Daily Dose, March 12 — Lent

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:1-4)

The temptation of Jesus is always a good read for the person trying to do the right thing. The story is a solid reminder that evil is in the world, constantly nipping at your heels. Most folk regard the Devil as comedy, which explains much of the tragedy that is everywhere to be found. Jesus regarded the Devil as his key adversary, and the simple acknowledgement of the reality gives the reader a leg up.

“Turn the stones into bread,” was the temptation -- which doesn’t sound all that bad. But it was a subtle and sinister push toward taking matters into his own hands. rather than trusting God to provide. Jesus knew better. He understood that satisfying his immediate appetite was not the big issue. Hearing God and trusting God and obeying God is always the big issue. Our lives get into a tangled mess, not because we rob a bank, but because we immediately attend to our most pressing appetite. -- Dr. Don Martin