Matthew 4: 1-4 —Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 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.’”
God puts us through periods of our life where we may undergo serious contemplation and serious reflection, both inwardly on ourselves and outwardly toward Him. In these periods, it is often we may be tested, so as to overcome the tests in front of us and be transformed, transformed more to His intended shape for each of us and ultimately closer to His standard of pureness and holiness.
Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" —Exodus 33:15-16
Because of the life and death of Christ, the wall that that once separated us from God has been torn down, allowing us to come humbly to Him, to plead with Him, to ask for His great mercy.
21 “This is the way; walk in it.” —Isaiah 30:21
For those of us who are directionally challenged, such as myself, sometimes we need a plain sign or a good knock over the head to get back on track, or a GPS will do just fine. Just as easy as it is to get turned around or lost on the roads of this world, so too do we need direction in our lives to stay on track and focused on Christ, to follow the right path when so many are in our way. Just as God clearly tells the people of Israel in this verse that He is the way; today His Word leads us to Him.
Seek the Lord and live. —Amos 5:6
God sees all. God judges all.
Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth, give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. —Psalm 86:11
In order to fulfill our calling to be a child of God, we must be devoted to Him, to be devoted to following His way of living holy and righteous. Most simply: we must walk in His truth, as we walk in His light.
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. —Hebrews 3:12-14
The third chapter of Hebrews focuses on faith, more so on enduring faith, the kind of faith that calls us to hold onto God throughout our life on this earth. Chapter 3 begins by explaining the faith of Jesus Christ, who did God’s servant work, as Moses did, but took it a step further, by being the Son of the House, of which God built the house; we become part of that house, the brick and mortar, once we commit our faith to Christ firm to the end.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age. —Titus 2: 11-12
Paul, speaking here to Titus, a “partner and fellow worker,” imparts on the young pastor to call out elders for the humble and noble work of building churches, to inspire Christ-following communities to take shape. Paul had left Titus in Crete, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, in order to facilitate that process of selecting godly men to shepherd the people of that island to be godly people. Like most new churches in that day, Titus faced false teachers and men that lived in the ways of the world, that sought their own ends, that brought down others in order to prop themselves up: Says Paul (1:16): “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient and disqualified for every good work.”
Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. —Luke 10:20
Jesus, in the midst of His earthly ministry, in the midst of healing and casting out demons, empowered those closest to Him to do the same, first to His 12 disciples and then to a special group of 70. Their mission was to go to the surrounding towns and do as He did: heal the sick and make known that the Kingdom of God was near.
God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” —Hebrews 13:5
Living on this earth, with death and decay all around, brokenness continually prevails. We have all had a relationship with another person that turned sour or abruptly ended. As a collective society we have seen divorce and other circumstances splinter families; we have lost touch with old friends, sometimes due to a dispute; or for some of us, had a loved one die suddenly. Despite all these hurts that can cripple our soul, we have God - the only solid rock upon which we have to stand. We can be absolutely sure of this: He will never fail nor leave us.
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. —Psalm 119:105
God, in the process of creation and when He manifested Himself as man, is greatly linked to light.
I and the Father are one. —John 10:30
This six-word verse is short, but oh so sweet. It paints a picture of the solid unity in identity and purpose between the Father, God in heaven, and His Son, God in the flesh-manifested as Jesus Christ. Prior to this verse, Jesus is talking about being the good shepherd, being the one that will lay down His life for His sheep, to keep them safe in a world where a multitude of evil beings—Satan particularly—want to harm them. Before He speaks this, Jesus praises the Father as being “greater than all” and the Father who “has given them to me,” meaning that the Father has passed His people over to the Son, Jesus Christ. In this way, Jesus links the Father’s sovereignty as ruler over all and to the sovereignty entrusted to Him as the Son, keeper of the sheep, and those that believe on Him as the Son, will have eternal life and not be harmed.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. —Philippians 1:9-11
Paul, as he writes to the various churches of the world throughout his missionary journeys, was an encourager, consistently giving his full heart, consistently uplifting Christ so that others may be uplifted. Here, in writing to the people at Philippi, he captures this essence with a prayer that includes elements of love, knowledge (of God), purity, and righteous. It speaks to the idea of readying ourselves for Jesus Christ, being sanctified through Him, in order that we may give glory to God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23
Jesus told His followers that He would leave them a helper, the Holy Spirit. Those that come to have faith in Jesus Christ are aware that it is this Spirit that works in them to overcome the flesh and be obedient to the will of God.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. —2 Peter 1:2-4
By virtue of His salvation in us, we are very keen on sin. We know what it looks like, we know what it feels like.