Friday, January 27, 2017

Living on Devil Bread

Before His public ministry began, Jesus spent forty days in a wilderness prayer retreat. Satan thought He'd be weak after that much time fasting and praying, so he arrived on the scene with a bundle of temptations in hand, all uniquely designed to stop the plan of God in its tracks.

He clearly didn't understand the power of the presence of God.

After forty days without food, everyone would be hungry. "Turn this stone into bread," the devil said. Jesus was probably ravenous, but He wasn't hungry enough to eat devil-bread. 

"Man can't live by bread alone," He told the enemy. 

What He didn't say was the rest of that verse. "Man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Deut 8:3 nasb

That's how Jesus lived. He knew what God said, and He stuck to it. In case you've wondered, that's what we're supposed to do, too. 

I'd like to say we never eat devil-bread, but when we live by anything other than what God says, that's exactly what we do. 

When we go along with the world instead of making a stand against corruption, idolatry, and sin, we're living on devil bread.

When we disobey God, as if He doesn't care what we do, we're living on devil bread.

When we love anything or anyone more than God, we're living on devil bread.

When we love ourselves more than we love our neighbor, we're living on devil bread.

That's a hard word, isn't it? But it's true, and it makes me sad. I've spent far too much time eating stony devil food instead of the manna of righteousness. We probably all have.

There's good news, though. The words of Jesus are still true. What we eat is not the most important part of life. Whose we are determines the kind of lives we live. 

"Man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Deut 8:3 nasb

The word translated as "lives" comes from two ancient root words. One means "to declare" and one "to breath." In a very real sense, when we live as God has instructed, we declare to the world the truth of our Lord by the very breath of our lives.

I want to live so in tune with God that people can spend a few minutes with me and have a glimpse of Christ. That's what Jesus-followers do. We learn from Him and incorporate those lessons into our lives. 

When people look at us, they're supposed to see Jesus in us. But do they?

Today, let's take a closer look at the things with which we feed our hearts and lives. Are we feasting on the things of God or trying to satisfy ourselves with devil-bread? If we need to make a change, let's do it. 
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's blog: The Head Markers and the Missing Sin-Grievers
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
If you'd like to help support this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841