© 2021 Adina Voicu. All Rights Reserved. Pixabay. Used by permission.

For the past two weeks we have been looking at temptation, and focusing primarily on the temptation of Jesus. This week we wrap up that investigation by looking at lessons we can learn from how Jesus handled temptation.

Lesson 1 — Satan Has Limitations

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
– Matthew 4:11, ESV

The Bible speaks of principalities, powers, and demons, plural, but only one devil, Satan, singular. There is but one devil, and he is not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent. There are limits to what he knows, to what he can do, and to where he…


© 2021 Adina Voicu. All Rights Reserved. Pixabay. Used by permission.

Last week we began looking at temptation from about 50,000 feet, culminating in an overview of the temptation of Jesus as he inaugurated his public ministry. Today, we will dive more deeply into that time in Jesus’ life.

Hunger

The first temptation of Jesus presented in the gospels involves hunger. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days, and by that time his body had to be consuming its own protein to survive.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written…


© 2021 Adina Voicu. All Rights Reserved. Pixabay. Used by permission.

The Hook

I read once that temptation is a hook baited with a lie. I find that an apt way of phrasing it. Once we swallow that lie/bait and the hook is set, the chances are very good that we are going to get reeled in, because it is difficult and painful to pull out the hook, and the fishing line is often too strong to break.

It was Oscar Wilde’s character, Lord Darlington, who said, “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Current-generation society has no shortage of books, blog posts, and advice columns on how to conquer temptation, whether that temptation…


© 2021 Nathan Dumlao. All Rights Reserved. Unsplash. Used by permission.

The West’s Love Affair with Fairness

The concept of fairness permeates Western society. Westerners like conditions to be impartial and equitable. There is something innate to humanity (in western culture at least) where fairness is concerned, that drives our moral and ethical compass.

Young children are quick to cry out “Unfair!” when playing with one another, and it is possible that the cry has merit. It may be that one of the participants gained an unfair advantage by violating the established rules of the competition. …


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Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
– John 20:28, NIV-1978

Thomas is widely known as “doubting Thomas” based on his initial reluctance to believe the reports regarding Jesus’ resurrection. I have long believed that this disparagement of Thomas is unwarranted.

Scripture is replete with calls and warnings to “test the prophets,” or to “not believe every spirit.” The Bereans were considered nobler than the Thessalonians specifically because they did not accept things at face value, but rather searched the scriptures to see what was true.1

I find it worthy of note that neither Jesus nor the other…


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Life is hard; it is difficult. That is just the simple truth of it. Jesus confirmed this in John 16, telling us, “In the world, you have trouble”1 — and indeed, we do.

You and I have seen and known those who pretend to float from one victory to the next, and if we did not know better, we could look at ourselves and wonder what is wrong with us, or with our faith, that we don’t enjoy the trouble-free life that our disciple-in-denial friend pretends to enjoy. Life is hard.

Life is hard. Life in Christ, especially so.

Consider…


© 2021 big_kmart_ontario_oregon. All Rights Reserved. Public Domain Photos. Used by permission.

Having completed my shopping and paid for my purchases, I was exiting the local K-Mart. As I did so, I was harshly scolded by a woman I did not know, and whom I had never met prior to this moment. My assailant was completely incensed by my rudeness because I did not politely hold the door for her as I exited the store.

The conversation that ensued between us was not a brief one. Though I had apologized for my insensitivity, the woman was unrelenting in her attack, and in her refusal to accept my apology. She was fully focused…


© 2021 Jamie Haughton. All Rights Reserved. Unsplash. Used by permission.

In 1960, just one year before I was born, Hollywood produced what was at that time one of the most widely (internationally) distributed motion pictures in the history of film. Inherit the Wind, based on the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, is a black and white film depicting Spencer Tracy as the famed atheist lawyer, Clarence Darrow, in a fictionalized version of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial.

The trial, formerly known as “The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes” involved the prosecution of high school teacher, John T. Scopes, who had been accused of violating Tennessee’s…


© 2021 Francesco De Tommaso. All Rights Reserved. FreeImages. Used by permission.

One of the most noted lines of William Shatner’s iconic career as Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise is the phrase from the program’s introduction wherein Shatner says, “. . . to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

The line is notorious, first of all, based on its use of the frowned-upon grammatical construct — the split infinitive. In this case, the mission was not “to boldly go,” but rather “to go boldly.” The other objection many have is Shatner’s patriarchal and supposedly, sexist use of the word “man.” …


© 2021 Afonso Lima. All Rights Reserved. FreeImages. Used by permission.

Last week, we saw Peter sleeping in prison while chained between two guards, and with two more standing watch at the prison gate. In relating the events of that story, I made mention of the Herod family but didn’t go into much depth. This week, I want to give you a history lesson on this revolting family that played such an extensive role in the birth and early life of the church.

Setting the Scene

Jesus is growing in popularity and notoriety. This was a matter of concern for Herod Antipas, not through jealousy, but rather fear. Herod Antipas is the one who…

Damon J. Gray

Author & Speaker, Christ-Follower, IT Geek https://www.damonjgray.org

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