Monday, June 21, 2010
I remember one time when I was dating my wife Julie in college, we were going from Springfield MO, to Branson, to Joplin and my roommate and I mapped out a "shortcut" to save time. Well, it may have been less distance but it probably took twice as long and we barely found our destination while it was still light out.
Shortcuts...we all try to find them. With summer construction, lane closures, crazy drivers and accidents, any chance we can take a shortcut we are all over it. However, just like my shortcut to Joplin, if we aren't careful the shortcuts can be dangerous and sometimes even derail us from our destination.
Matthew 4 is the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Why don't you pause for a moment and take a minute to read the chapter. If you don't have a bible, just check out http://www.biblegateway.com/ and type in Matthew 4 in the passage search. Did you read it?
3 times Satan tempts Jesus with a shortcut. The ironic thing is that the shortcuts didn't seem that bad in the natural. The first one was to turn the stones into bread. Jesus was fasting so he was extremely hungry...food isn't a bad thing right? Then he was tempted to show off the glory of God and His power. It's not a bad thing for people to see how powerful he was right? Finally, he was tempted to bow down to Satan so he could have control of the earth.
Jesus was tempted to take the easy road but I'm so thankful he didn't. He eventually got all 3 of those things but not the way Satan wanted him to. He eventually finished his fast and we read that he broke bread symbolically teaching His disciples of how his body was going to be broken on the cross for our healing. Later on we see that Jesus raised the dead man Lazarus back to life and showed everyone His power and glory. Finally, after He died on the cross He rose again in 3 days defeating death, hell and the grave taking rightful ownership of this earth and our lives.
What shortcuts are you being tempted with? Shortcuts are just distractions from the real thing! Let's follow God with all our hearts and stay committed to what He has called us to do!