Luke 4:1-13 (CEB)

1 Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 2 There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. 3 The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread.” 5 Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. 7 Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” 9 The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it’s written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you 11 and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.” 12 Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.” 13 After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

Luke 4:9 (CEB)

9 The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here;

DEVOTION -Andy Clapp (North Carolina)

I wanted the youth to think I was the greatest.  I wanted them to tell their friends, “Hey, come to our church; our youth pastor is amazing.”  When we planned a countrywide event, I wanted to make it incredible; but organizing the event was a struggle because of my motivation:  I was trying to prove myself, rather than focusing on what God was doing in our community.

Satan tried to force Jesus to prove himself by taunting, “Since you are God’s Son…”  But Jesus didn’t take the bait because he didn’t need to prove himself.  Jesus knew who he was and what he was to do.  He also knew that Satan wanted him to focus on himself rather than on God, Jesus defeated Satan’s scheme by quoting God’s word and glorified God through his obedience.

We may feel that we need to prove ourselves, but our job is to point people to God.  We don’t need to prove that we are good enough for God. God approves of us and considers us valuable enough to send Christ to earth to die for our sins.  God already loves us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s approval can free us from anxious striving.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help us to remember that we already have your approval.  In Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: NEWLY-ORDAINED CLERGY

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