Turning Evil Away, a Lenten Devotion

Throughout Lent, we will be featuring devotions by members of a writing group at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines, NC.

Luke 4:1-13

The first time I remember being faced with temptation, I was 4 years old. I was in the checkout line at the drug store with my mom and sister. There was a lovely display of candy by the register and I begged my mom to buy me a little Reece’s cup, but she kept saying no. I was convinced that I needed it and was going to starve unless I had that one tiny bite of chocolate peanut butter candy. When she wouldn’t buy it for me, I did something I’d never done before (and never did again, for the record). I stole it. Our next stop was the Harris Teeter next door. I somehow managed to sneak a bite of that Reece’s cup, but became so overwhelmed with guilt that I wrapped the rest of it up and threw it in the trash. I didn’t come clean to my mom until years later, but I have always remembered the entire experience, especially the shame I felt after I fell to temptation. Through the years, I’ve often been faced with temptation on a much greater scale; sometimes I’ve beat it, but too many times I’ve fallen short.

Luke 4 is the ultimate example of the perfection and blamelessness of Jesus. He was faced with every single temptation that we face as humans and felt it even more deeply and brutally. Yet he never once fell to the Devil’s schemes; not even in his mind. This absolutely blows my mind. It makes his sacrifice for us that much greater, and that much stronger. The perfect lamb was slain to save the adult who makes huge mistakes, and also to save the little girl who stole a $0.25 piece of candy. There is no temptation we face, big or small, that God does not understand. There is nothing we have ever experienced that Jesus does not deeply feel and relate to.

As I face temptation as an adult, I’m inspired and encouraged by this passage. There is nothing ahead of me that Jesus did not face and conquer. And with his strength, we can all turn the Devil away.

What temptations are you facing that Jesus can help you turn away from?

Lord, help us to see where we are being tempted, and help us to turn evil away like you did. Amen.

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