Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying 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,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.’”
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
What do crooks, spies, hacktivists, insiders, and partners all have in common? These are the temptations presented from the dark side for anyone who has email or is “on line” at any time of the day.
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. Daily we pray that we may be following as the Spirit leads us and that we might do our Spirit-led work without having to face temptations.
It seems to me the temptations we face today have taken strange shapes. Crooks steal from our identity. Spies are watching to see where we go and what we are interested in on the web. Hactivisits are the tempter’s workers trying to overcome our foundations of faith. Insiders dishonestly take private information from us for their own manipulation. And, let’s not forget those who seek to partner with us only for us to find out later that it was for their own gain.
The temptations for Jesus were to satisfy hunger, receive earthly power, and achieve wealth. “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
Away with you deceivers of what is good. Today, I will worship the Lord my God and serve only God!
O God, today we thank you for your Spirit that leads us into wilderness. We pray that we may live with every word that comes from your mouth and that we may not put you to the test, but trust your Spirit. We also pray that we may call upon tempters to leave us, as we serve only you and worship you this day. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go with God.