Ask the Father to help you take temptation and sin seriously, as he does.
Read Matthew 4:1-11
 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”  Jesus answered him, “It is also 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.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”  Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Jesus react to the devil's temptations?
Jesus is tempted by the devil in much the same way as we are tempted. But, unlike us, Jesus does not treat temptation lightly. There is no idea of “naughty but nice” here. After rejecting the devil’s three temptations by quoting the Word of God, Jesus turns on him and sends him packing (10). How different from our own casual approach to sin, where we often say “Satan tempted me” as a cover-up for our own weaknesses. Jesus is tempted when he is at his lowest point (1). But he knows the Word of God (4), and he knows that it will defeat Satan. Our sustenance too, when we are dispirited or depressed, ill or in pain, comes from God. It is crucial for us to know and understand God’s Word so that we can strengthen ourselves and not give in to our ungodly desires. Sometimes we think we can put God to the test (7). “God will keep me safe,” we say merrily as we embark on an ill-considered course of action. Instead of that, we would do better to make our choices through prayer and spiritual discernment, then put our course of action in the hands of God.
As the New Year approaches, think back over 2014. Where have your own desires led you astray?
Help me, Lord, to make 2015 a year when I spurn the devil and instead obey Your perfect Word.
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