Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 29 July 2022:
Joshua 20 — Many times the Bible describes the system God put in place to protect both victims and the accused until a fair trial could occur. The system also protected the innocent from retaliation.
Luke 4:1 – “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.”
Jesus, our example, was led by the Spirit, not merely by perceptions, intellect, or emotions. Only the Spirit knows the complete picture. Often the Spirit will lead us to places we don’t want to go for God’s glory and our ultimate benefit.
Luke 4:2 – “…he was hungry.”
You are vulnerable to temptation when you are physically weak.
Luke 4:3 – “If you are the Son of God….”
Satan wants you to doubt your status with God too. Remember, you are the perfectly loved, precious child of the Sovereign Almighty who has empowered you with His Spirit to be Christlike and who has commissioned you with all authority to go and make disciples of all nations as His ambassador and image bearer; and He has promised to work all things together for good for you (Romans 8:28) and to increasingly conform you into all godliness (Romans 8:29). You have absolutely nothing to fear and all reason to be in a state of perpetual, uncontainable joy, no matter the circumstances.
Luke 4:3 – The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
Temptation occurred person to person. A personal evil one exists, Satan.
Luke 4:5-7 – “… it will all be yours.”
Temptations targets personal desires you might have for personal accomplishments rather that accomplishments for the Kingdom. Satan looks for any selfishness or self-centeredness in you, wants you to make something a priority in your life other than God, and wants you to pursue your own goals.
Luke 4:9-12 – “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here…. And Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Satan wants you question God’s protection and control in your life or presume upon Him support for your selfish desires. God does not support your goals but empowers you to serve His purposes. Many people are tempted to view God as their genie in a bottle.
Luke 4:18 — “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed….”
The Spirit leads you to help the lost and the needy.
Luke 4:26-27 – “Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
Sidon and Syria were foreign nations. God worked there, to the dismay of those in Israel. What can we learn from these verses?
Luke 4:31-41 — Jesus’ mission involved attacking demons, diseases, and doctrinal ignorance.
Luke 4:34 — “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”
The demons know who Jesus is, but they refuse to follow Him. James said, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19) Many self-proclaimed Christians don’t even have demon-like respect for Jesus, unable to shudder. Believing in Jesus is not enough; you have to believe in Him enough to obey Him and follow him.
Luke 4:42-5:16 — Jesus had to choose between prayer, healing, preaching, and moving on. How do you decide between these things?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 29 July 22: Today, commit to being not just a believer in Jesus but a disciple of Jesus, a follower who obeys at all costs.