Tuesday, July 19, 2005

No Shortcuts

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus began His ministry in a wilderness and He ended it in a garden, and both places were places of intense struggle.

In the wilderness, the struggle came from external forces playing on His internal needs - His hunger.

In the garden, the struggle came from an internal turmoil - the dread of separation from the Father, and was compounded by external forces - the impending crucifixion.

In the wilderness Jesus faced what has often been called “the three types of sins in the world.” 1 John 2:16 calls them “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” All of temptation and all of sin falls into one of these three categories.

But take note of how Jesus dealt with it - He quoted Scripture:
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” and finally,
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”

Not only did He quote scripture, but each of these scriptures comes from the book of Deuteronomy - the book of the Law.

Psalms 1 says “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

What this simply tells us is that there are no shortcuts. If Jesus had taken any of these offers, the rest of the book would never have been written, for there would have been no salvation.

There are no shortcuts for doing the right thing, in the right way.

“He took
no shortcuts.
He said
no ‘yeah, buts’
He was
all God and all man all the time
all the time…”

Betty J. Newman © July 2005


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