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It’s Time to Sync up.

January 12, 2012

I was a little late getting into the iPod craze.  I’m not ashamed of that…okay, I’m a little bit ashamed…but I’ve never pretended to be someone on the cutting edge of technology…I tend to fall somewhere in between the second and third generation when it comes to new gadgets.  But eventually…I get there.

 If you will, take a minute and read through Luke 4:1-13.

 When you read through this passage, it’s worth noting that the last thing we see happening in the life of Jesus, just before this, over in 3:21-22, is His baptism in the Jordan.  You probably remember that scene.  The sky opened up and it says, “The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove.”  Then it says that a voice came from heaven that said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”  So, this is the Trinity on full display…and it is an incredible scene.

 Each of the temptations is for Jesus to find fulfillment in something other than the Father.  So in verse 3, the devil is tempting Him to perform a miracle in order to serve His own self-interest.  In verses 5-6, the devil is tempting Him with power.  (It’s like a really dark version of that scene from The Lion King when the old lion tells the young lion that everything he sees can be his.)  And then in verse 9, Jesus is tempted with personal security.  Each one of these; comfort, power, and security are all things that we are tempted with every day.  Seriously, you are tempted to indulge instead of give.  You are tempted to rule instead of serve.  You are tempted to test God instead of trust God.  And in each case, Jesus responds with the same message.

 Now, it’s interesting that the devil quotes Scripture.  Maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word…it’s a little scary that the devil quotes Scripture.  But he also reveals some of his tactics that he uses in his attacks on us.  He tries to get Jesus to doubt.  So, if you remember that the last thing we see happening, directly before this, is the Father speaking…verbally from heaven…affirming that Jesus of Nazareth is His Son…the devil’s primary tactic seems to be to get Jesus to doubt that.  He says, twice, “If you are the Son of God.”  And isn’t that how it works in your life too?  You feel a closeness with God…a communion with God…and then temptation creeps in.  The next thing you know, you find yourself doubting the authenticity of that relationship.  You start chalking it up to the music, or the lighting, or just being emotional at the time.  How easily we forget that we are children of God…not because we are so good…but because we were chosen before the foundation of the earth…to be “holy and blameless before him.” (Eph. 1:4) Because we are so forgetful, we often give in…and temptation progresses into sin.

 One of my favorite things about the iPod is when it syncs up with the computer.  You plug that little white cord in and it just gets right.  It remembers stuff it had forgotten…it receives new information…it gets synced.  That’s one of the things we need to do in our lives.  We need to plug in…we need to sync up…with Jesus.  Each time the devil tempted Him, Jesus responded with Scripture.  Now, that’s not a trivial thing.  That’s not Jesus showing off His knowledge of the Word.  Jesus is displaying the power found in the Word for us.  He’s setting the example.  And for you and I, the place for us to sync up, is with the Scriptures…the source…that we might know Him…that we might live in Him…that we might be reminded of His promises…and learn more of His grace and mercy…each day.

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