Devotion for the First Sunday in Lent

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. ~ Matthew 4:1-11

Imagine going forty days without food! At that point, most of us would easily be tempted by the devil’s tricks. After all, as God, Jesus could turn stones into bread. Yet Jesus reminded Satan of what the Word of God says. He resisted the temptation to ease His hunger pangs, and He resisted the temptation to demonstrate His power or to trade His heavenly glory for earthly glory. May we be strong enough to withstand temptation!

Lord, I won’t be on a total fast for the entirety of Lent, yet it is all too easy for me to yield to Satan’s temptations in many ways. Empower me by the Holy Spirit to respond with, “Go, Satan!” Give me a hunger for Your Word so I know exactly what to tell the devil: “It is written…” In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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