We recently moved and now we are within a mile of two donut shops!  Two days ago I was at the memorial of a nurse whom I worked with in northern Kenya in a former famine relief camp.  There was a picture of her with her Irish wolfhound, huge, who sat next to me in the Land Rover my first day on the station, drooling on my parents’ first grandchild, as we returned a woman to her remote village.   So many memories.  The memorial closed with brownie and ice cream.  Two worlds, one without food and one with food that tempts me self indulge exist side by side in my mind.  I visualize the scale telling me I need to loose weight and I want to join friends celebrating.  I invariably will choose to eat and be distressed with myself afterwards.

         Jesus met a similar temptation shortly after his baptism.  He went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days.  Matthew 4: 3-4 tells us,

         “The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of       God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But       he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone,   but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

In the series of three temptations, Jesus is first approached in the arena of food.  He responded with Scripture, our theme this week.  We all have our weak spots when it comes to our appetites.  Perhaps it is not food but it is the desire to fulfill a different drive.  Pornography is popular now and easy with Internet.  Angry, snarky remarks seem to be part of our public debates.  I find it interesting that Jesus did not resort to historical precedent or scientific facts but responded with the clear truth from Scripture that what feeds our appetites should come from the God.  Scripture cut through the debatable to the eternal.

I don’t know your area of temptation to appease your desires today – food, shopping, sex, and gossip – but for sure those desires are there.  Perhaps it will help to pause and ask ourselves, do I need this to live the good life I want?  Am I consuming “bread” or promoting life?  Am I pleasing God or pleasing self?  To be tempted, to want, is not wrong but what we do with it reflects truth about the foundations of our hearts.  Lord, help me seek you first and your kingdom and trust that my wants will be fulfilled.  Blessings.

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