Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Personal Devotional 01.03.17



2017. My first post of 2017.

I totally remember being 8 and thinking how completely pitiful it was to be not even halfway to adulthood. Fast-forward to 6th grade, feeling a bit giddy about being halfway finished with school (the mandatory part). Graduation itself was a whirlwind. The girl who was supposed to walk down the church isle next to me started off-beat (too soon), so I did it solo. And on beat. But even that was actually years ago now.

It's so fast!

And it's getting faster! I remember 2016 so clearly, but it feels like the entire thing was maybe three months long. It's a funny feeling to realize I haven't gone grocery shopping this year. I haven't been to Japan this year. I haven't walked the dog this year.

I can hardly contain my excitement to see this big beautiful blank canvas of my 2017, only awaiting the Master's paintbrush! It's going to be another priceless museum piece, I'm certain!

Anyways!

Here's where God had me in my personal devotion this morning.



Matthew chapter 4.

Do you remember Jesus's baptism? Yes? Okay, so this is right after that.

Jesus goes into the wilderness, because He knows it's time for Him to be tempted of the devil.

Woah, woah, woah, wait just a cotton picking second. He went to be tempted of the devil?! Like I might say, "Oh look, we're out of milk; I'm going to Walmart to get some." Jesus just got baptized, then decided, "Oh look, it's time for the devil to tempt me; I'm going to go await him in the wilderness and starve myself for 40 days first."

Talk about peculiar.

Yeah, so don't try this at home, kids, only Moses and Jesus Christ have ever fasted for 40 days, as far as I know. And living in the wildernesses of the Middle East alone is probably not the smartest thing ever either.

But that's what Jesus did.

About the craziest thing possible.

Anyways. There He is. God incarnate. The Creator in flesh form. Really hungry.

After those forty long days, Satan went to Him, to tempt Him. First, the snake tried to get Christ to turn stones to bread. Secondly, the beautiful, sour angel taunted our Savior, telling Him He should just jump off the roof, since surely He wouldn't die. (Doesn't that sound familiar? *coughs* Genesis *cough*)

Both times, Jesus won, using Scripture. Jesus 2 - Devil 0.

Round Three:


"... the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." (Matthew 4:8-9)

Plot twist!

Okay, of course Jesus didn't succumb. He's Jesus.

But, you know, He was also man. Maybe it wasn't as big a temptation for Him, as it would be for, say, Donald Trump, because His heart wasn't in earthly things like that, but still. Pretty tempting.

The part that especially stuck out to me, though, this morning, was that little bit, "All these things will I give thee..."

Satan said that! Not Jesus! Not God! Not the Holy Spirit! 

I guess it always worked out alright in my head that the devil is the prince of this world, but that he has the power to give it all to anyone?! Yikes. ('Prince of the world' references: John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11.)

I never really thought about it in context of Satan owning this world, you know?

Yes, true, God could rip it from His hands at any moment- the ultimate Revolutionary War- but for now we don't live in God's domain.

So I guess that also means we're always going to be behind. We're never going to really own a lot, have the world, get what we think we want... unless we fall down and worship the disgusting traitor.

This reminds me that success is not measured in material gain.

Joshua 1:8 says, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Success. It's not found in bowing down to the devil so you can temporarily think you own it all.

Home. If you're a child of God, you'll never be there while still in this present, evil world.

And most of the things you see aren't the way you think they are. God isn't always in control, because this isn't His world right now. But you can choose to let God have control of your life.

And, leave the world-conquering to the heathens, will you?

Did you guys set any New Year's goals/resolutions?







2 comments:

  1. Kimberly..

    Thanks for sharing this devotion! I can't believe how fast 2016 went either! I'm going to turning 18 in just a couple months,and that is rather hard for me to wrap my mind around... :)

    I love your thoughts on that passage. I'd forgotten how unusual that is..that Jesus actually went out seeking the devil's temptation. Well,perhaps not exactly seeking it,but that's the only word I can think of right now. It makes me wonder if my faith will ever be that strong.. I don't think I would willingly go out to be tempted! It's all I can do to cling to the Lord for strength when such temptations do come! And if I did know temptations were coming I certainly wouldn't starve myself first!

    And the whole bit about Satan having the ability to offer the Lord all the kingdoms of the world..yikes!
    I know that God can crush Satan any day of the week with His hands tied behind His back (so to speak ;)but that is amazing, and eye opening,the fact that the devil has control of the world at this time. Very interesting post,thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh! When's your birthday?! All us old ladies. ;)

      Thank you for commenting!! It was really interesting for me, too. Just thought-provoking. :)

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