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This is my first time celebrating Ash Wednesday and I’m excited to dig into God’s word about Jesus’ time in the wilderness. I found this neat decoration idea here:
I’m not sure how I feel about the whole ashes on the forehead. Since I’m not sure we may just do it on our arm. Sounds trivial I know but that’s just me. I celebrate many things including Biblical feasts. This year everything is running together. While I’m prepping for Valentine’s I’m also gearing up for Purim & Lent. Then comes St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, and Easter. Wheww!
I love the fun of all the holiday traditions, food, and games but mainly I love learning about the Bible through these holidays. I’m not one to do things just for tradition sake. In fact, for many years I didn’t celebrate certain holidays because I thought they were pagan. Since digging deeper into the true history (not propaganda) I’ve changed my mind and have really began to enjoy the rich Biblical heritage of many holidays. I pray whether this is your first time celebrating Lent or you’re millionth time that the message of God’s word will fall fresh on you. There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as we don’t worship the tradition. Even devotion time and prayer can become rote and meaningless without the power of the Holy Spirit. Holidays whether Biblical or secular can not save you or put you on a different level with God. Only God’s grace through Jesus Christ can do that. May we abide in Jesus today, dear ones.
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent (40 days leading up to Easter). Why 40 days? Well, it goes along with Jesus’ time of prayer and fasting in the wilderness when He was also tempted by Satan. In Biblical times, people would heap ashes on their heads as a sign of mourning and repentance before God. Thus, the ash cross on the forehead. Some people choose to give something up for Lent or to take on something new. I have friends who give up chocolate the whole month. It is also a time of focusing on service and giving.
I believe fasting (giving up food) and sabbaticals (giving up things or activities) should be a personal matter between you and God. Our church is having a Valentine’s banquet so I won’t be fasting. I’m anemic anyways. I do like the idea of giving up things because I’m doing this Bible study by Kelly Minter called “No Other Gods”. I’ve realized that I have many functional idols….a day away from my laptop may be as excruciating as not eating lol. Again….traditions will not make you holy before God. Jesus Christ is our righteousness…not our works. I believe just as the Sabbath was made for man’s benefit that these traditions should benefit us.
You can read the story of Jesus’ temptation here: http://bibleresources.org/bible/KJV/Matthew-4
This is my brief summary:
Jesus fasts for 40 days and 40 nights.
Verse 2 says afterwards he was hungry. Sorry I just have to stop and say what an understatement lol. Yes, I think I would be hungry too after that long ;).
The devil tempts Jesus three times and each time Jesus uses scripture to take Satan down. The Bible says God’s word is like a sword. I could so see a Star Wars thing happening but way better. Anywho, that’s just my overactive imagination.
I’ve always been taught how to use God’s word to make Satan flee but today while reading I noticed something. I want to talk to you about how Satan tempted Jesus. He used three methods and he still uses these today.
First off, the last time Satan tempts Jesus, the Lord tells Satan to go then uses scripture. I believe it is very possible that had Jesus told Satan to go the first time then he would have. but everything the Lord did was for our benefit. He knew we needed an example. So I want to put forward that the word of God is our greatest weapon in each of these temptations.
3″And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4
- Satan tempted Jesus during a time of weakness. Whenever we are hungry, tired, or even mentally drained we are open for attack. Lions attack their prey in times of weakness. A shark is drawn to a bleeding animal/fish. Satan known as the roaring lion, (1 Peter 5:8) is no different. So dear ones, you must be especially on guard during times of weakness. Do not give the enemy the upper hand. Avoid even the appearance of evil.
Example: When my Hubby was deployed to Iraq I was very lonely. I knew that I missed his affection. I knew I was vulnerable. For my own sake, I decided not to hug people of the opposite sex..even pastors etc…unless they were family. I also did not allow myself to be alone with a man if possible. I’m still very careful about avoiding even the appearance of evil. But I was super careful during my time of weakness.
6″And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matthew 4:6-7
- Satan twisted scripture to tempt Jesus. We learn a lot about how to use God’s word to fight Satan but we often forget that Satan also knows God’s word. Sadly, he knows the word better than us because he’s lived through it. Satan is a master at twisting the Bible and bringing confusion. We must not only know scripture, we must also know it’s context.
Here is a great principle for protecting yourself against false teaching. Never build your theology on just one verse. If it is mean’t to be a foundational belief then it will be supported by several verses in both the old and new testaments. A lot of people (and I’ve been one of them) get into spiritual deception because they take one verse out of context. A close study of the culture, the original language, and the context (in the book/ letter and also the Bible as a whole) will often remedy any confusion.
I’ll admit that this is the hardest temptation for me. Too often I am unprepared when a person takes a verse out of context and shoots it my way. Sometimes this happens with believers and sometimes with unbelievers. Verses out of context can be used for all kinds of crazy beliefs. We must be ready and we must know our Bible. Another thing to note is that Jesus didn’t argue with Satan. He simply stated the truth in context.
9″And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:9-10
- Satan tempted Jesus with worldly possessions. Now this is different for everyone. That’s why each believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them. In the past, the Holy Spirit chose to dwell with only certain people so the majority had to rely on a prophet to speak God’s words. Now we have the immense privilege of going before the Father ourselves because Jesus is our High Priest. We have this beautiful personal relationship with Father God. The Holy Spirit himself teaches us God’s word and he brings conviction. The Holy Spirit knows us best and He helps us with those grey areas.
Maybe you can’t drink alcohol because you have a prior addiction. Or maybe you feel it’s permissible to drink because you don’t have a prior addiction and you never get drunk. In these last days we are to rely on Jesus for every area in our lives. If we rely on man instead of God, to tell us how to live then we are worshiping idols. We are to surrender to Jesus and to follow His words alone. So please don’t let anyone (even/ especially me) try to be your Holy Spirit. Wise counsel is good but Jesus gets the final say.
We are all tempted by different lusts whether it be candy bar or clothes. You know the area you struggle in. May God’s word bring conviction and remember the Word will give you the strength to overcome. Who is the Word? Jesus himself is the embodiment of God’s word! How awesome!
So dear ones I hope you’ve learned how to counter Satan’s attacks with God’s word.
remember to go to my blog to see vids that don’t show up in email 😉
- Loving our spouse
Marriage Promise Video by Onetime Blind
- loving others
Help by Onetime Blind vid
sometimes God answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect & with people we may not accept
- God’s love for us
Little Things- Onetime Blind vid
seeing God work in the little things
Trash- Onetime Blind
Let God carry your trash. He does it because he loves you. Let it go 🙂
- Loving God
Wash my Feet- Onetime Blind vid
ever try to one up people on your service? A humbling reminder about humility 😉
Lord Lord- Onetime Blind vid
Do you call him Lord but not treat Him as Lord?
A great sermon by Francis Chan on recognizing false teaching
Love to you all! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover