VIDEO Temptation Versus Truth – The Temptation of Christ

Temptation Versus Truth

But [Jesus] answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

The judicial system, at least in courtroom trials, separates fact from fiction. That’s not easy if two witnesses give contradictory accounts of the same event. But when there is hard evidence—a fingerprint, a surveillance tape, a DNA sample—the job of justice is made easier. A verifiable standard is what all other accounts must be measured by.

When Satan came to Jesus during His forty-day fast in the wilderness, he presented Jesus with three fictional scenarios. They were fictional because they were not part of Jesus’ responsibility from His Father: to work miracles and test God for the sake of displaying divine power. So how did Jesus end the three tempting challenges? By quoting three verses from Deuteronomy that demonstrated the falsity of Satan’s propositions. Satan’s main weapon is lies—if not outright lies, then counterfeiting God’s truth (Genesis 3:1-5; John 8:44). Truth puts flight to a lie every time.

God’s Word is given so we might always know the truth about God, Satan, ourselves, and life. Use God’s Word to put flight to temptations when they arise.

Our response to temptation is an accurate barometer of our love for God.  Erwin W. Lutzer


The Temptation of Christ by Ravi Zacharias

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A Piercing Thorn

But he was pierced for our transgressions . . . and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

The thorn pricked my index finger, drawing blood. I hollered and then groaned, drawing back my hand instinctively. But I shouldn’t have been surprised: trying to prune a thorny bush without gardening gloves was a recipe for exactly what just happened.

The pain throbbing in my finger—and the blood flowing from it—demanded attention. And as I searched for a bandage, I found myself unexpectedly thinking about my Savior. After all, soldiers forced Jesus to don an entire crown of thorns (John 19:1–3). If one thorn hurt this much, I thought, how much agony would an entire crown of them inflict? And that’s just a small portion of the physical pain He suffered. A whip flogged His back. Nails penetrated His wrists and ankles.

But Jesus endured spiritual pain too. Verse 5 of Isaiah 53 tells us, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him.” The “peace” Isaiah talks about here is another way of talking about forgiveness. Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced—by nails, by a crown of thorns—to bring us spiritual peace with God. His sacrifice, His willingness to die on our behalf, paved the way to make a relationship with the Father possible. And He did it, Scripture tells us, for me, for you.

Father, I can’t imagine the pain Your Son endured to wash away my sin. Thank You for sending Him for me, to be pierced for my sins that I might have a relationship with You.

Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced to bring us spiritual peace with God.

By Adam Holz 

INSIGHT

Isaiah 53:1–6 is part of a section of the book known as the Servant Songs. There are four Servant Songs in Isaiah that describe the service, suffering, and triumph of the servant of the Lord—Jesus the Messiah. These songs are found in Isaiah 42:1–9, 49:1–13, 50:4–11, and 52:13–53:12.

This last servant song describes the suffering and triumph of the servant. Though He is pierced, crushed, punished, and wounded, it’s His suffering that brings us peace and healing (53:5). The ultimate purpose for this suffering is outlined in verse 10—His life is an offering for sin. The servant takes our place—suffering for us and bearing our sins. And by His suffering and death, we are given life and peace. But death is not the end for the servant: “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life” (v. 11). In His suffering and resurrection, Jesus reconciles humanity to God (see Matthew 8:17; Acts 8:30–35; Romans 10:15–17; 15:21).

How can you celebrate the life that Jesus died to give you?

For more on the book of Isaiah, see Old Testament Survey: Ecclesiastes–Isaiah at christianuniversity.org/OT224.

J.R. Hudberg

The Consequences of Anger

Proverbs 19:19

God feels anger, and He has given us this same ability. Anger is a common emotion that arises when we encounter threats, insults, injustices, or frustrations. However, because of our fallen nature, we often respond in a sinful manner when this intense feeling overwhelms us.

One sinful response is to hold on to anger until it becomes part of our character, taking up residence in our innermost being. There, it starts to twist thinking and agitate emotions. Peace and joy are noticeably absent because they can’t coexist with the anxiety and frustration that accompany bitterness.

After poisoning the character, anger spills over and affects others. We might throw hurtful words like flaming arrows, even at those who weren’t the cause of the rage. And then we raise shields of self-protection in an effort to avoid future hurts. But sadly, these behaviors lead to stressed relationships and isolation.

While anger can damage our character and connections with others, its most tragic consequence is broken fellowship with God. Wrath not only hinders His work in and through believers; it also grieves the Father’s heart. He desires to shower His children with blessings, but angry fists cannot receive His riches of character and calling.

Are you harboring anger? It could be so deeply buried within your soul that you are unaware of its presence. Since sustained, unresolved bitterness will affect every area of your life, ask God to reveal any hidden resentment. Then release it, and take hold of the riches of Christ.

God Has A Final Word

“The Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” (Zechariah 14:9) 

God cannot be defeated in His creative purpose for this earth and its people. In the beginning, there was only God. In the ending, there will be one Lord, and His name one.

In the meantime, He is working out His great plan of reconciliation, as revealed in His Word. In the magnificent book of Revelation, especially the last two chapters, we are carried forward in the Spirit into the never-ending glories of the renewed earth, with the great Creator and Redeemer dwelling there with His people eternally.

But in that final chapter, there are some final words from the Lord to guide and warn us until He returns. There is one final invitation, for example: “And let him that is athirst come” (Revelation 22:17). Then there is a final warning. This completed book of Scripture contains all that man will ever need to know concerning salvation, the Christian life, and God’s great plans, so let no man “add unto these things,” or “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” (vv. 18-19). There is no salvation, except through His Word.

Next, there is a final promise. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly” (v. 20). Of all the promises of God, there is none more “exceeding great and precious” than this (2 Peter 1:4). In response, there is a final prayer, teaching us that this should be the climax of every believing prayer: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (v. 20). This is our greatest need!

Lastly, there is a final benediction, the same as the close of each of Paul’s epistles, and the most wonderful of all the words of a holy, yet loving, Creator, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (v. 21). It is fitting that God’s Word, which began with His creation, should end with His saving grace! HMM

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory

2 Corinthians 12:1-19

2 Corinthians 12:1

The most modest man may be driven to speak his own praises if his usefulness is jeopardised by the depreciations of enemies.

2 Corinthians 12:2-5

Fourteen years he had kept the secret, so that clearly he was not given to boasting.

2 Corinthians 12:7

From devout exaltation to self-exaltation is but a step, and that step our nature is prone to take. To be proud is one of the worst of calamities, and therefore to keep us humble the Lord sends us sharp trials. A thorn pierces, lacerates, festers, and yet it is but a little thing; very insignificant, yet very painful. Paul had a secret grief which cuffed him as schoolmasters punish boys, and the ignominy of it was its worst feature.

2 Corinthians 12:9

One evening, as Bunyan was in a meeting of Christian people, full of sadness and terror, suddenly there “brake in” upon him with great power, and three times together, the words, “My grace is sufficient for thee; My grace is sufficient for thee; My grace is sufficient for thee.” And “Oh! methought,” says he, “that every word was a mighty word unto me, as ‘My,’ and ‘grace,’ and ‘sufficient,’ and ‘for thee;’ they were then, and sometimes are still, far bigger than others be.”

2 Corinthians 12:1, 11

The Corinthians ought not to have required a defence from Paul, but should themselves have been among his warmest advocates.

2 Corinthians 12:14, 15

What a Christian spirit! He will not cease to seek their good, however base their conduct.

2 Corinthians 12:16-18

He accepted nothing for himself, and he did not impose his friends upon them; he had served them in the most disinterested way.

2 Corinthians 12:19

It was shameful that so good a man as Paul should have been troubled by cavillers. May God grant that none of us may ever figure in the history of our church as discontented members and opposers of faithful ministers.

 

Tired Of Man’s Empty Promises?

For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

We have listened throughout our lifetime to the continuing promises of peace and progress made by the educators and the legislators and the scientists, but so far they have failed to make good on any of them.

Perhaps it is an ironic thought that fallen men, though they cannot fulfill their promises, are always able to make good on their threats!

Well, true peace is a gift of God and today it is found only in the minds of innocent children and in the hearts of trustful Christian believers. Only Jesus could say: “My peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid!”

Surely the “great” of this world have underestimated the wisdom of the Christian, after all. When the Day of The Lord comes, he may stand like Abraham above the burning plain and watch the smoke rising from the cities that forgot God. The Christian will steal a quick look at Calvary and know that this judgment is past!

 

Tears, Then Joyful Harvest

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Ps. 126:5

Weeping times are suitable for sowing: we do not want the ground to be too dry. Seed steeped in the tears of earnest anxiety will come up all the sooner. The salt of prayerful tears will give the good seed a flavor which will preserve it from the worm: truth spoken in awful earnestness has a double life about it. Instead of stopping our sowing because of our weeping, let us redouble our efforts because the season is so propitious.

Our heavenly seed could not fitly be sown laughing. Deep sorrow and concern for the souls of others are a far more fit accompaniment of godly teaching than anything like levity. We have heard of men who went to war with a light heart, but they were beaten; and it is mostly so with those who sow in the same style.

Come, then, my heart, sow on in thy weeping, for thou hast the promise of a joyful harvest. Thou shalt reap. Thou, thyself, shalt see some result of thy labor. This shall come to thee in so large a measure as to give thee joy, which a poor, withered, and scanty harvest would not do. When thine eyes are dim with silver tears, think of the golden corn. Bear cheerfully the present toil and disappointment; for the harvest day will fully recompense thee.

 

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