Thu, May 26, 2016
Matthew 4:6 – “If you are the Son of God,” (Satan) said, “throw yourself down…”
The devil had taken Jesus to Jerusalem and they stood on the highest point of the temple. The temptation was for Jesus to misapply God’s Word and, in doing so, to make a spectacle of Himself--to draw attention to Himself (ultimately to make a fool of Himself by operating outside the boundaries of God’s will and purposes). From whose mouth came the challenge? It was the same tempter who challenged Eve to reinterpret God’s words and to test the boundaries of right and wrong (Gen. 3:1). Jesus saw the snare and responded appropriately. Mature faith is grounded in a bedrock belief in God’s trustworthiness. It refuses to be manipulated by challenges that come from the accuser’s mouth.
Fri, May 27, 2016
Matthew 4:9 – “All this I will give you, (Satan) said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
The audacity of that statement! Why did Satan say this? When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan stepped into the vacuum that had been created by the fresh disconnect between God and man. But God initiated a plan to redeem mankind and restore us to our God-given inheritance; and Jesus knew that His death and resurrection would fulfill it--ultimately restoring the earth to divine order. Satan wanted to subvert that plan early on, so he tried to bargain with Jesus offering an easy way out that would bypass the cross. But Jesus stood firm in his commitment to fulfill His mission no matter how difficult. Remember this: In spite of how the world looks now, with all its dysfunctions, one day God will bring it all back around. He has the final word, not only in all of creation but also in our lives. Don’t let Satan sell you short. Stand firm. Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
Sat, May 28, 2016
Matthew 4:12 – When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He withdrew to Galilee.
Jesus came home to bad news. His cousin, John the Baptist, was in jail. Divine timing was clicking into place with the focus moving away from John’s ministry and toward His. With this news, He moved to Capernaum “which was by the lake.” From there He began preaching, echoing John’s words: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matt. 4:17; Matt. 3:2). When Jesus left His home in Nazareth it was not to begin an earthly family or settle into a quiet life around the lake. It was to build a heavenly family and accomplish eternal goals. No matter what changes come into your life, keep an eternal perspective. Give thanks for yesterday and move toward tomorrow by keeping heaven in view.