Oct 21, 2018
Bible verse for meditation:
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
What does this scripture mean to you?
Has it had a different effect this reading as compared to times past?
How does this scripture make you feel?
Continue breathing deeply as you ponder this meaning.
Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:
My New Testament professor pointed out to me the important placement of the temptation of Jesus. She lamented the chapter selection that separated the preceding verses. Matthew chapter 3 talks of the Baptism of Jesus. Interestingly the last verse right before these ones here says
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
The time of great temptation in the life of our Savior was not due to his weakness but rather due to his preparation and ability to progress beyond it. Later in chapter 4 Jesus calls his Apostles. How interesting that he is baptised, then tempted, then he overtly kicks off the organization of the church.
What I have noticed is that when I make attempts in my own life to make spiritual progress, that is when I am most severely assaulted with temptation. Our common enemy can sense future progress. For this reason he assails us even harder before times of great growth. Ironically it is this very temptation that gives us a context for observing the mercy of God and learning how to trust in him and overcome it.
I love how Jesus is quoting his own words to Satan.
Deut 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
This scripture similarly shows that it is our great need that both tempts us and prepares our hearts to learn from the hand of God. Temptation is not punishment but an opportunity to grow. When we are tempted we can reach out to God and feel a deep gratitude for his mercy and willingness to help us.
Meditation of Prayer:
Pray as directed by the Spirit.
Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:
I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:
Final Question: How can you change the way you perceive temptation?
When we are tempted, we can reject the ideas in our minds that this demonstrates weakness and place or faith squarely on God’s word. He has caused our great hunger so he can feed us mana and teach us to trust in him. Jesus Christ himself showed us that to be tempted is to learn to overcome. We can follow his example by truly absorbing the scriptures in our hearts so that they can be a defense. I have a humble hope that this podcast can do just that for you.
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