Morning Devotional, Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Morning Devotional, Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Day 2: The Tempter’s First Challenge

Text: Matthew 4:3-4

Devotional: “And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”‘”

After forty days and forty nights of fasting, Jesus was hungry. This natural, physical hunger set the stage for the devil’s first temptation. The tempter challenged Jesus’ identity and provision: “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” This temptation was subtle yet profound, aiming to exploit Jesus’ physical weakness and sow doubt about His divine sonship.

The devil’s challenge was not merely about satisfying physical hunger. It was an attempt to provoke Jesus to use His divine power independently of the Father’s will, to prioritize physical needs over spiritual obedience. This temptation mirrors the common human experience of being tempted to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways.

Jesus’ response, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, reveals the depth of His reliance on God’s Word: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” This response underscores a fundamental truth: our ultimate sustenance and life come from God and His Word, not merely from physical provisions.

Jesus’ use of Scripture to counter the devil’s temptation highlights the importance of knowing and applying God’s Word in our lives. When faced with temptations, it is crucial to rely on the truth of Scripture to guide our actions and decisions. Jesus shows us that true life and fulfillment are found in obedience to God’s Word.

In Deuteronomy 8, Moses reminded the Israelites of God’s provision during their wilderness journey. They were to remember how God humbled them, allowed them to hunger, and fed them with manna to teach them that “man does not live by bread alone.” This lesson was meant to instill trust in God’s provision and faithfulness, teaching them to depend on Him rather than their own efforts.

Similarly, we are called to trust in God’s provision and faithfulness, especially in times of need or temptation. Jesus’ victory over the devil’s first challenge serves as a model for us. By relying on God’s Word and trusting in His provision, we can overcome the temptations that seek to lead us astray.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How do you typically respond to temptations that challenge your trust in God’s provision?
  2. In what ways can you deepen your knowledge and application of Scripture to resist temptation?
  3. What are some practical steps you can take to prioritize spiritual nourishment over physical desires?

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Jesus’ example of relying on Your Word in the face of temptation. Help us to hunger for Your Word and to trust in Your provision. Give us the wisdom and strength to resist temptations that seek to draw us away from You. May we find true life and fulfillment in obedience to Your Word. Amen.

Application: Today, commit to spending time in God’s Word, meditating on its truths, and memorizing key Scriptures that can help you in times of temptation. Reflect on areas of your life where you may be tempted to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways, and seek God’s guidance and provision. Share with a friend or accountability partner how God’s Word has helped you resist temptation and ask for their prayers and support in your journey of faith.