New Hope Church

Day 4 – Lenten Devotional


Temptation of Jesus

Jesus is able to sympathize with us human beings in the sense that He was not immune to temptation, same as we are not immune.  What Jesus teaches us, however, is the ability, desire, and determination to not give in to temptation.

Matthew 4:1-2   Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

In Matthew (4:1-11), Mark (1:12-13), and Luke (4:1-13) we are told of the three times the devil attempted to waylay Jesus in His mission by using Scripture against the Lord.  However, Jesus would not have it.  It is an almost ridiculous encounter between Satan, who tries to trip up Christ with Scripture…Jesus, who IS the Living Word (John 1:1-3).  Jesus counters every move of His adversary by the right and true use of His Word!

When tempted at the peak of His vulnerability to hunger after fasting forty days, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “ (Mat 4:4-5; Dt 8:3)  He teaches us that when we are the most vulnerable to temptation remember His Word!

When tempted to prove Himself by some miraculous action Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ (Mat 4:7) The devil was attempting to cast doubt in Jesus mind that He was not who He said He was, so prove it!  Jesus teaches that we must have faith and trust in God without always seeing miraculously divine interventions. Belief and trust in God is not a “prove yourself then I’ll do something” mentality. When you begin to doubt YOUR position in Christ remember that you are a child of God (John 1:12-13; Dt 6:16).

When foolishly tempted to worship someone other than the Father Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (Mat 4:10; Dt 6:13) The first commandment written by the finger of God on stone tablets and brought down from the mountain by Moses ought to be first and foremost in our minds when tempted to worship our jobs, children, money, houses, or anything or anyone else other than God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

REFLECT:  How have you been tempted to turn away from God? How have you countered that temptation?

REPENT:  Change your ways.  Confess to God the times you have given in to temptation. Ask God to bring to your mind the remembrance of His Word to help you overcome the deceitful lies of the devil.

RESTORE:  Jesus teaches the way to avoid temptation, it is knowledge of the Word of God. Consider starting to read the Bible regularly.  Let the Holy Spirit work in your heart so you are armed with the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6:17).  Your discipleship in Christ is sitting at His feet, hearing His Word to your heart and responding.

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:11-12, 17)

Pastor Tom Bellhy