Tried and Tempted

Luke 4:5-8 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus replied,“The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Sometimes when we are tempted, we feel sinful. But it is not a sin to be tempted. When Jesus was "full of the Holy Spirit", He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. A voice from heaven had just declared, at his baptism, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22, ESV). Now the Devil comes with half-truths to undermine that declaration.

Because Jesus was fully human and fully divine, these were real temptations. Imagine how Jesus must have felt after not eating for 40 days. How hungry would you be? How easy it would be to doubt God's provision and timing. This is also a temptation we face. "If I really am God's child, why would he allow me to go through such hard times?"  "Why would he make me wait so long to get married? To have a baby?" "Why can't I just compromise God's ways to accomplish what I know he wants me to do?"

To be tempted in these ways is not sin. God allows us to be tempted to test us and ultimately to strengthen us. But as he gives us this call to faith, he also gives his enabling grace so that we can trust him amid the temptations.  Just as Jesus answered the Devil's temptations with quotes from Deuteronomy, God gives us his Word to answer the half-truths that assail us. He fills us with the Spirit of Christ to lead us through our wilderness. And as we trust God to accomplish his will in his time, we experience the kind of gospel living that brings glory to God and defeats temptation.



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