Friday, December 4, 2015


[From November 23, 2015]

"The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.'  Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "One does not live by bread alone."'"
(Luke 4:3-4)

The story of Jesus' wilderness temptation in Luke is a curious one. A lot of questions arise: why did the Holy Spirit lead him into the wilderness, if he was going to be tempted?  Was Jesus truly tempted (like we humans are) or did he know all along he'd prevail?  And was the 40 day period of fasting tied to the temptations (i.e. being spiritually strong and/or physically weak)?

We could also examine each individual temptation to see what it was about each one that may have been actually tempting to Jesus (stones to bread, authority over kingdoms, angelic protection).  That's a worthwhile exercise, but not where my heart connected to the text today.

What struck me was Jesus' use of Scripture.  Every time the devil challenged him to consider a temptation, Jesus responded from Scripture.  "One does not live by bread alone" (Deuteronomy 8:3).  "Worship the Lord and serve only him" (Deuteronomy 6:13).  "Do not put the Lord to the test" (Deuteronomy 6:16).  And after the second temptation, even the devil started quoting scripture (Psalm 91:11-12).  But Jesus was so grounded in God's written word, he was able to resist.

Temptations will always be a part of life.  No one is exempt form them, not even Jesus!  It's not about "being a good person" or always choosing to "do the right thing," or even "having enough self-control."  Those are all fine characteristics, of course.  Jesus had those too.  But what I learn from this story is that Jesus' grounded in Scripture was his bedrock.  That gave him the framework to make decisions for himself and his life.

I've said over and over how important Scripture Journaling has been to my life this past decade or so.  I believe it!  The challenge, of course, is putting the time into reading, studying, and reflecting on it... so that it can become MY BEDROCK and foundation, just like it was for Jesus!

PRAYER: Lord, may Your Words of LIFE in Scripture be my anchor.  May I have the discipline to spend time with you on a regular basis. I want to walk in your truth every day.

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