Tuesday, June 24, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 171: The Crucible of Christ

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 171, June 23, 2014
Readings: Proverbs 19, Proverbs 20, Deuteronomy 22:13-20, Amos 6, Matthew 4:1-11

Even Jesus was not exempt from the testing of the heart. If you read yesterday's post, I spoke of Proverbs, in which we learned that God seeks to refine us through testing of our hearts. Bringing us closer to Him. Making us more like the image of God he created us to be.

And Jesus was not exempt from this.

Both at the beginning and end of his ministry, he faced severe tests of his heart, his character. But unlike me, he didn't respond with consternation, frustration with God, questioning God's goodness. Instead, he returned to the Word of God, relying on God's promises about who He is.

Jesus responded to Satan's temptations in three different ways, always coming back to who God is.  Try this next time you are tempted. I'm going to try and do the same.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) - God is our provider and he sustains us in the midst of trials. We do not need to break His commandments to provide for ourselves - God will provide everything we need!

"Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (Matthew 4:7) We are not greater than God! Who are we to question His goodness, His faithfulness? So often when I am struggling, I want to doubt God, I want to demand that He do things my way. But when I do that, I am asserting that I know better. That I have a smarter plan than the God of the universe. When I put it that way...I sound a little ridiculous.

"You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." (Matthew 4:10) Nothing is greater than God. No prize we could earn, no possessions we could have, no prestige, no honor, is higher than God. But so often the test on me is whether or not I will choose Him. Whether or not I will give him the highest honor. He alone deserves the glory.

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