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Monday, January 20, 2020

Safety and Security

January 20

(Luke 4:9-11 NIV) ““The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. {10} For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; {11} they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.””

(John 8:42-44 NIV) ““Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. {43} Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. {44} You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.””

Temptation makes promises it has no intention of keeping. It promises us safe passage, but then ambushes us and does us great harm. It says things like, “Go ahead and jump. God won’t let you get hurt. He’ll take care of you. It won’t cost you anything. You can get away with it.” But in the end, we discover that it does hurt -- it hurts more than we ever thought possible. And it does cost us -- it costs us much more than we ever thought we’d have to pay. What we seem to easily forget is that the Devil is a liar and he will never change. Jesus said that lying is Satan’s native language. So be very careful when you hear that voice whispering in your ear, saying, “Go for it. It won’t cost you anything. It will be fine. No one will know.” There’s a good chance that you are hearing the same tempter who tried to work his magic on Jesus, but failed. May he experience failure in our lives as well. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Power and Pride

January 19

(Luke 4:5-7 NIV) ““The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. {6} And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. {7} So if you worship me, it will all be yours.””

(1 Timothy 6:9 NIV) “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

When Jesus was hungry, the devil tempted Him to make food for Himself. When Jesus declined, Satan laid the world before Jesus and offered Him power over everyone and everything. In both cases, the devil appealed to Christ’s sense of pride and power, encouraging Jesus to trust in Himself rather than God. Satan uses the same tactics today. The tempter still appeals to our sense of pride and power: “Did God really say you shouldn’t have this? You deserve it. You should take it. No one can stop you.” And so, we take it… but in the end, it takes us, and we fall. We fall because our pride gets bigger than our faith in God -- our sense of power outpaces our trust in God to provide. We must do what it takes to kill off the prideful spirit that lives inside us, and we must continually give our power back to God. One day at a time, we must submit to God, or we too will be numbered among the fallen. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Flesh or the Spirit

January 18

(Luke 4:2-3 NIV) ““He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. {3} The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.””

(Matthew 26:40-41 NIV) ““Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. {41} "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.””

(James 1:13-14 NIV) ““When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; {14} but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.””

Temptation often appeals to our physical desires. Jesus was hungry after forty days of fasting. The devil tempted Him to create food instead of trusting God to care for Him. Satan appeals to our physical desires to obtain spiritual victory. He knows our weaknesses and watches for openings. The flesh is in almost constant tension with the spirit. Even when the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. When we are in need, temptation gains strength. It gets louder and more aggressive. It is amazing how temptation often fits perfectly with the need or craving we have. But we always have a choice. We cannot fault God for not meeting our physical needs. If the desires were not within us, there could be no temptation. Neither is the temptation at fault when we make wrong choices. Our desires give temptation its power. Satan used Christ’s hunger to tempt Him. What is the devil using with you? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day  

Friday, January 17, 2020

Highs and Lows

January 17

(Luke 3:21-22 NIV) “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened {22} and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.””

(Luke 4:1-2 NIV) “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, {2} where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”

Temptation and testing often follow directly on the heels of great spiritual highs. It happened to Jesus several times, and will likely happen in our lives. Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit came to rest on Him. The Father blessed Him and gave Him a stamp of approval. What a spiritual high -- Jesus came out of the Jordon River pumped. But from the river of life, He went directly to the desert of death to be tested and tempted. Later, in Luke 9, Jesus goes up a mountain where God speaks to Him and He is transfigured in glory. But when Christ comes down from that spiritual high ground, He is confronted by a demonic spirit that his disciples could not drive out. His mountaintop experience is followed by a test from the devil. Temptation and testing often follow great spiritual highs. Beware! After a spiritual victory, temptation and testing are often just around the corner. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day