Monday, January 30, 2017

Discarding the Real to Have the Fake

A few days ago, I wrote about the first of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness. (Living on Devil-Bread). Today, we're looking at the second temptation recorded in Luke 4. 

When the bread trick failed, Satan's next tactic was to take Jesus "up" and show Him all the kingdoms of the world. "Worship me and you can have it all," he told Him.

I'm surprised Jesus didn't laugh. He was there, at the beginning of the world, when it was all spoken into existence. (John 1:1) The devil couldn't give it to Him. It was His already.

"I'm not worshipping anything but My Dad," Jesus said. "You can't give me what's already mine." (That's the Leanna paraphrase)

It's a common trick of the enemy of our souls. He offers what's already ours, but we're usually too ignorant of the gifts of God to recognize the strategy. 

He offers financial success, but God is our provider, and gives everything we need.

He offers worldly peace, but Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

He offers worldly joy, but that's the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

He offers worldly love, but God IS love, and He's already given us His best gift of love in the form of His Son. 

We already have it all, all that will give us abundant, joyful life. What the evil one offers is a paltry reproduction, and we're, all too often, foolish enough to discard the real to grasp the fake.

Why accept the enemy's fake when we can have God's reality?

Today, let's take a careful look at our lives. In what ways have we worshipped the evil one in order to have the things of this world? Where have we sacrificed the things of God in order to have a flashy (or convenient) fake?

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's blog: Love in the Parking Lot on a Freezing Day
For those who want to do the James study on your phone, here's the link: Lessons in Discipleship
If you'd like to participate in the James study, here's how: More than Enough: Living a Life Worth Living
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