Matthew 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."4But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’"
These days there are all manner of reasons why people ..... Let me back up, there are all manner of intelligent sounding excuses given as to why people sin. We know that, The devil made me do it, really doesn’t work anymore, most people don’t believe in the devil, or that he has any real power. We know that many may say that they couldn’t help themselves, but without some sort of extenuating circumstance, or even better, if you’re a victim of something,... after all everyone is a victim of something....
But in the end, all these things will never excuse or forgive sin, in the end, all they amount to are deceit, trickery and lies, more sin to compound the original sin. This brings us to the central truth, and the topic for today’s meditation. There are only 2 ways to face temptation, either you give in, and sin, or by the power of the Word of God you resist temptation, and send the devil away.
Life is never easy. Temptation comes often each day. There is open warfare, on one side is God and our Savior Jesus Christ, on the Other, the devil and the fallen angels. Each side wants you to spend eternity with them. God in Christ, wants us to spend eternity in perfect joy harmony and peace with Him in heaven.
The devil wants you to spend eternity with him, in the eternal torment of Hell. The devil’s chief weapon is temptation. Temptation is the promise of a good time now, a promise the devil has no intention of keeping. The devil knows that giving into temptation is sin. The Devil knows that sin separates us from God. The devils purpose is to separate us far enough from God that we give up on God, once that happens, once we are safely and irreversibly on the way to Hell, then the devil doesn’t need to promise us anything good, temptation is no longer necessary, but in place of the temptation, we do not receive peace, he simply torments us here on this earth.
God has already won the victory. Jesus has conquered the devil, overcome sin, and risen from the dead, and our savior would give this victory to us. God wants us to stop living as men who sin, and to live the new life he has given at Baptism, when we were made a new creation. God wants us to live as the children of God. The children of God follow their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and as Christ overcame every temptation, we can learn from him, how we too have been given the power to overcome every temptation. You can live everyday in victory, and this is what God wants for you.
This brings us to the important part. How can we be victorious over temptation? In our lesson today, Jesus was tempted 3 times. Each time Jesus responded to the temptation with the power of the Word of God. The Word of God showed the temptation to be lies, trickery and deceit. The word of God sent the Devil away. The Word of God reminded of the grace and blessing of God and the promise of salvation that is ours from God. So it is that we have learned and memorized the scripture which says to us "All Scripture is inspired and useful.... that the man of God may be completely prepared .... for life."
We, by ourselves, may not always be able to unmask the devil’s deceit. We, by ourselves may not always be able to resist what the devil has offered. We, by ourselves, may often loose sight of our Savior and the path to Heaven. But God never meant that we should be, by ourselves, alone. When God calls us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, he calls us into a family, His family. God means by this family to remind us of the treasure that is our in Jesus Christ, and the place that has been prepared for us in heaven. God means that as he has put us together, that we should encourage one another to be faithful, to resist temptation, and to do God’s will. God has called us into his family, and has given us a message to bring to all people, for God is calling them too. God is calling all people out of sin, and into light and life in Jesus Christ.
As I said, we are not by ourselves, God has placed us into his family, and surrounded us with other children of God, that we might strengthen and encourage one another. And this brings us to another area where Satan seeks to tempt, often he will encourage friendships with people who do not believe, and whose purpose is to lead us into sin. God often warns us that bad companions will lead a man to destruction
lead good people to sin. A wise test therefore, is if we feel we would never be able to share our faith and the good news of the savior, with someone we call a friend, then either we do not believe that Jesus is the Lord, or that friend is no friend, but only an occasion for temptation. Remember, we have been called to let our light so shine before men, that they might glorify God who is in heaven.