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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Numbers 30-31:54; Luke 4:1-30; Psalm 63:1-11; Proverbs 11:20-21 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. Laws concerning a husband and wife, and father and daughter. Under what circumstances does a woman's vow "hold water."

2. God commands the people to destroy the Midianites, as revenge.

- After this Moses will die and join his ancestors.

- They choose an army, kill all the males (including Balaam) and take the plundered prize back home.

- Moses is furious. This is not quite what they were told to do. He reminds them of the plague and sends them back. This time they are to leave only the virginal girls alive.

3. Division of the plunder

- First it is divided in half. Half to the army, half to the people.

- The army is to give 1/500th to the Lord.

- The people are to give 1/50th to the Lord.

- The army makes an additional atonement "gift," as they had lost no men during the battles.

New Testament

4. The temptation of Jesus.

5. The first temptation focused on Jesus' physical nature. Christ, after fasting for 40 days, was hungry. In response to the temptaion, Jesus recalled,"People (Men) do not live by bread alone." Christ had been led into the wilderness by the Spirit. He had been led to fast. Now He would not let His physical needs or urges dominate: Jesus would choose instead to continue to do the will of God.

- The physical is one area of temptation for many of us. Some are ruled by gluttony. Others are firmly in the grip of sexual appetites.

- We all have physical needs. And it is right to satisfy them. But we are more than our bodies. We are more than our sensations. Life for us is far more than the satisfaction of bodily urges and needs.

- Jesus' victory offers us hope.

6. The second temptation

- Jesus' response to this second temptation, "You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him."

-First ,we have to realize that authority over all the kingdoms of this world is Jesus' destiny. But the pathway to the crown led Jesus by way of the Cross.

- Suffering preceeded glory. Knowing this, Jesus turned His back on the "good," and chose to live by God's will.

- We all know that the cross brought a greater good. God had our greater good in mind as He directed Jesus toward the scourgings and the thorny crown; toward the brutal pain of nails driven into yielding flesh.

- Are you confronted by a "good thing" that attracts you? We are to follow Jesus' example. Determine to do the right thing, determining that in every situation you will worship God, and Him only will you serve!

7. The third temptation

- This one is more subtle. What the passage implies is the question, "Why not settle it?" at least it does to me.

- It says...God won't let His Son come to harm. Prove to yourself the relationship You claim, once and for all.

- Relationship with God must always rest on faith, and on confidence in God's trustworthiness.

- Look back at the stories of the Israelites. How many times did they test God's limits?

- How about our own lives? Do we trust God?

8. Jesus is rejected at Nazareth

- Jesus' neighbors are confronted with a decision they did not wish to make, and a claim they did not wish to hear.

- When we see Jesus, when we come to recognize Him as the Son of God, we must reject either ourselves- or Him.

- We may choose ourselves and surrender to every temptation we feel. But if we do we will never experience the new life Jesus came to bring.

- Or, we may choose Jesus. And so choose to respond to temptations the way Jesus did. We must take our stand on the Word of God, determine to practice that Word, and do it in all confidence that Jesus, the Son of God, will bring us the victories for which we yearn.


9. "Your unfailing love is better than life itself..."


10. "The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity."

See you next post...

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