E-votional - Temptation Abounds
February 15, 2002

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)


   Temptation, is salt to the man dying of thirst. It is short lived and offers instant gratification. It meets the primal needs, while neglecting the needs of the soul. It is tricky, yet foolish. Power is present, yet the power is destructive and leads to ruin. Selfish in nature, temptation consumes and leaves nothing. Temptation abounds in our everyday living.

   Hear the Good News, while temptation is in our waking and our laying down, never leaving, we do have help and direction, this is God. Temptation comes to our sight when we are weary and tired. Jesus, after His time in the wilderness, a time of preparation and prayer find the Tempter ready and waiting for Him. Tired and hungry, Jesus was offered a quick fix of rest relief and power. But, as the outward appearance of each of these offerings may have seemed pleasing and fulfilling, they were shallow and of no more depth than a shadow. But the question is how? How is it that Jesus was able to face these events. in perhaps one of his weakest moments? Fully human, he was faced with the temptation that was truly testing and attractive. During this time in the wilderness, during a fast, it is most important to be in prayer, to be in communication with God, both speaking and listening. It is then important ot take that first step forward. Lent just began Wednesday, many of us picked up an important practice and gave up something, hoping to use the practice to refocus ourselves on God. Yesterday was perhaps the hardest of days. But if you got past yesterday, can go through today, tomorrow will seem that much more manageable. Friends, temptation is always there, it abounds, but by God's grace and strength, we can make it, we can make it together.  


   Gracious God, giving things up and starting anew can be, it is hard. Change is difficult, bad habits or practices while destructive, are familiar. Help me as I walk through the wilderness, as I face temptation, and seek to remain focused on You. Lent is a time of return, help me to return to You. I know You to be faithful in Your love and care for me, let me share in that powerful understanding. Thank You for all that You have done in my life and all You will continue to do, for ask this through Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.