Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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When was the last time you were tempted; really, sincerely tempted? Was it something new? Or, was it something habitual that shows up every day, every week, every month, or every year? How did it go? Did you resist temptation or did you yield to it?

Thomas Brooks in his book Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices said: "Satan's first device to draw the soul into sin is, to present the bait [the food] - and hide the hook; to present the golden cup - and hide the poison." Temptation is that food on a hook.

Matthew in chapter four presents Jesus as a young adult led by the Spirit into the wilderness. It happened right after He was proclaimed to be the Son of God (Matt. 3:17). But at this very point the devil arrives and tempts Jesus. The temptation of Jesus was not merely about turning stones into bread. Satan was primarily questioning Jesus’ identity. "Are you really the Son of God? If you are the Son of God, prove it!" In the desert, Jesus is wrestling with His purpose and mission.

Jesus was experiencing a crisis very similar to ours. Like other persons seeking their place in God's will, Jesus was sorting out His life's calling: its method, purpose, and foundational principles. We often are led through crossroads of faith. Perhaps, our identity as sons and daughters of God may be attacked. Sometimes, it may be difficult to find our purpose in life. But Jesus left us an example. His assurance in His mission and identity was based on the promises of God in the Word of God. In fact, every attack of Satan was overthrown with the Scripture (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).

We are tempted every day, every hour of our lives and one of the greatest temptations is to forget that we are children of God and that we “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). The good news is that Jesus struggled with the same temptations as we do today. He knows what we are going through. Let us not forget that we are His children and were created for a divine purpose and for better things.

Oleg Kostyuk
Host of Cross Connection
Hope Channel