LENT – WEEK 1 – MONDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 8:12-17
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1
There is a reason why the evangelist, with considerable care, states right at the beginning of this Gospel that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, that He fasted there, and was tempted. The reason for this is that no one should ever presume to follow Christ’s example by his own choice and make a selfish fast of it, decided by his own will alone. He should wait for the Spirit, who will send him quite enough fasting and temptation.
Anyone who deliberately courts the danger of hunger or any other temptation when, under the blessing of God, he can eat, drink, and enjoy the other comforts of life, is tempting God. We should never seek out shortages and temptation. They will doubtless come of themselves to give us ample opportunity to do our best in noble fashion.
We read that “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” not “Jesus chose the wilderness for Himself.” Paul also says, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). God gives His blessings for us to use them with thanksgiving and not to despise them. He does not bless us so that we should tempt Him.
PRAYER: Enlighten us and guide us by your Holy Spirit, heavenly Father, that we never presume to tempt you in disregard of your blessings but use them to your greater glory, in and through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.