Monday, January 31, 2011

Temptation of Christ: Third Temptation

Third temptation:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory in a moment of time, and he said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. All these I will give you, if you, then, will fall down and worship me, it will all be yours." [Blended Gospels]
This last temptation had to do with compromise, avoiding the heavy cost of the cross in order to achieve God's stated aim. Jesus was at the worst part of His suffering, physically and emotionally. As awful as it was, He knew that He was going to have to suffer far, far worse, beatings and the cross, before those kingdoms would be won.

The devil was saying hey, Jesus! We could end this right now. We could end all this awful suffering you’re going through, we could just skip the cross. Think about that for a minute. Just one little shortcut, one little compromise, and look how much could be gained, a win-win for everyone.

Jesus knew that above all things God is pure and His ways are pure. Jesus refused to use anything that lacked integrity, that was not righteous. He refused to compromise His integrity and principles, even if it meant intense suffering.
Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" [Blended Gospels]
The devil hadn’t said a word about service. But Jesus knew that who you worship is who you will also serve.

* It’s compromising with God’s integrity when you buy into a way of thinking that isn’t all completely true, but most of it is really good, so you go with it because you feel you could use it to get people interested in the Bible.

* It’s compromising with God’s purity when you tell yourself you’re going to have to sin a little bit to get involved with a group of people and be accepted by them, but you’re doing it for the Lord so you can bring them the gospel.

You say let’s not have such high standards, let’s relax a little with all this doctrine and righteous living. People would be a lot more interested in Christianity if it didn’t seem so narrow. No,
God’s work must be done God’s way.
To do something for God without keeping absolute integrity would be to lose everything.

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