Archive for May 16th, 2007

Best of Both Worlds?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Luke 4:5-8 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

It may sound blasphemous, but at first glance the devil’s proposition doesn’t seem all that bad to me.

What if Jesus had taken authority over all the kingdoms of the world and received the glory for it? Couldn’t He have run the kingdoms of the world better than anybody else — and still become our Lord and Savior? The big catch is revealed in verse 7: Jesus had to worship the devil in order to do it! If Jesus had made this choice, I suspect His whole ministry would have unraveled. Not such a good idea after all!

The devil seemed to be offering Jesus the best of both worlds. And isn’t that what temptation is often about? What about someone who wants to be a good Christian, but rationalizes that a little dishonesty to get ahead in their business won’t really hurt. We live in a world where the best of both worlds is often encouraged, many times to the point of spiritual crisis. God simply wants us to make a good spiritual choice, which may involve giving up that alluring “other world.”

Sure, there are areas of life in which we can do several things at once, and, in a way enjoy the best of both worlds. But, will the added activity truly fit in our lives, or instead be a distraction from better things we could be doing? Sometimes it’s very hard to tell.

For example, about eight years ago I really wanted to move to Tampa Bay, Florida. Now, though, I can only thank God that I never did! My spouse Dan and I would have missed so many great blessings that God has given us here in Indianapolis, including the unique ministry of Jesus MCC. Even though I’m sure there are some wonderful churches in Tampa Bay, I believe Jesus MCC is where God wants us to be. Back when I wanted to move, I didn’t see it as a temptation at all. Now, though, I think it was! At this point in our lives, there are many things more important than living somewhere that has nice winters!

Of course, there have been times when I’ve made wrong decisions and paid the price. If you have done this, and feel bad about it, just thank God that we are still loved, in spite of any wrong choices we’ve made. And thank God for each new day!

Thought for the day: Lord, when its time to make a decision, help me choose the path You know is best. Help me see which way is right, even though I see through a mirror dimly.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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