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February 24, 2015


LUKE 4:1-12

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'"

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours."

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

HEBREWS 4:14-16

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Immediately after his baptism and the announcement of his public ministry, Jesus found himself in the wilderness, alone and vulnerable. Armed with nothing but the Scripture he had buried in his heart, Jesus faced the enemy.

If the severity of our temptations is dependent on the threat we pose against the forces of darkness, we can assume that Christ's temptation was more than just a battle of words. In fact, this was an assault.

Years later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was alone and again vulnerable. There he wrestled with his own desire to avoid that which his Father had planned since before the beginning of time. "Take this cup from me," he prayed, but ended with, 'Not my will, but yours be done' (Luke 22:42). His trial in the wilderness trained him well. He remains strong to this day, empathizing with our weaknesses and strengthening us to say, when we pray, "Not my will, but yours."


God of all comfort and strength, you offer yourself as the ultimate resource for me when I find myself lonely and vulnerable. Teach me the wisdom of quickly turning to you in those times, guide me to look to you for my needs and to fully submit myself to your good will for my life. Only then will I come to know the peace that surpasses all understanding and guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Amen.


Excerpted from:

NIV Once-A-Day: 40 Days to EasterNIV Once-A-Day: 40 Days to Easter
Kenneth D. Boa
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Once A-Day: 40 Days to Easter features 40 daily readings with NIV Scripture passages, meditations, and prayer prompts examining the Passion narratives in the Gospels. Achieve a greater understanding of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus during this glorious season of the year.

Reprinted from Once-A-Day: 40 Days to Easter by Kenneth Boa with John Allen Turner. Copyright 2012. Used by permission from Zondervan.


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