January 5, 2018, 12:00 AM

The Word

“God, I don’t care much for writing.” That is the statement I have been making to God over the last few months simply because it’s the truth.  Why have I been telling God this, you might ask? It’s because several months ago I felt the Lord leading me to start doing some writing or blogging or whatever you call it.  When He did I got this sickening, dreadful feeling in my stomach. Why? Because “God, I don’t care much for writing.”  However, through my journey as a believer I have come to learn that when God commands or speaks you better listen, otherwise you will be miserable.  So, I’ve decided to be obedient even though “God, I don’t care much for writing.” 

Once I decided that I was going to take this task on the question became “God, what do I write about?”  I began to spend time seeking the Lord’s guidance in this matter and in the last few days I believe He has given me some direction.  The church I have the privilege of pastoring (Blanchard First Baptist) is reading through the Bible in a year.  One of the things that I will write about this coming year, for sure, will be some of the passages that will come from our readings.  The rest of the stuff that I write about will be just as much a surprise to you as it will be to me.

So, here it goes.  This past week I read Matthew 4:1-11.  After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days and nights to be tempted by Satan.  At the end of the 40 days Jesus finds himself being tempted by Satan and with each temptation Jesus overcomes Satan’s temptation with scripture.  As I was reading this passage there were three things that jumped out at me when it comes to God’s Word.

1.  The Word of God is important to the believer (Matthew 4:1-4).  In verse 3 Satan, knowing that Jesus is hungry having not eaten for 40 days, suggest that Jesus turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger.  Jesus immediately quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 to combat Satan’s temptation and in so doing revealed that feeding on and obeying God’s Word is more important than consuming physical food. In fact, it is our food (John 4:32–34).  In other words, it is better to obey God’s Word than to satisfy human desires.

2.  Context of Scripture is important (Matthew 4:5-7).  In seminary I learned that a text without a context is a pretext.  The point of that statement is that it is dangerous to pull a verse and twist it to fit your situation.  A verse must always be taken in the context in which it was written.  We must be careful not to separate a verse or passage from the rest of the scriptures, but rather we should always compare spiritual truths with other spiritual truths in the scriptures.

When tempting Jesus for the second time this is what Satan did when he quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus.  In the Bible Exposition Commentary Warren Wiersbe says that “one can prove almost anything by the Bible if we isolate texts from the contexts and turn them into pretexts.  Satan had cleverly omitted the phrase “in all Thy ways” when he quoted from Psalm 91. When the child of God is in the will of God, the Father will protect him. He watches over those who are “in His ways.”’ In other words, according to the psalmist, a person is protected when he is following the Lord’s will. For Jesus to cast Himself down from the temple would not have been God’s will.

Again, we see that Jesus combated Satan’s temptation by quoting scripture.  This time Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 and in so doing reminds Satan, as well as the reader, that it would not be right to test God and expect Him to do something when one is out of His will.  We tempt God when we try to make Him contradict His Word.  So, context of scripture is important.  It is important for us as believers to read all Scripture, and study all God has to say, for all of it is profitable for daily life (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

3.  The Word of God is powerful (Matthew 4:8-11).  In the third temptation Jesus is offered a fast pass to the Kingdom by Satan.  Jesus could have enjoyed all the glory without enduring the suffering.  If Jesus would have agreed, then He would have bypassed the cross and we would have remained lost in our sins.  But, Jesus knew this was not God’s will and not only that Jesus did not need Satan’s offer. The Father had already promised Jesus the kingdom (Psalm 2:8). The response to Satan’s offer was Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:13 and as soon as it was quoted it says that Satan “left Him.”  In all three scenarios Jesus had resisted the temptations of Satan by standing upon God’s Word.

This truth reminds us that the Word of God is powerful.  It has the power to send Satan running, it has the power to give peace, hope, strength, boldness, comfort, rest, overcome sin, etc.  Therefore, it is vitally important to read, meditate, and hide God’s Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) because “it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Psalm 109:105).  It is “living and active” and “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12) and it is inspired by God and is useful for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” and it is able to equip us “for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Praise God for His Word and what a wonderful privilege and honor we have as believers to read it daily.

By His Grace,

Pastor Travis