Temptation and Deliverance – Week of March 2, 2020

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give to you,” he said, “if you bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:8-11

Let’s be honest…Christian life in this world is difficult. Temptations are all around in the world. A temptation is a test with the outcome either being pass or fail. Satan’s goal with each temptation is to lead an individual away from Jesus. Satan provides a plethora of temptations and individualizes temptations to do his very best to tear an individual away from Jesus. Sometimes temptations are blatant like stealing or dishonesty. Some are maybe more subtle such as doubt in God’s plan or coveting higher success or wealth. Blatant or subtle the temptations are an immoral act against God. The good news is that we are never alone in a temptation. Jesus is with us and will help overcome the temptation.

Jesus himself was tempted by Satan. Following his baptism Jesus was led into the desert where he fasted for 40 days. It is during this time that Satan worked to lead Jesus to sin. In turn this would have negated Jesus’ work of salvation for all of mankind. Thankfully, Jesus resisted the devil and overcame temptation not once, not twice, but three times!

The reading for the devotion is the third temptation of Jesus. Satan is claiming that he has the power to give Jesus all the kingdoms, with one caveat…Jesus must bow and worship Satan. This is, of course, a lie by Satan.

Twisting the truth, even Bible verses, is a common tactic of Satan. How many times has Satan tried to tempt you to think if you try this you will be wealthier or if you do this you will be more accepted by your friends? Soon doubt begins to break down the trust in God’s plan and in turn the lies of Satan are trusted.

Jesus used Scripture to refute Satan and overcome the temptation. We can follow Jesus’ example when we are faced with temptations. Jesus is stronger than Satan. The words of Scripture are more powerful than the lies of Satan. As we face every temptation we can trust in God, rely on God for deliverance, and when we fall into temptations have peace in the forgiveness given to us.

Temptations will be a part of life in this world. Each temptation is a test, but we can rest assured in the promise of God that he is with us through all temptations and will give us strength to endure the temptation.

A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon.
He helps us free from every need that has us now o’ertaken.
The old evil foe now means deadly woe.
Deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight.
On earth is not his equal.
Christian Worship 200 verse 1

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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