Lenten Reader | Day 9

Serve Him Only

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

- Luke 4:1-8
We are called to serve only God. The ways in which we live our lives should reflect Jesus himself. The temptation that Jesus went through is a beautiful example of ultimate faithfulness to God. Jesus, after forty days of fasting, was hungry. The devil used what he thought was a weakness and tempted him with bread. Jesus focused solely on the one true God and denied the temptation of the devil. Jesus valued the presence of the Lord over the instant gratification of bread. Jesus’ desire for God extended beyond the nourishment of food.

When Satan was unsuccessful the first time, he tried again. This time he tempted Jesus with all authority and splendor at the price of worshiping him. Jesus' response captures the essence of how we are to live. Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Jesus knew the truth. There is nothing greater than God, and he should be the only one we worship.

Often the world today throws us so many temptations. There is an abundance of things that we believe will satisfy us. Anything we want is within arm’s length. We chase after those things (whatever they may be) until we are longing for more and more. However, there comes a point when we find that those things can never satisfy us enough. So we go searching for more.

But Jesus reminds us that the only one we should worship is him. Jesus knew that, compared to the love and beauty that is found in the presence of God, the loaf of bread was not worth it. Jesus knew that the offer of authority and splendor from Satan could never amount to the authority and splendor found in God. He is the one that fills us up. May our hearts and desires be the reflections of Jesus. May we know that there is nothing that can satisfy us like Jesus can. May we worship and serve him only. There is no one greater and more satisfying than God.

- Steven Best
Father, you are greater than anything this world has to offer me. Give me the strength to choose you over the things the world tells me will bring me contentment and happiness.