Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Can Resist Anything Except Temptation

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Picture the day our Lord was baptized in the Jordan River by John. Scripture says Jesus saw the heavens “parting - NKJV, “splitting apart” - NLT, “torn open” - NIV. Then the thundering Voice, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased [Mark 1:11]. Do you have that picture firmly in your mind now? OK, if you didn’t already know the story, what would you expect to happen next? People bowing before Him in humble adoration? Crowds coming down from Jerusalem to present Him with a golden chariot, proclaiming Him to be “King of kings and Lord of lords?”

If that’s what your are thinking, you are sadly mistaken. According to Mark’s account, Jesus was immediately “driven” into the wilderness to be tempted. Battle lines were drawn and for the next forty days, Jesus withstood every temptation thrown at Him by the devil himself. The author of Hebrews said that He was tempted in every way as we are, “yet without sin” [Hebrews 4:15]. Jesus didn’t give in. He never threw in the towel. 

That makes me think of the many times I have struggled/battled with temptation. On many occasions, I fought valiantly for a while, only to eventually raise the white flag in surrender. At other times, it seems I offered no resistance at all. How unlike my Savior. Do any of you understand what I’m talking about here? Has that been your experience too? 

The war Jesus fought in the wilderness would eventually lead to the cross of Calvary. There, Jesus would settle the score once and for all. Not for Himself, though. For you and me! Listen to Paul’s exhortation to the Roman Christ followers, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” [Romans 5:19]. The Lord’s victory over sin was for the many to be righteous. He invites us into His kingdom whole, restored, redeemed, FORGIVEN!

Inspired and empowered by our Savior’s victory over sin, we can confidently face our temptations knowing that, pass or fail, He is with us — He paved the way.

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. Mark 1:9-13

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