Poverty, Chastity and Obedience Pt. 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Poverty, Chastity and Obedience Pt. 2 — Morning Devotions

They seem like old vows, for a different world, but do you ever find yourself chasing money, sex or power? Could you commit to a different life?

By Chris WittsWednesday 29 Nov 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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In fact, if you were with me yesterday, I talked about money, sex and power. Three interesting statements. And it all has to do with the modern version of three things that the monks have a vows of – poverty, chastity and obedience. And I’m linking that with the amazing story in the Scriptures of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. You can read that in Matthew and in Luke.

And I said yesterday that Satan said to Jesus out there in this desert, “look, if you are the son of God, tell these Stones to become bread.” That was a temptation, as I said, to turn something that was of no value into something that was very real. He had the power, of course, to turn the stones into bread. In a second.

I wonder if you saw the film Bruce Almighty with Jim Carey – quite a funny film. But Bruce had to learn in that film that holding the power to change situations came with the responsibility of managing that change. Not for the benefit of himself, but for the benefit of others. Quite an interesting story there – had Jesus turned these stones to bread. Perhaps he could have also changed the minds and hearts of the Pharisees, and they had quite a deal of difficulty with him.

And where then, would our salvation be? Could the salvation of the world been based on some kind of clever manipulation? I don’t think so. What about those people who refused to change their views or were adamant that they would not bow their knee to the will of God the Father. The question arises should they be forced to do so? So the temptation of wealth didn’t sway Jesus from his earthly task.

The struggle with temptations

But Satan hadn’t finished because he said to him there, “If you are the son of God, throw yourself down.” Now think about this for a moment. It has to do with relationships rather than some image of Jesus physically jumping off the top of a pinnacle of a temple.

Satan tempted Jesus by suggesting here that he perform a leap of faith. And surely if he was in a close relationship with his Father, his Father would protect him. After all, he’d heard his father’s voice in the baptism in the river there, confirming his personhood and ministry.

What about the test? Would his father rescue him from the leap from the temple? Another question is, would he actually rescue him from that terrible day? That would come years later, when or months later, when he would suffer at Calvary in the Garden of Gethsemane and Calvary. Well, this was not the road that Jesus would travel. He knew that his Father would not rescue him.

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He was not going to allow Satan that day to test the relationship with God, the Father, because it just didn’t work that way. So we’re talking here in this area about relationships. And of course, relationships are a big, in fact, huge temptation. Today, people long for quality relationships, and sometimes they hope to find it through sexual intimacy.

But God allows the testing to occur with a promise, and this is the promise from the Scriptures from 1 Corinthians 10, it says, “every test that you’ve experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise. He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm at the time you are put to the test. He will give you the strength to endure it and provide you with a way out.” That’s 1 Corinthians 10:13. A wonderful promise so we can trust God, just as Jesus did in the desert. We can trust God in the midst of our temptation.

Well, Satan also said to Jesus, “Look at all of this, I’ll give it to you if you’ll bow down and worship me.” Well, Jesus was not interested in that. He was humble. He walked the path of obedience and all the way to death. Death on a cross.

Let’s Pray

Thank you, Father today for the warmth of the sun on a cold day. Thank you for the warmth of your love that chases away many of the clouds. Our sense of doubt, our fears are chased away, so prevent us from reaching out to take back the doubts and the fears. But as we remind ourselves of your great love, we thank you that you are there for us. In the difficult times and the times of temptation, amen.