Dear Friend in Christ:
In these beginning weeks of 2019, the Lord has reminded me of the power of His Word. We hear a lot today about “Fake News”, and there certainly is a lot of that coming at us non-stop from so many different directions. However, my focus is on the Good News given to us in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.
The Bible is our compass, which we are able to read through the grace and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word shows us the target and keeps our aim true. When I was a little boy, my mother taught me a short song based on Psalm 119:11, which says: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that we are not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Word of God transforms us as we read it, meditate upon it, memorize it, pray it, sing it, share it, and fellowship with the One Who wrote it. Our minds are renewed, our hearts are strengthened, and our behavior is changed; not by external force, but by internal transformation.
LIVING BY THE WORD
Luke 3 shows us Jesus, Who, had just enjoyed an amazing experience being baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin John the Baptist. John prophesied over Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah. Father God filled Jesus with the Holy Spirit and declared: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased.”
Life doesn’t get any better than that—to receive your identification and approval directly from the Father! The anointing of the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. It was a truly glorious moment!
Out of this wonderful experience recorded in Luke 3, we move into chapter 4:
“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 the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’” (Luke 4:1-4).
Jesus was filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. So far, so good. He was led by the Spirit … into the wilderness. Wait. What? He was led where? Surely not! The Holy Spirit wouldn’t lead Jesus into the wilderness. Would He? Would the Spirit ever lead me into the wilderness? Or you?
The wilderness is a hostile and barren place. In that vast wilderness where Jesus was, there is no food or water or trees. Temperatures can soar to 120 degrees. There are scorpions there. There’s not a Holiday Inn for miles!