Led into the wilderness to be tempted

The Temptation Trap (Photo Credit: Zazzle)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

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. For it is written:

“‘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.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do 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 splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:1-11

How Jesus loved people:

Jesus kept himself available to love people by resisting temptation. Can you imagine how the path God had in mind for him would have been impacted had he succumbed to the tempter? Swamped with the demands of leading the governments of the world, he would have been distracted from his calling which was to live humbly, simply, and to engage with people directly, in love.

How you can too:

Never before in the history of humankind has there been a time when people are inundated by entertainment and recreation such as we are today. It’s an amazing time to be alive but it’s also a time when we’re bombarded by distraction and temptation. Twenty-three year old Chen Rong-yu was looking for entertainment when he decided to head out to his local internet cafe to play League of Legends. He found himself so engrossed in his game that he made it a marathon session, playing for some twenty-three hours straight. But because of his prolonged lack of movement, and a previous medical condition, it appears that blood clots formed in his system resulting in his death. He was found with his hands stretched out over the keyboard, as though he was still playing. The thirty other gamers in the cafe were similarly absorbed and didn’t notice that he was deceased until nine hours after his passing. (see Daily Mail article by Rob Cooper)

When it comes to temptations, you and I have the same decisions to make as Jesus. If I succumb to a marathon gaming session, while I probably won’t die, I’m as good as dead to the people I love and care about while I’m consumed by that game. If you succumb to watching an entire season of Downton Abbey in one sitting, during that time, you’re not available to show others Christ’s love. If I’m consumed by the latest on Whitney Houston’s death, or the NCAA tournament, or The Hunger Games, then I’ll be distracted from what God has in mind for me.

The bottom line: If you want to love people the way Jesus did, keep it simple like Jesus did. Resist the temptation to immerse yourself in entertainment, or sports, or recreation. These things are’t bad if experienced in reasonable doses, but they’ll completely derail your life, if allowed to consume too much of your time, mind, heart, and soul.

Resist temptation.

Keep life simple enough to leave room for Christ and what He has in mind for you.


Rob Cooper

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