PASTORAL POINT –
Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command his angels concerning you, and On their
hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their
glory. And he said to him, “all these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and
were ministering to him.
We are in the season of Lent, time set aside to examine where we are in our relationship with God and to take a look at areas in our lives where we might be allowing sin to take root. Of course sin separates us from God, so it is important to realize when we are being
exposed to sin in our lives. Lenten season is a period of time right before Good Friday and Easter Sunday when we celebrate what Jesus did on the cross to defeat the effects of
sin and allow us to be free. This is to open our hearts to God through prayer, fasting and confession.
The Lenten season lasts for forty days. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus fasted in the desert for forty days. Fasting is abstaining from food (or other necessity) to grow closer in your relationship with God. Fasting is a way of denying ourselves a fundamental need to live to remind us that our true life source is found in Christ. Jesus practiced the discipline by praying and drawing closer to God. I challenge you to take this period of Lent and draw closer to God. Spend time in prayer and confession, allowing God to refine you to reveal the areas of your life where you may not be depending on Him and trusting in His strength. Remind yourself what Christ did for you on the cross and prepare yourself to receive the grace that you don’t even deserve, but God gives it to you anyway.
There are many temptations that prevent us to be closer to God. In verse 4, Satan told Jesus that if He was the Son of God He could turn stones into bread. Satan was pretty much saying to Jesus prove you are the Son of God by turning these stones into bread and then you won’t be hungry anymore. Jesus had just spent forty days fasting and communicating with God, so He answered Satan by quoting scripture to him. Satan tried to use Scripture against Jesus this time, but Jesus knew his schemes. Jesus answered back with even more scripture. Maybe Satan is already doing this in your life right now. Don’t let him deceive you. This time
of Lent is a great time to look at your life and ask yourself, if there is an area where Satan is leading you astray, then turn from his deception. Turn to God’s Word and turn to God in prayer. As Jesus answered back to Satan, do likewise, you tell Satan to go away.
There will be times in our life where Satan will deceive us into thinking we need more than what we have. Satan might deceive us into thinking that power is all we need, or money, friends, or possessions. Satan will try to push our emotional buttons and cause us to lean on our pride. This is a fact of life. Let us observe the season of lent by self-examination, prayer and confession. Amen.