Because He Knew the Truth

JULY 8

MATTHEW 6:18_That thou appear not unto men to fast…

We have discussed how after His baptism, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into a time of great self-denial. Matthew 4:1-4 (KJV), “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But he [Jesus] answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”

There were no people in this wilderness experience. Jesus did not have anyone to show-off His great piety for God. The devil came up with another form of temptation, since his, “See how good I am,” scheme would not work. The devil tempts Jesus to break the fast and eat. Jesus overcame the temptation because He knew the truth – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Jesus understood the purpose for His fast. He was led to fast in preparation for His earthly ministry. Jesus knew He needed this set-apart time.

You may think the cross was the only sacrifice Jesus made for you – but there is so much more.

PRAYER

Lord God, Praise You for all the sacrifices You made for me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ gave all of Himself—He did it to love me!

What’s Important Is …

JULY 5

MATTHEW 6:17_But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head…

Count on Jesus to teach the truth! He will not leave you dangling with a question mark. Once again, He has taught the wrong way, now He will teach the right way.

Anointing may sound a little unusual but it is all through the Bible. Anointing, performed with oil, was generally performed by priests. The purpose was to set-apart, or consecrate, or designate someone or something to/for God. 

I am going to stray from fasting and hypocrites just for today. This is a good place to discuss another viewpoint of anointing. I view baptism as a type of anointing. Baptism is all about set-apartness, designation, and consecration. It is a way to seal a contract of belonging to God. Baptism should be viewed as a serious act – as serious as your dedication to becoming a disciple of Jesus. 

Baptism can be another sad case of church bickering – how it is performed and at what age. Jesus was thirty years old before He was baptized. What’s important is baptism goes with belonging to God. Count on the Holy Spirit to direct you to be baptized, or to apply your new faith to an old baptism. Or if you feel so led – have a re-do.

Trust and obey – don’t bicker and argue.      

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want an anointing in my life as a way of belonging to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ was baptized—It is part of discipleship!