It is Written
Matthew 4:4: Jesus answered, “It is written:”
Matthew 4:7: Jesus answered, “It is also written:”
Matthew 4:10: Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written:”
Today, I want to talk about the second temptation that Jesus experienced. The devil tried to get Jesus to do something stupid. Check out Matthew 4:5-6: Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple, “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.” Once again, don’t forget the fact that the devil says “IF you are the Son of God,” and he leaves out the fact that God loves Him as he already stated at the very end of Matthew chapter 3. But, this time the devil quotes a scripture. As a general warning, don’t believe that everyone who posts scripture on Facebook is a genuine Christian…even the devil can quote scripture! Let’s examine what it looks like when he quotes scripture.
Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12. Here is the real scripture: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Now, here is the devil’s version: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” all Satan left out were the words “to guard you in all your ways.” In other words “if you really are God’s Son, you can do whatever you want and no harm will come to you. This might have been true of Jesus…however, Jesus knew that the rest of the verse said that he was also to consider his ways. There was no way that Jesus was going to tempt His Heavenly Father in this manner.
How I wish as a beginning Christian I had considered my ways! I see now how Satan convinced me I could go places I shouldn’t go, do things I shouldn’t do, and ultimately live like I shouldn’t live…and still have God on my life. I believe the lesson in this temptation is that we can not live any way we please and expect everything to work out just fine. However, that is exactly what the devil wants us to believe.
If you are God’s kid…meaning that you have a point in your life where you have asked Jesus into your heart and have surrendered your life to Him, are you considering your ways? Let’s examine just a few:
How do you treat people? Especially people you don’t like. Do you make a conscious effort to love them? Remember Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies” If you are hating anyone, please consider your ways. You can not have both your hate and God’s presence!
Do you love the things of this world more than you love Him? I sure did. I used to love new golf clubs, new televisions, new computers, new girlfriends and new guitars WAY more than I loved Him. But, consider Matthew 6:20: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The devil had me convinced I could have BOTH. Unfortunately, verse 24 says “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can not serve both God and Money.” I sure tried. But, it left me miserable.
Do you judge others? I see Christians all the time posting things about how THEY go to church, about how THEY spend hours upon hours with the Lord. Some even go as far to look down on others that don’t spend time with Him as much as THEY do. These people are simply modern day Pharisees. I may think these things from time to time, but there is no way that those thoughts are coming out of my mouth and they are DEFINITELY not coming out in a post on Facebook. For one, I want to consider my ways. For two, I know Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” I don’t think that verse means that we should NEVER point out sin…I’m kind of doing that here. But, here is what we need to consider: In the same way that I judge others, I will be judged when I stand before the King. Therefore, I will choose mercy every single time. I want and need mercy when I stand before Him. I definitely do not want to rely on my own goodness…it just ain’t that good.
These examples could go on and on and on…I just pointed out a few that I had to deal with and still deal with quite frequently.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” — Haggai 1:7
And remember, the devil left these words out when he was tempting Jesus. Could it be that a lot of Christians believe they can live any way they please and still complete God’s assignment for their lives?
It is written, so we had better know it…and know it well!