Guest Contribution by Rose Meeder, Orillia Campus, Sunday Morning Service Host
Welcome to Day 4 of the 24 Day Devotion. So glad you’re joining us! Each day for 24 days as a church, we’re going to read one chapter of the Gospel of Luke and post a devotion on it.
If you’ve never read the Bible, we’re so glad you’re joining us. And if you read the Bible, we hope this helps you grow in your faith.
Need to catch up? Start at Luke 1 – Is The New Testament A Lie? and follow along. Today’s devotion is below.
READ Luke 4
Luke 4 is a long chapter but what stands out to me is the first 13 verses. These verses outline Jesus' experience of being tempted in the wilderness.
To be honest, I actually cannot comprehend this experience whatsoever. I can absolutely not even begin to understand the experience of going without food or shelter for forty straight days, so right off the top – this passage has lost me.
But – if I sit with it for a while – I slowly start to relate to the very smallest fraction of this epically horrific experience; feeling hungry and being tempted.
In verse 2 it says that Jesus ate nothing for forty days and at the end of that time, he was hungry. You think?! (Insert some serious albeit irreverent sarcasm). I think the experience of essentially starving for that long, and the inner motivation to do it, is so beyond my everyday that it's hard to grasp and apply it to my daily life.
But, I choose to reflect and trust that the Bible is God's inspired word to ME… and to you. Sooo, I don't want to miss a possible point.If I choose to reflect and trust that the Bible is God's inspired word – I don't want to miss a possible point. Click To Tweet
So here goes…
Ok… yes, do I ever know how it feels to be trucking through my day, skipping lunch, running my errands, and now expecting the kids home off the bus anytime. I'm one sandwich and a coffee away from feeling settled and ready to take on my next task. I'm hungry. I'm rushing. I'm answering the phone and grabbing clothes off the line because now it's raining and BAM! My 15 minute window of opportunity gone and still haven't eaten anything. Ugh!
Now the kids are home, we are rolling into the next phase of the afternoon and I'm grouchy.
No peace, no coffee, no downtime for me.
All four of them crash in with their usual energy and I have a choice to make.
Give them a big welcome home mama-smile and start emptying backpacks or shut them out for a bit while I squirrel away with a ham and cheese… thinking… thinking… not such an easy choice.
I start assembling my sandwich, explain that mama is famished and we all need to have an after-school snack immediately!
The youngest one complains that we need to start on her homework project together and the oldest says we have to leave for the library quickly before it closes, but my Jesus prayer gives me a little power to ward off the grouch, stay in the mom-moment I want and roll with these punches too. The Jesus-power is real. I'm hungry. I'm tempted. But even in that eclipse of time and parenting-space, I am not alone.
Was it easy for Jesus to turn down the offer of bread while Satan tried to steal away the benefit of his fast and communion with God? I don't think it was easy but Jesus absolutely stood his ground.
And if I, a hungry mom with too many demands on my time, can lean into that power just the slightest bit, I can hold back the grouch from my kids who are at me (as normal) the minute they step in the door.
My kids have no idea how desperately I wanted to have a minute to myself. They also are oblivious to how much energy it takes to mother them. This wilderness of endless mama-giving while my own needs get neglected can be a lonely and frustrating place.
But – if I breath a Jesus-prayer, I can grasp a power so deep, so tested, so true that even when my well of good-mama-energy is empty, I can access the power to remain free from sin.
That's what Luke 4 speaks to me, and also reminds me it's getting late for my lunch (again!)… time to make my sandwich!
Jesus' temptation serves as a model when we are tempted to sin.Jesus' temptation serves as a model when we are tempted to sin. Click To Tweet
By leaning into God's power in my everyday I can live in a way that honours him and shows love to people around me.
In what ways are you being tempted to sin – to hurt yourself or hurt others? What would change in your life if you accessed that same steadfast power that Jesus had in the desert? That same power is available to you through him.
This week, in your moments of temptation or overwhelm, tell Jesus. And ask for his help.
God give me your strength and power when mine is all used up. Keep me from temptation when I am weak and most vulnerable.
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