First Sunday of Lent, February 14 - Devotion

Reading: Luke 4:1-13

from Lynda Linsdsey

Lent: A Journey to the Cross

The King Is Coming; Prepare Ye the Way

Beware Diversions on the Journey

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when He began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph… Luke 3:21-23a

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1-2a

Jesus, thought to be Joseph’s son, is actually God’s beloved son, with whom God is well pleased. Jesus, consistent with the age priests began their work, was thirty when He began ministry. So it seems reasonable that Jesus, affirmed by God, full of the Holy Spirit would immediately begin teaching, preaching, healing. Yet immediately following

Jesus’ baptism the Spirit led Jesus into the desert for forty days of temptation. Why? 

Jesus’ journey to the cross was His mission, His work, His ministry; Jesus’ success refuting Satan’s deceptions becomes our model for refusing to be diverted from our ministry as well. The genealogy in Luke 3:23-37 traces Jesus’ lineage back to the first Adam, through whom sin entered the world. Jesus, the second Adam, the Savior of the world, reverses the curse of sin and death, allowing us life eternal.

Satan’s goal is to divert the course of our journey, to distract our attention from following Christ. Satan fights with lies that sound true; encourages us to embrace discouragement, feelings of worthlessness, negativity and doubt. Satan failed to divert Jesus, and if we cling to the living and written Word, neither shall we be distracted.  Rather, be forewarned, alert and on guard for Satan’s lies and accusations, all the while remembering that greater is Jesus in us than he, Satan, in the world. 

Refute Satan’s whisper in your ear, “Did God really say…?” Counter lies with the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and stand firm. Appropriate the Roman soldier’s battle dress, for he is covered from head to toe in protective gear. The helmet of salvation protects our mind from lies and doubt; the breastplate of God’s righteousness protects our heart; The belt of truth holds the armor in place. The shield of faith deflects Satan’s arrows of accusation and doubt. Footwear allows us to take the Good News wherever our feet carry us. Our weapon? The sword, God’s Word, and His Holy Spirit! And pray.  At all times pray. Pray with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are on a journey to see the King. Be prepared. Refuse all diversions!