Scripture for Today – May 10, 2007 – Not By Bread Alone

Dear Friend,

The Lord Jesus provides for us the premier example of one in whose heart the Word of God dwelt. Even upon the cross close to death he cries out to His Father words from Psalm 22, so ingrained in him was the word. We may be tempted to think that Jesus memorized and had available to him the Word because He was divine, but that is not so. In his humanity, starting as a little boy, he was taught, and he learned the Word. Perhaps he was especially blessed by God as he grew in wisdom and stature, but the method whereby he had the word of God in his mind and upon his lips was the same as for us. It was not long after his baptism where Jesus was called upon both to use this word and to abide by it in a most intense personal trial. Forty days of total fasting, alone in the desert, tempted by the devil whose favorite hobby is twisting the word of God to make it appear to mean the opposite of what it does, Jesus responds to his temptations by speaking back to the devil the Word of God – three successive quotes from the book of Deuteronomy. Indeed, in the desert, during his fast, and in his response to the devil, we see him living out to the uttermost the first Scripture he quotes. For in the desert he was sustained neither by food, nor by drink, but by the promise of God, by the Word of God, by the Spirit who abides closely with the Word. He was sustained throughout that hard trial, and kept vital and alive of spirit, not by food and drink, but “by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” As we face hard decisions, temptations, struggles in attitude, faltering confidence, Scripture toting liars, and all sorts of other challenges in life, may it also be so with us. Matthew 4:1-11:

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written,

‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

In Christ,

Joel

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