At once the Spirit sent him [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted. He began his public ministry this way. The Holy Spirit sent him into the desert where Satan tempted and tempted and tempted Jesus. The good news is that Jesus never once gave in to any of those temptations. He knew that doing so would be wrong and a sin against God. If he did, he would fail to be the Savior. It didn’t matter if no one else was looking. Sin is still sin whether someone sees our sin or not because God sees all.
Jesus lived each day as a sinless one, overcoming every temptation. The good news is that Jesus lived this perfect life in our place. The blessed result is that through faith in Jesus, God sees us clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus, our Savior.
Such a wonderful message not only lifts us up when we’re mindful of our many failings, but it also strengthens us with the resolve that we, by God’s power, can overcome temptations. God gives us the strength to walk away. God empowers us to say “No,” even when no one is looking. And when we fail, God’s promise of his full forgiveness strengthens us to return once again to the fight, knowing full well that Jesus has defeated the tempter, who has no power over us.
Lord Jesus, when my thoughts, words and deeds become impure, have mercy when I become defiled. Forgive, lift up, restore me, your child. Amen.
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