Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, May 23rd ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Samuel 15-16; Psalm 103; Acts 14.
Today's scripture focus is Luke 4:9-13.

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’
11 and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Tammy did an excellent job on yesterday's post which talks about the first half of the "Jesus is tempted" passage.  I really like Mark Driscoll's sermon on this passage, so I'm going to take a few paragraphs from it today as well.

Mark Driscoll's Sermon Jesus Without Sin:

As I say that Satan exists and he’s at work, some of you immediately will have resistance at that point, you’ll be like, “Oh no, I’m in one of those conservative, fear-based, spiritually abusive churches where they tell people there’s a devil and they scare them. Thankfully, I don’t believe in the devil.” My answer would be, he’s already defeated you.
Satan is the father of lies and he works through pride and he lies to people and tells them that they’re too smart to believe in him. And they’re dumb enough to believe it. Some of you come from more spiritual backgrounds, pantheism, New Age, Buddhism, Easternism, Hinduism, Oprah-ism, Eckhart Tolle–ism, Avatar-ism, whatever it is. [Laughter] And all is one; there’s not good and evil and God and Satan and angels and demons and truth and lies. There’s just the spiritual. To be spiritual is to be demonic, if what you mean by that is, “I embrace all that is in the spirit world.” Much of what is in the spirit world is Satan and demons.

So be very careful that you’re not even trying to be spiritual, that you want to know the Holy Spirit, not the unholy spirits. And Satan comes to Jesus. See, there really is a Satan and he really is evil. The liberals and the new spirituality, general vague spiritualists, they’re both wrong. Satan does exist and he is evil.

Moving on to talk about the third temptation in the Gospel of Luke:

He comes to Jesus one last time. Jesus is exhausted. He has been without food for forty days and forty nights. Jesus is all alone, no one is there. Many of your sins are committed at that time. Are they not? When no one is there. Well, God’s there. But when there’s no human accountability, that’s when temptation is most tempting, correct? Jesus doesn’t know this might be the last temptation. For all he knows he’s got forty more days to go. Like you and I, we don’t know when Satan will give us a break. And Satan is now forcing him to do exegesis, to from memory, roughly remember the context of Psalm 91:11–12. Jesus knows the Scriptures very, very well. “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Satan, you’re not in charge. You don’t get to judge God the Father. We don’t show up and perform for you.

See, God doesn’t need to prove he’s God. He is. God doesn’t need to appeal to anyone. He’s the highest authority. And Satan’s problem is not that he is unconvinced, it’s that he’s unwilling to worship God as God. And he is determined to be worshiped as God.

Driscoll has a list of 10 temptation truths - I will simply list them here.  If you would like to read his explanation on each point, please click the link above to go to the sermon.

1. Satan is a real enemy.
2. Satan will H.I.T. you.  (go after you when you are hungry, isolated and/or tired)
3. Jesus Christ is your victorious warrior-king.
4. The Holy Spirit is your power.
5. Biblical truth is your counter-punch.
6. Christ is your identity.
7. Escape is always possible.
8. Satan eventually taps out.
9. Repent whenever you tap out and fight another round.
10. Life is a battle with many rounds.

I’ve always believed that hard words produce soft people, and soft words produce hard people. And my hard words are with deep, loving affection because I have so much hope for you. I want your life to be the life that Christ wants for you, not the life that Satan has devised to destroy you. And I need you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be willing to fight, to fight for the glory of God and the good of your life and those who love you. This means, if you are not a Christian, you are without hope. If you are without Christ, you need to give yourself to Jesus today, as many have, and see that slavery broken, to see your enemy defeated, to see that hook taken out of your mouth, to, for the first time, experience a measure of victory in battle.

Some of you are here and you are religious and you need to repent of your religion. As I talk about sex and drugs and alcohol, you, smugly, under your breath, smile, thinking, “I’m glad I’m not like those people.” You’re worse than they are. You’re self-righteous, religious people looking down with a lack of sympathy and compassion on those who are struggling and suffering. You are like the Pharisees. You’re not like the high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some of you are here and you are devastated and you are broken and your life is in shambles and you have worshiped Satan. And the answer is to worship Jesus. Worship got you into trouble and worship will get you out.

Father God, I pray for my friends. I pray against the enemy, his servants, their works, and effects. I pray, Lord God, that these hard words would produce soft people. I pray, Lord God, that none would leave here disbelieving in the existence of Satan and demons. I believe that, Lord God, you want to help and serve these people. You want to set captives free. You want to bring newness of life. You want to open blind eyes. You want to take hooks out of open mouths. You want to give new appetites for things that are not evil. You have opened doors in a way of escape. And, Holy Spirit, I request that right now you would open the eyes and hearts and minds of our people, that they might see the open door and run through it to meet Jesus, whose arms are open, whose salvation is real, whose forgiveness is total, whose cleansing is thorough, whose grace is sufficient, whose righteousness is gifted, whose eternity is breathtaking, and whose sacrifice is amazing. Lord Jesus, I pray for my friends, that they would run through the door of opportunity to enjoy your embrace as we worship you together. Amen.


Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Luke 4:14-15.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  2 Samuel 17-18; Psalm 104; Acts 15.

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