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Turn off voices that draw you away from God

March 9, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Luke 3:23-4:13

During Lent, we are using short videos to share a daily idea (linked to the gospel of Luke) on how to grow spiritually. Watch today’s video. Click here or on the image below:

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Note: We are reading the entire gospel of Luke in the GPS. Some day’s readings are longer than usual. We hope you’ll have an extra cup of coffee, or use your lunch break, and read Luke’s entire story of Jesus.

23 Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. People supposed that he was the son of Joseph son of Heli 24 son of Matthat son of Levi son of Melchi son of Jannai son of Joseph 25 son of Mattathias son of Amos son of Nahum son of Esli son of Naggai 26 son of Maath son of Mattathias son of Semein son of Josech son of Joda 27 son of Joanan son of Rhesa son of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel son of Neri 28 son of Melchi son of Addi son of Cosam son of Elmadam son of Er 29 son of Joshua son of Eliezer son of Jorim son of Matthat son of Levi 30 son of Simeon son of Judah son of Joseph son of Jonam son of Eliakim 31 son of Melea son of Menna son of Mattatha son of Nathan son of David 32 son of Jesse son of Obed son of Boaz son of Sala son of Nahshon 33 son of Amminadab son of Admin son of Arni son of Hezron son of Perez son of Judah 34 son of Jacob son of Isaac son of Abraham son of Terah son of Nahor 35 son of Serug son of Reu son of Peleg son of Eber son of Shelah 36 son of Cainan son of Arphaxad son of Shem son of Noah son of Lamech 37 son of Methuselah son of Enoch son of Jared son of Mahalalel son of Cainan 38 son of Enos son of Seth son of Adam son of God.

4:1 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” [Deuteronomy 8:3].

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” [Deuteronomy 6:13].

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” [Psalm 91:11-12].

12 Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God” [Deuteronomy 6:16]. 13 After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Unlike Matthew (cf. Matthew 1:1-17), Luke took Jesus’ list of ancestors all the way back to “Adam, the son of God.” That showed Jesus as the Savior for all people. All of the temptations tried to get Jesus to make his life easier by matching popular hopes of what the Messiah would do. But Jesus refused the urge to prove his identity in self-serving ways.

  • Our culture often toys with the medieval idea of an ugly, horned devil. Would a figure like that have actually appealed to Jesus? Are you tempted, not by a dark “devil” figure, but by an inner whisper urging you to ignore God’s way? How can embracing your identity as God’s child help you resist that whisper?
  • In Luke 4:10-11, the tempter quoted Psalm 91. Jesus didn’t say, “A Bible verse? Must be right.” Scholar Scot McKnight said we cannot “read the Bible as a collection of…sanctified morsels of truth.” * How can you, like Jesus, learn the Bible’s core principles to guide your life? How can it be spiritually unsafe to follow isolated Bible verses, as the tempter urged Jesus to do?

Click here to incorporate music and worship from the COR Worship Collective into your daily practice and devotion.

Prayer

Loving God, remind me to hear and apply the Bible’s big principles to my life. Let me learn, not just fragments, but the Bible’s overall message to empower me to resist temptation. Amen.

GPS Insights

Jennifer Creagar

Jennifer Creagar

Jennifer Creagar is the Community Assistance Coordination Director in Resurrection's Congregational Care Ministry. She is married and loves spending time with her family, and she enjoys writing and photography.

We live in a very noisy, and wordy, world. There are voices everywhere, speaking all the time, and our minds and hearts are like sponges, soaking it all in. It’s not just conversations and exchanges of thought with people we know. We also hear words and noise from so many other sources – the television news we turn on in the morning while we get dressed, the radio in the car, the words we read online that add a multitude of voices to our day, spoken by people we don’t even know. Most of this wordy noise comes unfiltered, straight to our ears and into our minds, influencing our own thoughts and actions.

How do we make sure that we are hearing God’s voice above the rest of the noise? In today’s Scripture, we see how Jesus filtered and responded to a noisy voice taunting and demanding he act in a way completely contrary to God’s plan. At every demand and taunt from the devil, Jesus replied with Scripture. After 40 days of temptation and isolation, he found the only response that would make the devil depart–God’s word. He filtered what he heard through the standard of God’s word and kept his heart and mind clear and focused on God’s will.

I know I do not have a great amount of Scripture committed to memory. Reading today’s GPS makes me think I should probably work on that. I do have this wonderful blessing of God’s word coming to my email daily. Time spent reading and praying over that GPS email every morning is a good way to make sure that the voice of God in Scripture is a central voice in my heart and mind. It’s also helpful to think of some filters of my own to use before I speak, or write, or act in response to the noise of the world.

“You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him” [Deuteronomy 6:13]. Do the words I’m about to say glorify God and act in service to God’s will?

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-39). Does what I am about to do express my love for God, and my love for my neighbor?”

Lord God, thank you for giving us your words to filter the noise of the world. Help us to use this gift to show our love for you and our neighbors. Amen.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008, pp. 46.