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March 20

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“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days” (Luke 4:1-2 NLT).

From: March 20, 2018

Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the Lord would not lead them into temptation, but deliver them from evil (Matt. 6:13). Yet, the Spirit “led” Christ into the wilderness “where He was tempted.” How can this seeming contradiction be explained? Perhaps by understanding the two ways the word “temptation” might be understood in Scripture. First, from the human point of view, a trip through the wilderness is a temptation to sin, to lose faith. But from the second point of view, which is the Lord’s, the wilderness experience is a test— a test of one’s faith. Remember, the Lord does not tempt, nor is He tempted, but He does bless those who “patiently endure” temptation (James 1:12-15). So, we might understand the Lord’s Prayer like this, “Lead us not into temptation, but if You do, please help us endure it and overcome it by delivering us from evil.”

“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5 NKJV).

From: March 20, 2017

David wrote of his strong desire to be “satisfied” and “joyful” in the Lord. He sought to bear the fruit of one who knew the “lovingkindness” (Psa. 63:3) of the Lord. The word “satisfied” speaks of contentment. David lifted his soul up to the Lord, determined to find a deep abiding contentment like one feels after eating a sumptuous meal. Experiencing complete satisfaction in the Lord’s provision, David was determined to direct his mouth to offer “joyful” praise. He knew that when his soul was satisfied in the Lord, his mouth would follow in joyful praise.
Satisfaction and joy… do you bear this fruit of the Spirit today? Or are you filled with unmet desire for something you don’t have? Are you struggling with an appetite for more? When the soul is dissatisfied, when it lacks contentment, the mouth does not offer praise. And joy is absent.
Look to the Lord. Ask Him to examine your soul’s desire. Confess where you have shown contempt for His manna provision. Find your complete contentment in His lovingkindness. And joy will find its way to your lips in praise!

‘And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”‘ (Luke 4:21 ESV)

From: March 20, 2016

In the town of Nazareth, where Jesus had grown up, he returned from his 40 days in the wilderness to begin his public ministry. He attended the local synagogue and chose the passage from the Isaiah scroll that spoke of the Anointed One who would come. The word “anointed” is where the Hebrews get the word “Messiah,” and where the Greeks get the word “Christos.” Having read this passage, he lifted his eyes from the Scripture and instead of offering the usual commentary, he claimed to be the “fulfillment” of Isaiah’s prophecy. He claimed to be the Christ. This created quite a stir in the small synagogue. His hometown people rejected his claim saying, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Their familiarity with Jesus actually caused them to doubt him. Is this happening in America, where everyone is familiar with Jesus the man, but not many believe in him as Lord?

“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13 NKJV)

From: March 20, 2015

The devil departed from tempting Jesus after three failed attempts. These are the same three temptations to which Adam succumbed. Yet, Jesus overcame them all. The temptation of Adam and Eve began with Satan’s question, “Did God really say?” (Gen.3:1). And so, he introduced the doubt of God’s Word into their minds, making them susceptible to his wiles. So Eve was deceived, deciding that the forbidden fruit “was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise” (Gen.3:6). The apostle John described these three temptations as targeting “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). Satan tempted Jesus and Adam with the same three tests: 1) The flesh (Adam: fruit; Jesus: bread), 2) the eyes (Adam: pleasant; Jesus: glory), 3) the pride (Adam: wisdom like God’s; Jesus: prove you’re the Son of God). While Adam doubted God’s Word, Jesus answered all three of Satan’s tests with quotations from God’s Word. Satan still uses the same bag of tricks today, but we can learn from Christ’s example and depend on His power to overcome temptation as He did. As the psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). In Christ, we are overcomers.

“He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. ‘The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!’” (Luke 4:20-21 NLT)

From: March 20, 2014

After Jesus was baptized and tempted in the wilderness for 40 days, He began His public ministry by visiting His hometown, Nazareth. There He was invited to read in the synagogue and the Isaiah scroll was handed to Him. Unrolling the scroll He found the place where Isaiah spoke of the Year of the Lord’s favor and reading it aloud, He concluded by saying it was fulfilled in that “very day.” It was clear to His hometown hearers that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, the One that fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. So, they began to say, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” And they didn’t believe Him. Jesus commented that a prophet hath no honor in His hometown and left that place. Does Jesus have a place of honor in your home?

“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.'” (Luke 4:4 ESV)

From: March 20, 2013

Jesus answered all three of Satan’s temptations with Scripture. Luke gives a shortened version of the Deuteronomy 8:3 passage, which Matthew’s gospel quotes fully: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4). Ironic that both the Luke and Matthew passages should have the same reference. Jesus overcame Satan with the power of God’s Word. We have this same Word available to us.

“The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:21)

From: March 20, 2012

What Jesus said after reading from Isaiah in His hometown synagogue. Jesus was the fulfillment of over 300 OT prophecies. Yet, there are many more Scriptures yet to be fulfilled. Every one of them has a date stamp on it that only God can read. On that day, it will be fulfilled. That’s why God’s people must always be ready. Today could be the Day!

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6)

From: March 20, 2011

How David spent a sleepless night. Did his thoughts of God give him rest that dreams would not? There is a rest deeper than sleep found in Christ alone.

Why’s God so angry with the Midianites?

From: March 20, 2009

Who are these Midianites and why is God so angry with them? Here’s the surprising thing that we’ve learned from reading so far: Midian is the son of Abraham by a wife he took after Sarah’s death. So, the Midianites are children of Abraham too, although not via the son of promise (Isaac) The children of Isaac (and Jacob/Israel) have had several encounters with the Midianites both pro and con. It was Midianite traders that Joseph’s brothers sold him to. Later, it was a Midianite woman that Moses married (Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, priest of Midian). So, Moses is related by marriage to the Midianites.
The Midianites were influenced by the Moabites (Moab, father of the Moabites, was the incestuous progeny of Lot and his daughter) to contact Balaam to curse the Israelites. The Midianites should have known better. They knew the God of Abraham. Yet, they conspired with the Moabites and with Balaam.
God was angry with Midian and He judged them for their sin. But it was a measured response. Note the limit of the number of solders used and the sparing of the virgin daughters.
It must have been hard for Moses to carry out these orders against his in-laws. After all, he not only married into their tribe, he also lived among them from age 40 to age 80. But he had learned to obey God instead of man.
God takes sin seriously, doesn’t He?