tempered, tempted & true

Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. The tempter came to him and said, “Since you are God’s Son, command these stones to become bread.”
Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.”

After that the devil brought him into the holy city and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “ Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down; for it is written, I will command my angels concerning you, and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.”

Jesus replied, “Again it’s written, Don’t test the Lord your God.”

Then the devil brought him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He said, “I’ll give you all these if you bow down and worship me. ”

Jesus responded, “ Go away, Satan, because it’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” The devil left him, and angels came and took care of him. (Matthew 4:1-11 CEB)

Wilderness. Waiting. Weakness.

Devil. Deceit. Decision.

Temptation. Testing. Trial.

Jesus. Jagged. Judgment.

Scripture. Strength. Success.

Angels. Assistance. Advance.

Word. Worship. Wonder.

Father in heaven, today, and in the coming forty days, help me to be emptied of self and full of you, fixed on you and focusing on others. For I pray here in this wilderness in the name of my Lord Jesus. Amen.

good God, good people

Have you ever really stopped to think about what the word conveys? I mean, is there a word more commonly used, but more commonly overlooked in meaning, than the word “good?”

Whatever is good is centered in God, for God alone is truly good. God is the one who defines what is good. He’s the one who enables us to recognize and appreciate good whenever and wherever we see it. Without God, there is nothing good.

Good is whatever is beautiful in the eyes of God. Good is whatever emulates the kindness of our beautiful, loving God. Whatever is truly good is his beauty and kindness rolled up into one and reflective of him. What is good is whatever is beautiful to give and receive as well in the name of God and is whatever is kinder to the other than it is to self.

It is … good. And good is what we, as God’s people, are to be about.

… show hospitality, love what is good, and be reasonable, ethical, godly, and self-controlled. (Titus 1:8 CEB)

… be reverent in … behavior, teaching what is good … (Titus 2:3 CEB)

Offer yourself as a role model of good actions. (Titus 2:7 CEB)

He gave himself for us in order to … cleanse a special people for himself who are eager to do good actions. (Titus 2:14 CEB)

… be obedient and ready to do every good thing. (Titus 3:1 CEB)

… so that those who have come to believe in God might give careful attention to doing good. These things are good and useful for everyone. (Titus 3:8 CEB)

… our people should also learn to devote themselves to doing good … so they aren’t unproductive. (Titus 3:14 CEB)

The only other alternative in life is neither beautiful or kind, but simply …

… detestable, disobedient, and disqualified to do anything good. (Titus 1:16 CEB)

Good. It’s a common word, but it’s about an uncommonly good God who works uncommonly good things through people God counts as good.

Father God, help me to choose the good life today; to be, and to give in all that I do today, what is lovely like you and kind like you. To be good for you, in the good name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.