The Front Page - February 14
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- Last Updated: 15 February 2016
- Created: 15 February 2016
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Dear Fellow Traveller on the Christian Journey of Life,
In Lent we are encouraged to read and think deeply about significant events in our Lord’s Life. The first of these is the Temptations he underwent at the beginning of His Ministry – St. Luke chapter 4 v. 1 to 13. The “HOW” to go about His Ministry? If He needed any help as to what to do, to whom was He to turn?; - depend on His own intuition?, His natural, human capabilities?, or to turn to God, His Heavenly Father for insight, divine grace, wisdom and strength?
In Genesis we become aware of misrepresentations of TRUTH! We are brought face to face with the lies that Satan presents to us all – “you can be equal as God”; – “you don’t need God”; – “you can succeed by living with and by your own (human) judgments”. ??? Genesis records Adam’s failure and SIN against God. Adam is representative of the whole human race – of each one of us. The devil is a good theologian, and he quoted Scripture to suit his purpose, i.e. that we would come to believe and live the lie that we can do without reliance on God. He was outwitted and beaten in his effort to defeat God’s purpose in that God sent Jesus as the Messiah, so that all creation might be redeemed from the deadening effects of sinning. In the record of Jesus’ answers we see Satan defeated. We too can defeat his temptations – by doing as Jesus did – turn to the Scriptures; to God’s Word; for He is PERFECT TRUTH IN ALL THINGS AND SITUATIONS WE FACE. Trust God, trust His Word, trust the guidance of His Spirit!
We note the temptations- 1. Was it wrong for Jesus to make bread for His own use? In God's working in the world there is a strict economy of miraculous power. In the life of Jesus there is no single example of a miracle worked for His own advantage. His miraculous power was used for the good of others, to remove the ravages of disease and sin, and to advance the kingdom of God. For these purposes alone was this power entrusted to Him. The devil's suggestion was a temptation to disobedience. Satan would have had our Lord act independently, setting up His will against God's will, which is not conforming it to God’s Divine will in loving obedience.
2. Here Satan suggested that our Lord should address the assembled multitudes from the Temple heights, and then prove His Messianic claims beyond all question by flying through the air, and descending to the ground unharmed. This was a temptation to take a short and easy road to recognition as the Messiah by giving 'a sign from heaven' through which people would be compelled to accept Him as the Messiah. This short and easy method Jesus decisively rejected. He determined to appeal to the spiritual nature of human beings, so that they might believe on Him, not because they were astounded by His miracles. Rather that they be attracted by the holiness and graciousness of His character, by the authority and loftiness of His teaching, and by the love of God He showed to all people. This was manifested in all His words and actions, and especially through His death on the Cross, and in His Resurrection. Jesus’ miracles were secondary, an aid to the faith of those who were inclined to believe, but not a means to extortion from those who had no sympathy with Himself or His Divine Mission.
3. Then the devil made his last effort He offered Jesus 'all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them,' if He would but worship him, i.e. acknowledge his usurped authority, and do evil that good might come. Wealth and power are dangerous snares, which are better avoided, but, if they come, are to be used to God’s glory or they will become an avenue for temptation to rely on our own success and authority – PRIDE. Great and strong is temptation confronting the rich and powerful people of this world. It is God Who created all things and Who finally controls all things, and Who continually brings good out of evil.
Jesus turned to the truth and wisdom of the Scriptures which reflects the purity and holiness of God. On every occasion of temptation He “won the day” against the subtle craftiness of Satan who misconstrued and manipulated the situation so as to deceive and bring Jesus into subjection to his unholy plans for power over God’s Creation.
To God be the glory in the victory we can have over the world, the flesh and the devil.
From a Fellow Traveller.