Jesus Christ spent forty days in the desert. As we know from the story, he was tempted greatly there by Satan. How did Jesus respond? He spoke the Word of God. Each time Satan tried to lure Jesus into sin, Jesus responded by verbally quoting the Scriptures. Satan eventually gave up.
This is the model that Jesus has illustrated for us.
When we are tempted we can respond by quoting the Word of God. However, in order to do that successfully, we have to know the Word. Bible verses should be memorized that we can quote on a dime. Spending time reading the Bible every day is vital to our success.
“The Lord reached down from above and took me; he pulled me from the deep water.” ~ 2 Samuels 22:17
Sometimes we bring about our own troubles. Recently I made the ‘mistake’ of posting my opinion on social media. It was an opinion some people didn’t agree with, and some of them disagreed with me harshly. I took the brunt of their criticism.
This was painful as it came from some people in the same industry from which I work. Some of the criticism came from people that I didn’t expect. If I had kept my mouth shut from the beginning, none of this would have happened, however I felt I was speaking out against something that is wrong. Something that needs to be corrected. It didn’t matter to them. They didn’t see the issue the same way I saw it.
Jesus was attacked many times. He was called a fraud. A deceiver. A liar. A coward. He was called every name in the book. He was tempted by others to save himself, or to lash back at his accusers. He did neither. Jesus kept this eyes focused on the Father. He persevered and he accomplished his mission, and the world was changed forever.
HAVE YOU READ?
Diagnosis – Rare Disease by Denise Crompton. This amazing book tells the stories of 13 incredible families. Don’t miss it.
This is the gripping and moving story of a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18. “I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon” by Trisomy mom Sheryl Crosier details the struggle of her son Simon from the early stages of pregnancy to his life here on earth for 88 1/2 days… read on about Simon.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” ~ Luke 21:34 [NIV version]
In this verse the Lord is warning us to be careful how we live our lives. If we aren’t mindful about this, we may get worn down by the anxieties of life. It’s happened to all of us at some point.
What is it that you are doing, or not doing, that is leading to anxiety? Are you spending too much time surfing the internet, scrolling through social media sites, or conversing/arguing with strangers online?
Maybe it is time to replace that activity with more time spent with God’s word.
I saw a great meme on Facebook. Don’t say God is silent when your bible is closed. Open the bible today, every day, and hear what God has to say in your life.
Sharpen your faith. Be careful how you spend the hours of your day.
On Sunday the world found out that beloved NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. If that wasn’t tragic enough, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, including a wife, husband and daughter, were also killed.
It shook so many of us. It didn’t matter if we were an NBA fan or if we had ever seen Kobe play. The tragedy was shocking for several reasons. Here were 9 vibrant people suddenly taken, each leaving behind many loved ones and family members. Kobe Bryant represented someone who was, for lack of a better term, “on top of the world.” But, his wealth and fame couldn’t prevent his life from ending at only 41.
NFL player and pro-life advocate Ben Watson summed it up perfectly in a Facebook post:
“There is nothing more common to the human experience than death. It touches everyone and everything on this planet. It is a part of life yet it is a fear evoking, painful mystery that we rarely get accustomed to. For many of us it looms in the distance, quarantined in the dark corners of the mind until suddenly our own mortality grabs us unexpectedly and stares us squarely in the face. Over 150,000 people die daily, largely unnoticed, but when icons expire unexpectedly it shakes our souls. If someone in good health, adored by millions across the globe, who had reached the pinnacle of earthly success, could not extend his days what hope do any of us have in this journey called life?!
The tragic loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others reminds me of my own mortality. And it’s scary. I do not fear what happens after physical life but on days like today I do fear the uncertainty of the process and the circumstances surrounding it. Days like today remind me that life is a vapor. We are here today and gone tomorrow yet sometimes we live as if tomorrow is promised, so engulfed with the worries, desires, and frivolous pursuits of life that we lose sight of the missions, callings and divine purposes of our existence. True age is not calculated by years on the planet. In actuality, we are as old or young as our expiration date. Days like today remind us that unlike many other things in life, no one knows the day or hour of his last breath.
We all have an appointment with death that we can not cancel. It is appointed for man to die once and then the judgement. As final as it seems from this side of the chasm, physical death is not the end but a continuation of life; a transition from the mortal into the eternal. We will all live forever either in the glorious presence of our Creator and King or in eternal separation from Him. As the sand trickles through the hour glass, the most pressing question of life is not quantified by materials acquired, relationships cultivated, or goodness imparted. Our justification before a holy God, our life eternal, can only be acquired through repentance and faith in the shed blood of His Son; a free gift of salvation for all who believe.
Days like today call for raw emotional response and loving embraces, prayer and solemn reflection. They feel surreal until tomorrow’s morning concretizes their reality. May the Lord bring comfort to the friends family and loved ones of the Bryant’s, Altobelli’s and other victims in this time of tremendous grief.