How appropriate! The first display of Jesus' authority and power is His mastery over the devil. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery."
I always delight in the fact that Jesus displays who He is by the power of the Word. The Living Word used the written Word to defeat the temptation of Satan. 1 John 3:8 tells us "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."
Jesus, Your example of how to deal with temptation is a constant reminder to me of the power of Your Word. The same voice that spoke creation into existence rebuked the devil and his temptation. I desire to know Your Word, so I too may respond appropriately to temptation. Thank You for humbling Yourself to become not just my propitiation, but my example.
What a devastating description of the "wicked person...the one who rejected God" (Job 18:21 NLT). Although Bildad misapplies this description of wickedness to Job, it is a terrifying picture for those who do not know God. Their light is put out. The snares and traps set by the wicked ultimately catch them. Terror and destruction are their ultimate destiny. Even their memory and name perish. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). It would seem such a vivid presentation would lead to the question "What must I do to be saved?"
Jesus, how well does Your church present this description of the end to those who reject You? Forgive us for diminishing the consequences to those who reject Jesus as Lord and Savior. Teach us to apply this truth accurately and appropriately. Teach us to speak it in truth and love.
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Sexual immorality of this sort is not new. We just read about such a case in the story of Rueben and Bilhah. Paul denounces it as a sin not even tolerated by unbelievers. But the church at Corinth is bragging about their tolerance and acceptance. In verse three, Paul says he has already passed judgment on the matter. It is important to note the Greek word for judgment used here is exactly the same word used in Matthew 7:1-2, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Paul's instructions may seem harsh. But we must ask ourselves, "How pure is our Savior? How important is the purity of His bride?"
If I love Jesus Christ and his bride, I should care for her as He does. If a professed believer is living a life of sin, I should love him enough, based on our mutual love of God, to warn of the inherent danger of his choices.
Gracious Loving Father, I am grateful for all You do for Your children. Thank You for loving enough to discipline us as we need. May I love Your children as You do. Holy Spirit, please teach me to know how and when to judge appropriately.