Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.”
(Matthew 4:1-4 NIV)
The coming of a New Year brings with it a lot of things. We reflect upon the year that has just passed, and we look forward to the year ahead. 2015 was a tumultuous year, and 2016 looks to be much the same. For every bit of joy that has been or will be, we also have to deal with evil. The current culture chastises us for praying and persecutes us for believing in God. The times we live in are precarious and we must be steadfast in our Faith in order to survive the onslaught of evil that has invaded every aspect of our lives.
The phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ has become somewhat cliché’. Unbelievers and nominal believers will pull the phrase out and invent all kinds of strange ideas to suit their personal agendas. These people are confused by their own self-serving pride. To those of us who know Jesus, the answer to the question is simple: Jesus would call upon God’s Word to fight the devil. When Jesus was being tempted in the desert, every response He gave to Satan began with, “It is written…” God gives us the instructions for life in His Word; knowing Scripture and living in the Word of God is the only way to defeat Satan’s evil plan for our lives.
In the coming year, I encourage you to spend as much time as possible reading and studying the Bible. Time in prayer and Scripture is a conversation with God. This is how we gain the wisdom to know what to do, the strength to do it and the courage to see it through. When Satan shows up in politics, the workplace, your family, your personal relationships, your decisions, your church or anywhere else in your life, it is imperative to be prepared. When you wonder what Jesus would do in any particular situation, look to His Word and the answer will be there. Ask God to direct your path, and know that He will guide you. When you come across someone who wants to quarrel about your faith, remember:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV)
In the coming year (and always) be prepared for anything and everything Satan will throw at you! Immerse yourself in the Holy Word of God and know His joy and peace in your heart. Be not afraid, for He is with you.
And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
(Romans 8:30-33 NIV)
What would Jesus do? Jesus would rely on God! So should we.
Prayer: Father, please give me a steadfast spirit to rely on You, and You alone. Strengthen my Faith and guide my path. Draw me to read your Word and to live it. Amen.
Happy New Year, Dear Reader. May God bless you with good health and great Faith!