Lenten Reader | Day 5

Word of God

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] 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.’”

Matthew 4:1-4
We all have our weaknesses, don’t we? Personally, I used to drink a lot of pop. In the last few years, I’ve been able to take that steady habit and turn it into an occasional indulgence. But it’s particularly bad during our busy seasons on the farm. My wife instantly knows that it’s been a difficult week when I ask if she can pick up some Coca-Cola on her way home from work.

While it may seem trivial to compare wanting a can of Coke to Jesus being tempted by the devil, I think it ties into the overall theme of temptation. Temptation can be one of the devil’s strongest weapons. It can strike at any time or place and usually when we are at our weakest. Maybe it strikes you when there’s more tasks to do than hours in the day, or you may identify with the old saying about idle hands being the devil’s playground. No matter how it affects you, the important point is that you are never alone. Only one has ever been able to resist all temptation, and it is his example that can lead us through our own trials. This passage and the ones that follow give us a blueprint for how to respond when tempted. You can’t run away or turn your back and pretend it doesn’t exist – it must be faced directly. To face our temptations, we must be prepared. But how?

We must feed ourselves with the Word of God every day. No action great or small is wasted in the pursuit of God. Whether it’s praying before a meal, reading the Bible, or attending church activities, every step we take with the Word of God strengthens our resolve against the great tempter. I encourage you to spend time with the Word of God to strengthen yourself, and if you see me drinking a Coke, maybe say a quick prayer for me too!

Greg Ramsey