The Story of Good – Learning to Steward the Good Within.
For the second test (Satan) led Him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, “They’re Yours in all their splendor to serve Your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re Yours, the whole works.”Jesus refused, again backing His refusal with Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.”For the third test the Devil took Him to Jerusalem and put Him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘He has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”“Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’” ~ Luke 4: 5-12 (TM)
The scenery changed.
The three of us were all standing on the edge of a deep abyss.
I was afraid to look down, so I kept my eyes fixed on Jesus.
His countenance remained the same.
Calm, cool and collected.
The stranger pointed out toward the horizon. “Look,” he said,
“Spread out before You are all the kingdoms of the earth.
They’re Yours in all their splendor to serve Your pleasure.
I’m in charge of them all,
And can turn them over to whomever I wish.
Worship me and they’re Yours, the whole works.”
Returning to Deuteronomy,
Jesus responded in no uncertain terms,
“Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God.
Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.”
The stranger stood there for several minutes,
Looking into the eyes of Jesus.
No words were spoken,
But I could tell that the man was not pleased.
Once again, his left hand went under his long, flowing robe,
And for a second time, we were transported,
This time to a bustling Middle-Eastern city.
We were perched high above the crowds below.
People were gawking,
Acting as though we were the only show in town.
The winds were so strong I was afraid,
I would be blown right off my feet.
The stranger in the robe raised his voice,
“If you are God’s Son,” the man proclaimed, “Jump!”
“It’s written, isn’t it,
That ‘He has placed You in the care of angels to protect You;”
“They will catch You;
You won’t so much as stub Your toe on a stone’?”
“Yes,” replied Jesus,
“And it’s also written, don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’”
Suddenly, in a flash of light,
The whole scene exploded into a blazing fire.
I cringed as I felt myself falling toward the ground.
It was then I felt that same strong hand on my shoulder.
I looked up and there was Jesus,
Looking intently into my eyes.
Ponder on these things:
Jesus resisted Satan by using God’s Word to speak light and truth into darkness. What scriptures of promise and hope are planted deep within you?
What feelings are evoked as you speak those scriptures out loud?
Over a period of about eight weeks (3 sessions per week), we will take you on a poetic journey (26-sessions) we call The Story of Good. We suggest you bookmark our blog series homepage to keep all the writings in one place for your future reference. Take note that each blog session begins with a short scripture reading. My suggestion is that you don’t hurry through, or skip the text, but treat it as a Lectio Divina reading where you slow down and sit a bit with God’s Word, allowing it to penetrate and influence you as you read. Each session also ends with a few thoughts to ponder on. I look forward to hearing some of your insight as we journey together!
Oh, and if you enjoy what you’re reading here, we encourage you to share this page and our website, The Contemplative Activist, with your friends!
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