Armour (16 September 2020)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.”

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:

‘No one can live only on food.
People need every word
    that God has spoken.’”

Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say:

‘God will give his angels
    orders about you.
They will catch you
    in their arms,
and you won’t hurt
    your feet on the stones.’”

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’”

Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say:

‘Worship the Lord your God
    and serve only him.’”

(Matthew 4: 1-10)                      

Reflect:

Jesus began his public ministry with a show down with Satan. We’re told in a rather understated way that after having had no food for forty days he was “very hungry.” (4:2). With no sustenance for that long we can be confident he was physically and emotionally vulnerable. But he was armed with Scripture, and the devil left defeated. The power of God’s word cannot be underestimated. Having the Bible memorised gives us every chance of overcoming attacks from the enemy.

Respond:

Read this verse through a few times, then look away and say it out loud:

‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’ (Matthew 4:4)

Midday Meditation:

Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith.’

(1 Peter 5:8)

Evening Reflection:

“Jesus responds to the devil, not by attempting to argue (arguing with temptation is often a way of playing with the idea until it becomes too attractive to resist), but by quoting scripture…. We are unlikely to be tempted in exactly the same way Jesus was, but every Christian will be tested at the points which matter most in her or his life and vocation. It is a central part of Christian vocation to learn to recognise the voices that whisper attractive lies, to distinguish them from the voice of God and to use the simple but direct weapons provided in scripture to rebut the lies with truth.”

(N. T. Wright, Luke for Everyone)

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