Satan’s Residence

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/16/2022 8:00am

43-45 “When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.

“That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.”

-Matthew 12:43-45 The Message

Verse 43: “Now when the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.

Verse 44: Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.

Verse 45: Then it goes and brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Verses 43-45 studies: Jesus describes the behavior of the nation of Israel and religious leaders. Cleaning up life without filling it with God leaves a lot of room for Satan to take residence. In the book of Ezra, it is recorded how people rid themselves of idolatry but failed to replace it with the love of God, and obedience to him. The first step is ridding ourselves of sin; the second step is filling our lives with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Vacant and complacent people are easy targets for Satan.

Cross References

12:43

Luke 11:24-26

12:45

Mark 5:9; Luke 11:26; Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:20

Father, let me be transparent. I am one of those people who don’t fill up enough of you, which is why Satan entered in some dark times. I pray that I continue to read your Word in other ways. I failed to do that the last couple of weeks, especially during the holiday weeks. I pray we can stay on your Word for those in my shoes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Healing of the Withered Hand

Monday, January 10, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/10/2022

11-14 He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out, and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.

-Matthew 12:11-14 The Message

Verse 11: But He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?

Verse 12: How much more valuable then is a person than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Verse 13: Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.

Verse 14: But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him as to how they might destroy Him.

Verses 10-12 studies: The Pharisees placed their law above human need. The situation showed that Jesus performed a miracle, and the miracle he performed was to a man with a withered hand. Which did the Pharisees care about? They didn’t care about the withered hand; they cared about Jesus possibly breaking the law. So that’s what the Pharisees did, place their law over human need. What’s your attitude toward others? If your convictions don’t allow you to help people, your convictions may not be in line with God’s Word. Don’t allow dogma to blind you to human needs.

Verse 14 study: The Pharisees plotted Jesus’ death because they were angry. Jesus overruled their authority (Luke 6:11) and exposed their evil attitudes in front of a crowd in the synagogue. Jesus showed them that the Pharisees were more loyal to the religious system than God.

Cross References

12:11

Luke 14:5

12:12

Matthew 10:31; Luke 14:1-6

12:13

Matthew 8:3; Acts 28:8

12:14

Matthew 26:4; Mark 14:1; Luke 22:2; John 7:30, 44; 8:59; 10:31, 39; 11:53

All of these miracles should give us hope and reason to believe in you. It should also provide us with reason to share the Word with others. So, father, I pray that we help others when it is time and teach others that wrong your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Better Spiritual Heritage?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/04/2022 8:00am

7-10 When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. “What did you expect when you went out to see him in the wild? A weekend camper? Hardly. What then? A sheik in silk pajamas? Not in the wilderness, not by a long shot. What then? A prophet? That’s right, a prophet! Probably the best prophet you’ll ever hear. He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, ‘I’m sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.’

11-14 “Let me tell you what’s going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer, but in the kingdom, he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him. For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God’s kingdom. But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom. Looked at in this way, John is the ‘Elijah’ you’ve all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.

-Matthew 11:7-14 The Message

Jesus’ Tribute to John

Verse 7: As these disciples of John were going away, Jesus began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

Verse 8: But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!

Verse 9: But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.

Verse 10: This is the one about whom it is written:

‘Behold, I am sending My messenger ahead of You,

Who will prepare Your way before You.’

Verse 11: Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Verse 11 study: John is known to have really fulfilled his God-given purpose. But, in God’s kingdom, all members will have a more extraordinary spiritual heritage than John because they will have known and seen Christ and finished his work on the cross.

Verse 12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been treated violently, and violent men take it by force.

Verse 12 study: There are three common views of this verse.

  1. Jesus refers to a vast movement towards God, the momentum that began John’s preaching.
  2. He may have reflected the Jewish activists’ expectation that God’s kingdom would come through a violent overthrow of Rome.
  3. He may have meant that entering God’s kingdom takes courage, unwavering faith, determination, and endurance because of the growing opposition leveled at Jesus’ followers.

Verse 13: For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

Verse 14: If you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.

Verse 14 study: John is not a resurrected Elijah, but he did take on Elijah’s prophetic role as boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God (Malachi 3:1).

Cross References

11:7

Matthew 3:1

11:9

Matthew 14:5;21:26; Luke 1:76; 20:6

11:10

Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:2

11:12

Luke 16:16

11:14

Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; Luke 1:17; John 1:21

Father, we know John as to be the person to be the only person to fulfill the God-given purpose. So, therefore, I pray that even if we don’t know our purpose, you will give it to us. I pray we are open-minded and are willing to fulfill it with the preparations you give us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Study of Giving

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 01/02/2022 8:00am

40-42 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

-Matthew 10:40-42 The Message

The Reward for Service

Verse 40: “The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

Verse 41: The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; the one who receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person shall receive a righteous person’s reward.

Verse 42: And whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

Verse 42 study: Our love for God can be measured by how we treat others. Jesus’ example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service. A child won’t or can’t return a favor. God notices even good deeds we do or don’t do as if he is the one receiving them. What can you do that is unselfish for someone today? Even if no one sees you doing a generous act, it is okay; God sees it all.

Cross References

10:40

Matthew 18:5; Luke 10:16; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 12:44

10:41

Matthew 25:44, 45

10:42

Mark 9:41

Father, thank you for your generosity. Because of you, we have an example set for us on how to be generous with our time. I pray we can continue giving our time, especially when it is someone in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Study of Patience and Faith

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 12/26/2021 8:00am

Become What You Believe

27-28 As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!”

29-31 He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. Then Jesus became very stern. “Don’t let a soul know how this happened.” But they were hardly out the door before they started blabbing it to everyone they met.

32-33 Right after that, as the blind men were leaving, a man who had been struck speechless by an evil spirit was brought to Jesus. As soon as Jesus threw the evil tormenting spirit out, the man talked away just as if he’d been talking all his life. The people were up on their feet applauding: “There’s never been anything like this in Israel!”

34 The Pharisees were left sputtering, “Smoke and mirrors. It’s nothing but smoke and mirrors. He’s probably made a pact with the Devil.”

-Matthew 9:27-34 The Message

Verse 27: As Jesus went on from there, two men who were blind followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Verse 27 study: The way of addressing Jesus by “Jesus the Messiah” is known to us because it is the Messiah. “Son of David” is the same way. He is known as the descendant of David found in Isaiah 9:7, but this is the first time it is being used in the book of Matthew. Jesus’ ability to give sight to the blind is found in Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7.

Verse 28: And after He entered the house, the men who were blind came up to Him, and Jesus *said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They *said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

Verse 28 study: The blind men were persistent. They went to the house where Jesus was staying. They all know Jesus can heal them, and they went through measures to make sure no one stopped them from finding him. This is a real example of action in faith. If you believe Jesus is the answer to all your needs, no one shouldn’t stop you from reaching out to him.

Verse 29: Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done for you according to your faith.”

Verse 30: And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows about this!”

Verse 30 study: Jesus did tell them to keep quiet about his healings because he didn’t want to be known as only a miracle worker. He healed because he had compassion for people and wanted to bring spiritual healing to a sin-sick world.

Verses 27-30 studies: The test here is faith. That’s why Jesus didn’t respond to the blind men’s requests when they asked. So Jesus waited to see if they would have faith in waiting. But, unfortunately, not everyone believes God will help. So Jesus continued to wait and question the men to understand and increase their faith. Consider this when you believe God is slow to answer your prayers; he may be testing you as he did the blind men. Do you think God can help you? Do you really want to be helped?

Verse 31: But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout that land.

Verse 32: And as they were going out, behold, a demon-possessed man who was unable to speak was brought to Him.

Verse 32 study: Demonic forces were active while Jesus was on earth. We can’t be sure why or how demon possession occurs, but we know it causes physical and mental health problems. In this case, the demon made man unable to talk.

Verse 33: And after the demon was cast out, the man who was previously unable to speak talked, and the crowds were amazed and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

Verse 34: But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Verse 34 study: In chapter 9, we learn Jesus is accused of four different sins according to the Pharisees. Blasphemy, befriending outcasts, impiety, and serving Satan. Matthew shows how Jesus was slandered by those who should have received him most gladly. So why did the Pharisees do this?

  1. Jesus bypassed their religious authority.
  2. He weakened control over people.
  3. He challenged their beliefs.
  4. He exposed their insecure motives.

Meanwhile, while the Pharisees were questioning, debating, and scrutinizing Jesus, they failed to see that people’s lives were changing right in front of them. People were being healed. Their skepticism is based on evidence that is insufficient and by their jealousy of Jesus’ popularity.

Cross References

9:27

Matthew 1:1; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30; 21; 21:9; 15; 22:42; Mark 10:47, 48; 12:35; Luke 18:39; 20:41

9:29

Matthew 8:13; 9:22

9:30

Matthew 8:4

9:31

Matthew 4:24; 9:26; 14:1; Mark 1:28, 45; Luke 4:14, 37; 5:15; 7:17

9:32

Matthew 12:22, 24; Matthew 4:24

9:33

Mark 2:12

9:34

Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15; John 7:20

Faith and patience are some of the biggest concerns on earth. If people are not patient with themselves, how can they be patient around family, friends, and strangers? So, father, I pray today that this lesson can teach some structure of faith and patience to begin with. Let this be the life-changer in their life. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

The Study of Hanging Around Sinners

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 12/23/2021

Thursday, December 23, 2021

9 Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” Matthew stood up and followed him.

10-11 Later, when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and misfits?”

12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”

-Matthew 9:9-13 The Message

Matthew Called

Verse 9: As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting in the tax collector’s office, and He *said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.

Verse 9 study: Matthew is a Jew appointed by the Romans to be the area’s tax collector. He collected taxes from citizens and from merchants that were passing through town. Tax collectors take a commission on the taxes they collected, but most went overboard by charging too much and keeping the profit. If you wonder why most people don’t like tax collectors, that’s why. Their reputation for cheating and their support for Rome.

Matthew didn’t hesitate when Jesus called him to be one of his disciples; Matthew left a promising career to be with Jesus. God will call you to follow and obey; the question is, do you do it as Matthew did it with abandonment? Sometimes, these decisions are painful and difficult choices. But, like Matthew, we must decide to leave those things that keep us from following Christ.

Verse 10: Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and began dining with Jesus and His disciples.

Verse 11: And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”

Verse 12: But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.

Verse 13: Now go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, rather than sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Verses 10-13 studies: Jesus hurt his reputation when he visited Matthew. Matthew cheated the people; Jesus found and changed him. We shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to people living in sin because God’s message can change anyone.

Verses 11-12 studies: The Pharisees always tried to trap Jesus, and they believed that the people he hung out with were a perfect opportunity. They were concerned with their own appearance of holiness that helping others. It happens with criticism, not encouragement, outward disrespect than practical help. God is concerned for everyone, which includes the sinful and hurting ones. The Christian life is not about a popularity contest. In following Jesus’ example, we should shame the gospel with the poor, immoral, lonely, and outcast and not just with the rich, moral, popular, and powerful.

Verse 13 study: For those who are sure they are righteous can’t be saved because the first step in following Jesus is acknowledging our need and admitting we don’t have all the answers.

Cross Reference

9:9

Matthew 10:3, Mark 2:14; 3:18, Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; Matthew 8:22

9:11

Matthew 11:19, Luke 5:30; 15:2

9:13

Mathew 12:7, Hosea 6:6, 1 Timothy 1:15

Father, I know some people who separate themselves from sinners. They talk down to them; they constantly are wrapped in their religious minds instead of being themselves. I pray today that the lesson of Jesus eating with sinners doesn’t make you wrong. On the contrary, it makes you a better person because you are invested in a different lifestyle. Let us be humble enough to continue sharing your Word with others as it can be more potent than we think. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leprosy Miracle

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 12/15/2021 12:00pm

He Carried Our Diseases

8 1-2 Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and dropped to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.”

3-4 Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.”

-Matthew 8:1-4 The Message

Jesus Cleanses a Man with Leprosy

8 Verse 1 When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.

Verse 2 And a man with leprosy came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Verse 3: Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, his leprosy was cleansed.

Verses 2-3 studies: Like AIDS, Leprosy was a terrifying disease; there is no known cure. In Jesus’ day, the Greek word for leprosy was used for various diseases, and some forms were contagious. If a person contracted the contagious one, a priest declared him a leper and banished them from home and city. The leper would be sent to a community with other lepers and live there until they got better or died. When the leper begged Jesus to heal him, Jesus reached out and touched him, even though his skin was covered with the dread disease. Another incurable disease is sin; we all have that. Like Christ touched and healed the leper, he would need to do the same with us with sin and restore us to real living. But we have to realize like the person with leprosy realized he can’t cure himself and that Christ is the only one that can help.

Verse 4: And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Verse 4 study: The law required a healed leper to be examined by the priest (Leviticus 14). Jesus wanted the man to give his story firsthand to the priest to prove his leprosy was gone entirely so that he could be restored to his community.

Cross References

Matthew 8:2:

Matthew 9:18; 15:25; 18:26; 20:20, John 9:38, Acts 10:25

Matthew 8:3:

Matthew 11:5; Luke 4:27

Matthew 8:4:

Matthew 9:30; 12:16; 17:9; Mark 1:44; 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; 6:30; 9:9, Luke 4:41, 8:56; 9:21; Mark 1:44; Luke 4:14; 17:14; Levicitus 13:49, 14:2

Father, as we study miracles, I thank you for diagnosing another miracle. I have had a tumor since my childhood that I never knew about, and for it to not be cancerous is a miracle. I can’t be anything but thankful because I was blinded by it. You weren’t blinded by it and made sure that your works showed. If anybody doesn’t think it is a miracle, I can’t convince them otherwise. My childhood was over 20 years ago. Just like what you have done in the Bible and the many stories we will be reading will show your works and how you can be trusted. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Study of the Golden Rule

Friday, December 10, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 12/10/2021 1:00pm

7-11 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets, and this is what you get.

-Matthew 7:7-12 The Message

Prayer and the Golden Rule

Verse 7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Verse 8: For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.

Verses 7-8 studies: Jesus tells us to be persistent in pursuing God. What hurts people the most in seeing God work is only after a few half-hearted efforts in asking, seeking, and knocking is where most of us conclude that God can’t be found. But if you know and understand God, you will see that it takes faith, focus, and following through, and Jesus assures us we will be rewarded. So continue to ask him for knowledge, patience, wisdom, love, and understanding, and he will give them to you.

Verse 9: Or what person is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone?

Verse 10: Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?

Verses 9-10 studies: The example given in these two verses, the child asking his Father for bread and fish is good and necessary. It is a need, not a want. It’s part of the four basics of living. Now, the child also asked for a poisonous snake. Ask yourself, would the Father grant this request? God knows he was praying for snakes, for God does not give him what he asked for, even though he was persistent in prayer. This is why it is good to learn to know God as a loving Father. We understand what is good for us, and then he grants it.

Verse 11: So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Verse 11 study: Christ in this verse shows us the heart of God the Father. God is not selfish, begrudging, or stingy. We don’t have to beg when we come with our requests. He is a loving Father who understands, cares, and comforts. If we took the time to be kind, imagine how God, the Creator of kindness, can be.

Jesus used the expression, “If you then, being evil” to contrast sinful and fallible human beings with the holy and perfect God.

Verse 12: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Verse 12 study: This verse is known as the Golden Rule. It is stated negatively in other religions as “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.” Jesus made this more positive and significant. It’s not hard to refrain from harming others; it is more challenging to take the initiative in doing something good for them. The Golden Rule is what Jesus formulated. It is the foundation of active goodness and mercy, the kind of love God shows to us every day. Think of a good and merciful action you can take today.

Father, let us remember the Golden Rule as Jesus taught it and not as other religions know it. It is your formula for our success. Without that, there is no other way to apply the Golden Rule. This is why knowing you and having a relationship with you is essential. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Why Worry?

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 12/8/2021 8:00am

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

-Matthew 6:30-34 The Message

Verse 30: But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow, is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Verse 31: Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’

Verse 32: For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Verse 33: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.

Verse 33: To seek his kingdom and His righteousness means to turn to God for help first. This will help fill your thoughts with these desires and take his character for your pattern, serve and obey him in everything. What is important to you? People, goals, other desires all compete for priority. Any one of these can bump God out of first place if you choose to give him first place in every area of your life.

Verse 34: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Verse 34 study: Planning for tomorrow is productive. Worrying about tomorrow is counterproductive. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, schedules, and trusting God’s guidance. When it is done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed with fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.

Father, the day’s question is, why worry when you are in our lives? Some find it hard to trust you when consumed with thoughts that may not go right. I pray today that the worriers will give you a chance, give you time to work all of it out and that their patience and faithful in you will pay off when they are productive. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Jesus’ Temptation

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 11/16/2021 2:30pm

The Test

4 1-3 Next, Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”

4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

5-6 For the second test, the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”

-Matthew 4:1-6 The Message

The Temptation of Jesus

4 Verse 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Verse 1 study: The devil is doing what he can to show that he can outdo Jesus, outpower him. But what Satan tries to do shows that Jesus is the Son of God since he can overcome Satan’s way of tempting him. You will learn that a person hasn’t demonstrated true obedience if you never had the opportunity to disobey. Deuteronomy 8:2 talks about God leading Israel into the wilderness and testing them. God tests people to see if they will obey or not. But you won’t know when which is why it is crucial to be alert and prepared. Your convictions are strong only if they hold up under pressure.

Satan was successful in tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden. Out in the wilderness, Jesus is being tempted. Satan is the fallen angel. Be reminded that he is not real, not symbolic, and always fighting against those who follow God and obey him. But what is real is Satan’s way of tempting you, and he is always trying to find a way to get us to live his way or our way and not God’s way. Jesus will reign over all creations, but Satan keeps butting in and tries to force his hand and get him to declare kingship prematurely. If Jesus had given in, his mission on earth, to die for our sins and allow us to have eternal life, would have been lost. When sin comes and is strong, think about why it is happening. It can be Satan blocking you from God’s purposes in your life or for someone else’s life.

The temptation by the devil shows that Jesus is human. It also showed that Jesus had the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for his ministry. This is a true example of how to answer when we are tempted. This is the sinlessness of Jesus; he faced temptation but would not give in. Above all else, he didn’t sin! You may feel dirty after being tempted, but it is not a sin to be tempted. It’s only a sin when acting on it. Read Jesus’ temptation as a reminder of how to respond if we find it hard.

Jesus was tempted in one of the most vulnerable spots of all. He wasn’t tempted at the temple or baptism. He was tempted in the wilderness, alone, tired, hungry, and again, vulnerable. Does this show that Satan knew what he was doing? Taking advantage of Jesus, or trying to because he was alone and tired. Vulnerability can be physical or emotional such as lonely, tired, making big decisions, faced with uncertainty. Satan also likes to get us through our strengths because of our pride. The goal is to guard against those attacks at all times.

Verses 1-10 studies: There are three areas Satan’s temptations focus on:

  1. Physical needs and desires.
  2. Possessions and power.
  3. Pride (1 John 2:15-16).

Jesus didn’t give in. Hebrews 4:15; “Jesus has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” He knows what we go through, our experiences, and he wants to help in our battles. So when you are tempted, turn to Jesus for strength.

Verse 2: And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.

Verse 3: And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Verse 4: But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.'”

Verses 3-4 studies: Jesus went forty days of being weak and hungry. He divided his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for food. It is okay to be hungry; it was just the wrong timing since he was fasting in the wilderness. His purpose was not to eat, only fast. Jesus gave up his unlimited, independent use of his power to experience humanity fully; he did not change stone to bread using his power. We may have times to satisfy a normal desire in the wrong way and wrong time. Like sex before marriage or stealing food, we do these things in the wrong way. God wants you to do it right and at the right time.

Jesus resisted the temptation because he knew scripture, and he obeyed it. Ephesians 6:17 say that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Learning Bible verses help us resist Satan’s attacks, but we should obey the Bible. Satan memorized scriptures but didn’t obey them. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us resist and follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s.

Verse 5: Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

Verse 6: and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:

‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’;

and

‘On their hands, they will lift You up,

So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.'”

Verse 5 study: The temple was the religious center of the Jewish nation and where the people expected the Messiah to arrive (Malichi 3:1). Herod renovated the temple in hopes of gaining the Jews’ confidence. The temple was the tallest building in the area, and the pinnacle was probably the corner wall that jutted out of the hillside, overlooking the valley below. At this spot, Jesus saw all of Jerusalem behind him and the country for miles in front of him.

Verses 5-7 studies: God is not our magician in the sky ready to perform our requests. Jesus told Satan not to put God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16). Instead, ask God to do something to prove his existence or his love for you. Jesus taught the parable that people who don’t believe what is written in the Bible wouldn’t believe even if someone were to come back from the dead to warn them (Luke 16:31). God tells us to live by faith, not by magic. Don’t try to manipulate God by asking for signs.

Verse 6 study: The Devil used scripture to convince Jesus to sin. Friends and associates will present attractive, convincing reasons to do something you know isn’t right. They will find Bible verses to support those reasons or viewpoints. Make sure to continue to study the Bible, especially in a broader context of specific verses, to understand God’s principles for living and what he wants for your life. If you understood the whole Bible, you could see the interpretation errors when people take verses out of context and twist them to say what they want.

Father, there is a lot on the teaching of temptation. Thank you for giving us the lesson of temptation through Jesus. If there is anybody we should learn from, it is from Jesus. Let us use the lessons and apply them to our lives today. In Jesus’ name. Amen!