Journey with Jesus Lent Devotional Week 2
Week 2 ┃ Sheila Sekela
Jesus answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ – Matthew 4:4
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ – Matthew 4:7
Lent is a season of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, traditionally by fasting from something in order to focus on prayer. How appropriate, then, that we look at Jesus’ 40 day fast and testing in the wilderness.
Looking at the first verse above, have you ever wondered why it was wrong for Jesus to turn the stones into bread? I have. He was hungry, He had the power to do it, why not? But I love Jesus’ answer to Satan, and in it I think we find a clue.
Jesus was focusing on His Father, not His own desires. The Holy Spirit had led Him into that wilderness, the Holy Spirit would lead Him out. Because He knew God’s Word, He had an answer for the very real temptation to take matters into His own hands. The second temptation even used scripture as an excuse for sin, but again Jesus used God’s word to battle that temptation.
That’s what I love about the Bible, in it are the answers we need to face the testing in our lives. The more I study God’s Word, the more I love it and trust it. If you are new to it, the Bible can seem intimidating and maybe even overwhelming, but just jump in! Find an easy to read translation and get in the habit of reading it regularly. If you are so inclined, there are many tools out there to guide you. There are topical studies and individual book-of-the-Bible studies, lots of ways to make getting into God’s Word more accessible.
Scripture tells us that God’s Word “never returns to Him void” (Isaiah 55:11), and that it is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training” (2 Timothy 3:16). I see those as promises, my friends! Studying scripture, meditating on it, or even just reading it is never a waste of time.
Perhaps daily Bible reading can be one way for us to prepare our hearts for Easter as we participate in a Lenten fast. Fasting just to be fasting may not do much for you, it never has for me. Substituting something that focuses our minds and hearts on the Lord may begin a habit that will bless our lives in ways we cannot foresee. That is my prayer.