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Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Morning Devo - 40 Days in the Wilderness, Part 2

When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22, NKJV

And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God...." Luke 4:3a, NKJV

A lot of folks read the Bible or hear a preacher quote the Bible, and their conclusion is that Jesus's first temptation was to turn stones into bread. It seems to me it might be something even more important. It hadn't been that long since Jesus heard the Father say, "You are My beloved Son." And here in the Wilderness, Satan tests him: "IF you are the Son of God...."

Jesus was tempted in every way we are, so the Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:15. In other words, he was tempted beyond just in those forty days.

Been tempted to commit adultry? He was too at some point. (No, I don't know when.)

Gossiping? If anyone could have told stories on folks, He could have.

Lying? He could have saved His own skin if He had lied about Who He was or Who sent Him.

Vanity? More than one person tried to tell Him how great He was. When His own disciple did (Simon Peter), Jesus told Satan to get behind Him.

Theft? He didn't even steal from the government--the Romans, no less! He told people to pay their taxes.  (Luke 22:20)

In other words, He resisted the urges that did not give God the Father reason to not be proud of Him. He will also help us do the same thing, if we will let Him.

Some folks think "sin" is the original four-letter word. Sin is missing the mark in one way or the other--sometimes by what we do and sometimes by what we don't do. It doesn't have to be what the world considers huge crimes. None of us are perfect and never will be, but each small victory over the temptations we are faced with makes God smile.

Father, I want to make You proud of me. I know I fall short way too often. Help me. I don't have the energy or ability to help everyone, but show me where I can. I love You, Lord, and I want to do things that please You over the things that please myself, but I can't do it without Your help. Thank You, Lord, for showing the way. Amen.
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