This Month's Promise

“...Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

- (I Corinthians 15:20)

Read: Matthew 4: 1-11


“Jesus said to him, "Away from me , Satan! ... ” (Matthew 4:10)

After being baptised Jesus was led immediately by the Spirit of God into the desert to be tested. After fasting for forty days, He was hungry and then the test began. Satan tempted Jesus to act independently of the Father. He told Jesus, "If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread". But Jesus knew that it was not the will of His Father for Him. To submit to Satan's suggestion and satisfy His hunger was contrary to God's will. Jesus therefore quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 which affirms that man does not live on bread alone but by God's Word. Next Satan took Jesus to the highest point of the temple. This test was built on the first, for if He is the Son of God and the Messiah, nothing would harm Him even if He threw Himself down from the top. After all, the Scripture says His angels would protect Him and He would not even hurt His foot as He came down. Satan might have thought if Jesus could quote Scripture to him, he could quote it too! However he misquoted Psalm 91:11-12. He left out an important phrase,"in all your ways". According to the psalmist, a person is protected only when he is following the Lord's will. For Jesus, to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple in some dramatic way was not God's will. So Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, "Do not test the Lord your God" and thus pointed out to him that He would not do the thing he proposed. Finally Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. He said if only Jesus would bow down and worship him, he would give them all which were under his rule to Him. This, of course, meant that Jesus would never go to the cross, and this would thwart God's plan for salvation. Jesus once again quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 and resisted this temptation also.

Dear friends, even today Satan's temptations of people fall into three categories - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Let us not yield to him but resist him with the "sword of the Spirit" - the Word of God.

PRAYER:  Almighty God, when Satan tempts me, let me never yield to him. Let me take up your Word the sword of the Spirit and attack him in the name of Jesus. Let me be filled with the Holy Spirit by whose power I can defeat Satan and all his cunning schemes. Amen.