Monday, October 10, 2016

The Real Deal

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
                                                                                       Luke 4:1-13

There's always someone ready to offer you the deal of a lifetime.  It may be a "get rich quick" scheme or some other easy road to happiness. Opportunity only knocks once so you better be ready when you hear it knocking or you will be left behind.  Just follow directions and your success is guaranteed!  You owe it to your family and you can show off to your friends. 

Jesus met similar situations with temptation from the devil himself.  "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."   "I will give you the authority and splendor over all the nations." "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from the highest part of the temple."  Satan used everything in his arsenal to get Jesus to denounce his Sonship by taking the easier road.  But it didn't work.  Jesus responded with statements like, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone."  "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only." "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

I am thankful Jesus didn't take the easy way out.  As much as Satan worked to get Jesus to follow the devil's scheme, Jesus put him on the run until a more opportune time. Such temptations come our way, too.  And the way we should be making our decisions is by examining closely the one making the offers.  Rather than attempting to follow the easy way to happiness, consider the plan of God as he welcomes every one of us into his presence.

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