By Chris WittsFriday 2 May 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Did you see the film “Bruce Almighty” with Jim Carrey? Quite a funny film,but Bruce had to learn that holding the power to change situations came with the responsibility of managing the change for the benefit of others – not just himself. Quite a lesson. Had Jesus turned the stones to bread,perhaps He could also have changed the minds and hearts of the Pharisees. 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. And what about people who did not want to change,or bow their knee to the will of God the Father? Should they be forced to do so? The temptation of wealth did not sway Jesus from His earthly task.
Satan also said to Jesus “If you are the Son of God throw yourself down”. Now think about it. It has to do with relationships,rather than some image of Jesus physically flying off the top of the Temple. Satan tempted Jesus by suggesting he perform a leap of faith,and this would prove the intimacy of His relationship to His Father. He had heard His Father’s voice confirming His personhood and ministry,and this relationship was now tested.
Would His Father rescue Him from a leap from the Temple? Would He rescue Him from the terrible suffering ahead at Calvary? This was not the road Jesus would travel,and He knew it. He was not going to allow Satan to test His relationship with God the Father. It did not work that way. Relationships are an area of huge temptation today. People long for quality relationships,and many hope to find them through sexual intimacy.
But God allows the testing to occur with a wonderful promise found in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps His promise,and 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 so provide you with a way out”. We can trust God to help us in the midst of temptations,because we have a close relationship with Him.
Then Satan said to Jesus in the desert “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me”. This is the temptation of power. Jesus knew what power was all about. Think about these verses of Scripture:
Colossians 1:16 “By Him all things were created”
Hebrews 1:1,2 “God has spoken to us by His Son,through whom He made the Heavens”.
Jesus had after all used His divine power to still a mighty wind on lake,heal the sick,multiply bread,and even raise the dead. There’s acts of power for you,but it was for others. Not for His own glory to show how powerful he was. It was often used to stir the minds and hearts of people to consider the claims of the Kingdom of God. It was the mis-use of power that was being offered to Him that day … power that could bring adulation and fulfilment of self,before the needs of God. How could Jesus be the Servant King if He was obsessed with personal power and prestige? Was it appealing to Jesus to have instant recognition and popularity?
Listen to Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5-9.
“He always had the nature of God,but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this,of his own free will,he gave up all he had,and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death ─ his death on the cross. For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name”.
So,if we’re talking about money,sex and power = handle with great care!