Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Persecution and Obedience

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

Matthew 4:1

Temptations are not games. God also did not became human in order to battle with the devil to see how he would measure up as a human. We should not do this either. The temptations that Jesus had to go through as a human, were for our behalf. We know from the Bible that Satan accuses people in front of God regularly (Revelation 12:10), that he makes sly attacks against us (Ephesians 6:11) and walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). We are standing in an invisible war, as is written in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Jesus stood at the front of this battle. Sometimes I question whether the Son of God could not have completed His mission without persecutions and temptations? But, I cast this thought aside immediately again, because I would most probably have had a real problem with the consequences. In Hebrews 4:15 we thus read consequentially: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” We must not get involved with things or endure them who know God only through hearsay – He knows better than we do and no one has tasted sin as our Saviour Jesus Christ! For this reason the Man Jesus Christ was able to approach believers better than anyone else – Psalm 119:151: “Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.” That makes the grace even huger! God became man, so that He could die to save believers (Hebrews 2:14). That was the mission – the Almighty came to me. Not in power and glory and irresistible charm, but as the Lamb of God, to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7).

God did all of this only for the sake of the salvation of our souls. For this reason HE quasi invented the Gospel and became equal to us Hebrews 2:17-18 “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” The Gospel is the most important, but for God it was about the fact that every single believer should work out his eternal salvation and experience his personal sanctification (only one who is sanctified can also be made righteous) and be blessed through it. This also has to do with obedience. There is no self-righteous mask and every Christian who wants to follow Jesus, must also experience hate and persecution (John 15:18-20). In what measure and in what manner and in what time may differ. Not every temptation and persecution appears as such. Many dark sinful enticements come direct from within ourselves (James 1:14). The question then is, what we should do? That which I pressurize myself with is sometimes also negligent as we are all challenged by our own fleshly lusts 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” For this reason we should not run after every temptation – they come automatically. But, the resistance and obedience must come from within myself. That which strengthens my faith is allowed – but I am not the director of my own life, only the principal actor. Our internal person must contain a godly profile (will) and this in all love and truth. What we don't understand now, we will understand in heaven and our joy will be everlasting. We have God's Word of this!

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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