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The good news for the day March 5, 2017

The First Sunday of Lent (222)

Early on, Jesus was led by the Spirit into isolation to be tested by The Opponent. He fasted 40 days and 40 nights; He got hungry. The Tempter approached him, saying “If you really are the Child of God, make these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Then the Opponent took him to the holy city; he made Jesus stand on the highest point of the temple area, and said, “If you are the Child of God, throw yourself down into the valley. It has been written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you stub your toe on a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again—it is written, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

Then the Tester took him up to a very high mountain, and indicated to Him all nations of the world in their splendor; to Jesus he says: “All these I’ll give to you, if you will humble yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get out of here, my Adversary! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. (Matthew 4)

What the devil—the opponent—of the Child of God says, he says to you.

First temptation: “Change your Father’s world for your good; make it serve you, make stones of creation yield a profit for you.” YOU: Nature—the world around me–brings God’s words to be appreciated; it nourishes—a gift just as it is.

Second temptation: “Trust your father to work wonders for your benefit—prove His existence and care.” YOU: My Father is not that God. He is not “provable” nor One to be checked out for existence and care. Our Father loves me. Period.

Third temptation: “You can become the most powerful person in the world—if, by lying and cheating, you worship me.” YOU: Only loving God our Father and caring for our neighbor as ourselves—only there lies living, real power and ultimate satisfaction.

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