God’s preparation for Ministry, for all of us, comes by way of the cross, which Jesus tells us we are to pick up daily and follow Him (Mat 16:24-26)…
This necessitates are putting Christ first and living for Him each and every day!
19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work.
So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.
Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.
I identified myself completely with him.
Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God.
Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
21 Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God?
I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace.
If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
Read Luke 4
PREPARATION OF THE SON OF MAN TO MINISTER (3:1—4:30)
Preparation by His Forerunner (3:1–20)
Luke starts out in chapter 3 identifying the year that John began to preach by naming the political and religious leaders who were then in power—one emperor (Caesar), one governor, three with the title of tetrarch, and two high priests.
The political rulers mentioned imply the iron grip with which the nation of Israel was held in subjugation.
The fact that there were two high priests in Israel indicates that the nation was in disorder religiously as well as politically.
Though these were great men in the world’s estimation, they were wicked, unscrupulous men in God’s eyes.
Therefore when He wanted to speak to men, He by-passed the palace and the synagogue and sent His message to John the son of Zacharias, out in the wilderness.
John immediately traveled to all the region around the Jordan River, probably near Jericho.
There he called upon the nation of Israel to repent of its sins in order to receive forgiveness, and thus be prepared for the coming of the Messiah.
He also called upon the people to be baptized as an outward sign that they had truly repented.
John was a true prophet, an embodied conscience, crying out against sin, and calling for spiritual renewal.
His ministry was thus in fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3–5.
He was a voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Spiritually speaking, Israel was a wilderness at this time.
As a nation, it was arid and cheerless, bringing forth no fruit for God. In order to be ready for the coming of the Lord, the people had to undergo a moral change.
When a king was going to make a royal visit in those days, elaborate preparations were made to smooth the highways and to make his approach as direct as possible.
This is what John called upon the people to do, only it was not a matter of repairing literal Roads, but of preparing their own hearts to receive Him.
In Luke 4, we’re told about the Savior’s Ministry of Kingdom Good News: about Testing, Rejection, and Authority.
“It little matters where we are if we can pray; but prayer is never more real and acceptable than when it rises out of the worst places.
Deep places beget deep devotion.
Depths of earnestness are stirred by depths of tribulation.
Diamonds sparkle most amid the darkness.
He that prays in the depth will not sink out of his depth.
The one that cries out of the depths shall soon sing in the heights.”
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon
After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness.
There Satan tempted Him to reject the Father’s plan for His ministry.
Triumphing over Satan’s temptations, Jesus returned to Galilee, where His own friends rejected Him.
Moving on to Capernaum, Jesus began to give evidence of His unique authority through signs and wonders.
Jesus passed earthly testing by the devil, and ministry rejection by hometown people, before He entered the ministry of kingdom good news.
Testing people who minister for Him is God’s way of preparing them to minister.
He wants to give us experience in relying on Scripture and experiencing Him rather than on human qualifications, methods, and abilities.
Chapter 4 starts out when John the Baptist disappears and Jesus takes center stage.
The One coming to baptize with the Spirit and with fire (3:16), and acknowledged by the dove-appearing Spirit (3:22), now followed the Spirit into ministry.
His first stop was the desert, a place of isolation and desolation, outside the urban life of the city, outside the cultivated life of the farm country.
It was on the stony, barren slopes of the Judean mountains toward the Dead Sea and lower Jordan River valley.
Here robbers and revolutionaries gathered.
Civilized people avoided the wilderness. But here Jesus followed the Spirit in faith.
The stay proved long and arduous—forty days without family, friends, fellowship, or food.
Only one other person ventured into the desert with Jesus: the devil,
Mr. Temptation himself. Jesus faced the slandering, tempting adversary for over a month with no physical resources.
He had to depend on spiritual strength.
Jesus did not fast because this was a religious requirement.
Jesus fasted to devote full time to God’s business and God’s presence rather than devote time to satisfying His personal needs.
Ministry and devotion took top priority over physical hunger and self-satisfaction.
Later, Jesus would teach people to make fasting an intensely personal relationship with God, hiding all signs of it from the outside world (Matt. 6:17).
Facing the devil is certainly the time to fast, to face God as intensely as possible at the same time the devil faces you.
So as Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness for disobeying God, so Jesus stayed forty days in the wilderness in complete obedience to God.
The devil, who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, also tempted Jesus in the wilderness.
Satan is a real being—a created but rebellious angelic being—and not a symbol or an idea.
He constantly fights against God and those who follow and obey God.
Jesus was a prime target for the devil’s temptations.
Satan had succeeded with Adam and Eve, and he hoped to succeed with Jesus as well.
Although Satan’s ultimate defeat is assured (Revelation 20:7-10), he is not to be trifled with; he still wields tremendous power on earth and will do so until the Day of Judgment, when Jesus will come again to set up his eternal Kingdom.
With Jesus’ help, stand firmly against him (see Ephesians 6:10-18).
Sometimes we feel that if the Holy Spirit leads us, it will always be “beside peaceful streams” (Psalm 23:2).
But that is not necessarily true. He led Jesus into the wilderness for a long and difficult time of testing, and he may also lead us into difficult situations.
When facing trials, first make sure you haven’t brought them on yourself through sin or unwise choices.
If you find no sin to confess or unwise behavior to change, then ask God to strengthen you for your test.
Finally, be careful to follow faithfully wherever the Holy Spirit leads.
Thanks to Jesus’ propitious sacrifice and shed blood, on Calvary’s Cross, Satan is already a defeated foe.
The greatest battle that ever took place on this earth is not written about in any of the world’s history-books.
It was on Calvary, when Jesus through His death defeated Satan, the prince of this world.
One verse that you should never forget in your whole life is Hebrews 2:14,15.
I am sure Satan would not like you to know this verse. No one likes to hear about his own defeat or failure, and Satan is no exception.
Here is the verse:
“Since then the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death (His death on Calvary’s cross), He might destroy him who had the power of death that is the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
When Jesus died He made the devil powerless. Why?
So that we might be forever free of Satan and the bondage of fear that he had put on us throughout our lifetime.
There are many types of fears that people in the world have – fear of sickness, fear of poverty, fear of failure, fear of people, fear of the future etc.,
The greatest of all fears however is the fear of death.
Every other fear is inferior to the fear of death. The fear of death leads on to the fear of what will happen after death.
The Bible teaches very clearly that those who live in sin will finally go to hell – the place that God has reserved for those who do not repent.
The devil also will spend eternity in the lake of fire, along with those whom he deceived and led into sin on this earth.
Jesus came to the earth to save us from that eternal hell, by taking the punishment from our sins. He also destroyed Satan’s power over us so that he can never harm us again.
The Bible tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7).
When we are born-again, we become a new creation in Christ, old things are passed away and behold all things have become new (2 Cor 5:17).
To those who are born-again and know who they are in Christ, Satan now becomes a toothless tiger!
New King James Version
11 In Him (Jesus) you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.
And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Satan was permanently defeated at the Cross by Jesus, the crucifixion opened the door for all who believe to be forgiven of their sins and go to heaven.
Satan’s worst day is yet to come where he himself will be thrown into the lake of his own fire (Revelations 20:10)
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
July 6, 2021
Love Worth Finding Ministries
HOW JESUS DEFEATED SATAN
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil.
And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry… And Jesus answered and said to him,
“Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
— Luke 4:1-2, 8
Jesus defeated Satan, but how?
He did not defeat Satan as God, though He was God.
He defeated Satan as a man should defeat Satan—as a man.
Jesus in the wilderness temptation did not pull rank on us.
He used the two weapons that were available to Adam in the garden of Eden and the two weapons that are available to us today: the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
The Bible says that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power; He went about doing good.
He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness. The Holy Spirit of God was upon Him and when Satan came to tempt Him, Jesus unsheathed the Word of God and ran Satan through with the sword.
Jesus defeated Satan by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures, the two weapons given to man by God.
Adam had those same weapons, but where the first Adam fell in a garden, the second Adam won in a wilderness.
Spend time in the Word and prayer today as a practical means of preparing for the attacks of Satan.
Come join the Adventure!