- October 2019
Matthew 4:4 (After fasting and being tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread) Jesus answered, “It is written (Deuteronomy 8:3): ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
God sent Jesus to the wilderness, where he fasted for 40 days – feeding only on His relationship with God. While He was there, Satan tempted Him to turn Stones into bread. In response, Jesus reminded Satan and us that we need to feed our spirits and not just our bodies.
Americans have so many dietary concerns. We watch for Genetically modified organisms (GMO). We watch for herbicides, pesticides, sweeteners, additives, and allergens. Do we watch as closely what we feed our spirits?
What we feed our bodies helps determine our energy level, concentration, sleep, digestion, and well-being. What we feed our spirits affects our bodies as well as our mood, coping ability, and many of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
As I observe news, political discussions, social media posts, and general conversation, I notice a need for extra attention to our spiritual diets. We need to take time for prayer, scripture reading, and Christian fellowship in order to tame our tongues and feed our sense of hope, faith, patience, kindness, generosity, and love for our neighbors.
One tendency I see more and more is that of becoming offended when people state opinions different than our own. The Greek word for “offend” is the word skandalon, meaning to trap or to place a snare in someone’s way. So when we become offended by another’s words or actions, we have fallen into a trap much like the one Satan tried to set for Jesus. When we carefully examine what God has to say about offense, we can avoid the trap.
John Bevere has written a book called, “The Bait of Satan,” in which he examines what God’s word says about avoiding the devil’s trap of offense. I hope that you will ask God to steer you away from the spirit of offense that is so prevalent, and that you will look to God’s word for help. As part of our spiritual diet, I would like you to join me in a study of scripture guided by Bevere’s book. I plan to offer the study on Sunday afternoons at 4pm. Watch for a sign up sheet on the fellowship hall table soon.