Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Temptation of God's Children - Part #4

A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew

The Temptation of God's Children - Part #4

Fire in the sky & mountains...

a little more/a little more


“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”


a little more/a little more

Finally, the Devil appealed to the human desire for more and for earthly power. After all he was talking to the human Jesus.

This temptation is rife in the American Church. It is rife in Western culture, in Eastern culture, throughout the whole world. One or the other skewer of this two pronged temptation appeals to people in every situation, every circumstance. And on this temptation many utopias have fallen.

Many men, and women, have bowed down and worshiped the god of this world in their quest for a little more, a little more, only to betrayed by death, at death, and end up in eternity empty handed.

The price is the same today as yesterday -- accept the Lordship of Satan.

He does this more subtly usually, but sometimes he flashes great things and then requires a questionable action. He may even required that we first accept an unacceptable price.

I knew a man who was offered two chances at continued advancement. One would take him overseas and please his family and a bigger advancement would keep him where he lived, but cost him his family. He talked to me about it. He knew the answer God wanted him to give. But he took the other, the greater wealth, greater power, greater, faster advancement, and much greater prestige. Sure enough, almost instantly he lost his family and crushed them in the process.

A few years later not long after I left that place, the prestigious company he worked for collapsed in mere weeks brought down by scandal and left him with nothing - especially without prestige.

These are the ways Satan asks us to bow down to him. And sooner or later, these are the consequences.

An Act of Desperation or Was It Arrogance

I don't know if this last temptation of Jesus was an act of desperation or just a display of the arrogance that got Lucifer, the Angel of Light, cast down from heaven.

Perhaps the Devil thought, "Now God has laid aside his heavenly privileges to live like a man. Here's my chance. I'll tempt him like a man. I'll tempt him just like I have so many kings, pharaohs, wise men, rich men, and poor men. I will promise him the world, all that he can see. The glitter, the power, the wealth, the control, the earthy status. If he has laid aside the divine, now's my chance to get him. Come on Jesus worship me and you can have all of these."

Christ had beaten Satan on every point, in every temptation, so surely this was a last ditch, desperate effort.

Or, maybe with Christ having easily dismissed each temptation so far, Lucifer wanted to show him just how powerful he had become. How much was under his power. How much he possessed as the Prince of This World despite his fall in apparent disgrace. "Look here Son of God, I can give you all of this. My punishment has not hurt me. Look what I have received by the power in my hand. Imagine what you can do as the Son of Man! After all your father has stuck you down here too. Come follow me!"

The Temptation To Seek A Little More

Jesus would latter point to the sparrows of the earth and say, "Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." God has promised to provide for them who worship him and trust fully in his ways. He addresses man's temptation to pursue gain in both the Old Testament and the Gospels. We hear it all the time, but only rarely do his followers trust this grace of "our daily bread" and pursue God as our primary task on earth.

Instead, Satan shows us something more, something that will take just a little more than we have. Another dollar, ten dollars, a hundred dollars, ten thousand dollars or just another million or two and we run off grasping it. Sometimes we reach it and sometimes we don't. The blessed ones, are the ones who don't. For those who grasp their little more get led along one carrot at a time by the Tempter, and before they realize it, if they ever do, they have fallen down at his feet, been captured in the snare of his less than Godly ways, blinded by the thought of a little more.

What makes us willing to follow the deceitfulness of wealth?

Now the things offered, the things even needed, may not be evil in themselves. They may even be the things God wishes to give you. The point of determination becomes "what are you worshiping in that moment" the gold, the power of Satan, or God.

Jesus Answer Should Be Ours:

"You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him."

a difficult thing for Americans

Fire in the sky and mountains... by Joseph DSilva some rights reserved

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