Psalm of the Day: Psalm 36
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 21:16-30
Scripture Reading: Luke 4:1-13
Let us notice the exceeding subtlety of our great spiritual enemy, the devil. Three times we see him assaulting our Lord, and trying to draw Him into sin. Each assault showed the hand of a master in the area of temptation. Each assault was the work of one acquainted with every weak point in human nature by long experience. Each deserves an attentive study.
Satan's first device, was to persuade our Lord to DISTRUST HIS FATHER'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE. He comes to Him, when weak and exhausted with forty days' hunger — and suggests to Him to work a miracle, in order to gratify a carnal appetite. Why should He wait any longer? Why should the Son of God sit still and starve? Why not "command this stone to become bread?"
Satan's second device, was to persuade our Lord to GRASP AT WORLDLY POWER BY UNLAWFUL MEANS. He takes Him to the top of a mountain and shows Him "all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time." All these, he promises to give Him — if He will but "fall down and worship him." The concession was small and the promise was large. Why not by a little momentary act obtain an enormous gain?
Satan's last device, was to persuade our Lord to an act of PRESUMPTION. He takes Him to a pinnacle of the temple and suggests to Him to "cast Himself down." By so doing he would give public proof that He was one sent by God. In so doing He might even depend on being kept from harm. Was there not a text of Scripture, which specially applied to the Son of God, in such a position? Was it not written that "angels should bear Him up?"
On each of these three temptations, it would be easy to write much. Let it be sufficient to remind ourselves, that we see in them, the three favorite weapons of the devil. UNBELIEF, WORLDLINESS, and PRESUMPTION are three grand engines which he is ever working against the soul of man, and by which he is ever enticing him to do what God forbids, and to run into sin.
Let us remember this, and be on our guard. The acts that Satan suggests to us to do, are often in appearance trifling and unimportant. But the principle involved in each of these little acts, we may be sure is nothing short of rebellion against God. Let us not be ignorant of Satan's devices!
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me to be aware that Satan will temp me with unbelief, worldliness, and presumption so that I will not stumble.
Action Plan: Out of unbelief, worldliness, and presumption, which one do I struggle with the most and why? What can I do to overcome this temptation?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.