“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ””
Matthew 4:3-4 NKJV
I learned a long time ago to make a list before going to the supermarket. If one goes in without one, there is very real possibility that the food that is purchased will not be very good for the maintance of the body, but only oriented toward meeting the immediate need, and driven by taste.
My impulses will govern what I buy. A snack now in again is not a big deal, but a steady diet of junk food is bad, and leads to much misery down the road.
In a spiritual sense, it is easy to pick up the favorite devotional, read about Jesus, scan a couple of scriptures in the passage and call it a day. It is like going to supermarket without a list, intending to by bread, meat and fruit, but leaving with a candy bar, some pizza, and somekind of fizzy drink. There is a modicum of nourishment, but no real value. Under most circumstances, and on most days, it might sustain you for a little while, but life brings much into the life of the believer.
In the passage above, Jesus had endured a forty day fast and was hungry. I am sure His mortal, fleshly body was weak. The evil one came to Him to tempt. Meet the immediate need and turn the rocks into bread. Jesus took Him to the heart of the matter and quoted His word. His answer went beyond the immediate need, and addressed long term concerns and the reason for His coming. His mind was on the end game.
The evil one desires that we go for the immediate needs and desires, and ignore the spirtual concerns. He does this in every aspect of our lives. Lonely, find a mate. Nevermind looking for the one God has for you, which may take time, but grab the first unsaved one you find regardless. Don’t like the way things are going in the country, vote for the candidates you think can fix things, regardless of their integrity, instead of praying for opportunities to share the Gospel. Only God can change a nation.
It is easy to pop that candy bar in your mouth and feel better. It is harder to put off your immediate need, and take the time to pick good foods and take the time and effort to prepare them. The outcome is far more rewarding. Jesus endured three tempations that day, and turned the devil away three times. In the end angels ministered to Him.
In these perilous times, it is easy to seek the quick solution, but better to seek the lasting one. Many of the problems appear like temporal issues, that can be fixed by legistlation, law and order, or election. In reality we are in a spiritual battle. Because of the death of a much loved Supreme Court justice, it could be all out warfare, as a polarized America implodes on itself.
Believers, I urge you to get into the word of God, to read purposefully. Don’t snack, don’t eat the bite sized portions, processed by someone else, but get into it for yourselves.
Take the time to prepare that nourishing meal of Scripture. Recognize that the coming days will be even more perilous, and that we who call upon the name of the Lord must pray and bring the Gospel. Souls are on the line. TIme is short my people.
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