The Temptation of Jesus/ Matthew 4:1-11
“1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,”‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,”‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and”‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,”‘You shall worship the Lord your Godand him only shall you serve.'”11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”
Why do I need to read my Bible? That is the question we ask ourselves today! We may have thoughts at times, “it’s just words on a page, is it really that important?” Sometimes we see other things in our lives that seem more beneficial or important, some things that we would just rather do instead of opening up God’s Word. I’m not here to bash on you if you wrestle with any of that, I’m here to tell you, that’s me too! I get that!
Although we go through those questions and distractions when it comes to spending time in God’s Word, I ran across this piece of Scripture that puts it all in perspective and answers the ultimate question; “why should I read my Bible?”
I’ve heard this story several times before, Jesus is in wilderness fasting and then he meets up with the devil who begins to tempt him. Then Jesus shows us that if we just say Scripture back to him and his temptations then the devil will be defeated. That is so very true but it’s deeper than that. Think about your every day life. Think about the many temptations you face throughout your day to chase your own desires and passions, those things that aren’t good things to chase after that usually cause a lot of hurt in our lives. Another word for those things can be known as “sin.” Sin is anything we do that rejects, goes against God and disobeys Him. As human beings, we face a constant struggle against this thing called “sin.” And what makes this struggle even worse, as followers of Christ, children of God, the more we walk in God’s ways and His purpose, the more we face attacks from the enemy. This enemy is the devil and he works around the clock to throw temptations in our path with the main goal of taking us away from God and living the life God has given us.
So simply put, we struggle with a lot of sin in our lives every single day and we struggle with the enemy throwing temptation at us. The devil throws us temptation in the form of lies, he tempts us with things that seem like the truth and seem good but are far from it. It’s real and we all face this in our every day lives, we get knocked down and beat up by his schemes. So how do we fight against our struggle with sin and defend against the enemy’s lies he throws our way?
What does Jesus do? Jesus stands firm and speaks God’s Word. Like I mentioned earlier, speaking God’s Word and memorizing His Word to combat against the enemy is an awesome act of offense to put the enemy in his place and be delivered through these temptations. But deeper than that, God’s Word is our only way through these daily struggles that we face. If we find ourselves getting beat down by the lies of the enemy and the lies our fleshly desires tell us to chase, what do we turn to?
The only way to beat the lies we face is with truth and not just any truth, God’s truth!!! God’s Word is complete and perfect truth because it comes straight from His heart to ours. What stuck out to me hear wasn’t just the actions Jesus took to combat the lies he faced, it was the POWER we see in God’s Word that blew my mind. The devil didn’t stand a chance when faced with God’s overpowering truth! So when we spend time in God’s Word, when we sit under the truth we find about God and who He is, when we firmly believe this truth and hold tightly to it at all times no matter what lies are thrown our way, victory will always be the end result! Jesus spoke the Word of God and the devil started scrambling trying to find another lie that might break through, and at the end of it, the devil ran away, knowing he’d been beat. God’s Word is what guides us, empowers us, and brings ultimate victory over the sin and temptations we face in our daily lives.
So often I find myself getting beat down by lies and falling into temptation which leaves me wondering, “why do I have to go through this, why can’t I win and get past this, why is this so hard?” It turns out during these occasions I’m asking the wrong questions of disbelief and doubt. What we should be asking is, “why am I not in God’s Word, why am I not in God’s Word more?” “Why am I letting lies defeat me when I have God’s victorious truth right in front of me???”
Why do we read our Bible? If this is a question you face, the answer is simple. Because I need God’s truth in my life, with all of the lies I face constantly, I need God’s truth in my life! I need God’s Word to fight against the daily struggles I endure. I need God’s Word because I’m tired of being defeated by the enemy’s schemes and God’s truth is what will bring the victory I’m seeking after in my life!
It’s so much more than just words on a page, the intentional time we spend in God’s Word seeking out His truth makes the difference between living a defeated life or the victorious one He has for us!!!