ambition that comes from a source outside of God.  Once more we see that Jesus resists temptation by turning to God.  Jesus doesn’t deny his human desire.  But Jesus does combat the human desire with a higher spirit focus.

How do you resist temptation?  How comfortable are you in resting in God’s hands?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 4:9-13
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