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Spiritual development for intelligent people
Blog: God-in-a-Box—Your Inbox
Welcome to God-in-a-Box
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We hope this becomes a dependency. Strange thing for a therapist to say. But we are dependent on God for life and peace and joy. Spending time with Him every day (imagining these vignettes) will enhance your life and growth as nothing else can.
Misinformation about God is rampant out there today. This is good stuff--agreeing with the best interpretation you can put on Scripture.
Below, Love's Playbook, Arla's new series, is the first interpretive version of the Bible -- it's God's love story like you've never read it--written to keep you reading! (Images are Amazon linked )
By Arla, Jun 18 2020 01:00AM
Satan now "wows" Jesus with a show of power, transporting him to the highest point of the temple. Still in disguise, Satan compliments Jesus' faith and invites him to prove God by putting His word to the test.
"If you are the son of God, throw yourself down from here for it is written, 'He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you'..." he quotes scripture!* But the twist he gives it shows his true identity...Go ahead, push God to prove Himself and His Messiah--wow Israel into believing you. Again he insinuates that Jesus is not God's son.
Jesus knows that the true motive of testing God is unbelief. God had already given evidence of His love and approval. Asking for proof would be doubting what He'd already done and said.
So responding, Jesus cites Exodus 17, where Israel tested God after having evidence of His care, "It is also written, do not put the Lord your God to the test." Using God's words or His love to back your self-serving behavior is not faith. It's presumption. It presumes God will tolerate evil. He may or may not for now, but evil changes you. Doubt gives evil entrance.
If God allows you to be tested, He has a reason for your good, don't doubt Him...He's refining the gold in your character. An escape is ready--and it is giving thanks for God's love and care. No matter how things look. He still loves and cares.**
God asks us to trust because He loves us, to ask for proof proves unbelief.
Matthew 4: 5-7, Luke 4:5-10 *Psalm 91:11-12 Notice he stops before verse 13--giving us power over him! **1Corinthians 10:13
By Arla, Jun 16 2020 01:00AM
Satan comes pretending to be an angel of light sent to Jesus by God to end his fast. His scheme: If I can get him to use his power for himself, I'll win the war. If I can shake his confidence in God, their whole plan to save man will fail.
Imagine Satan saying a powerful angel has been banished from heaven and Jesus looks like that angel, suggesting that God has forsaken him. Why else would he be so weak and raggedy?
The struggle is fierce inside Jesus. The suggestion--you are not who you think you are, you are not the object of God's care but have deluded yourself--looks true.
So Satan invites him to make bread from the stones around him, which look like the loaves Jesus has eaten his whole life. "If you are the son of God, turn these stones into bread. Prove it."
As soon as Satan says "if" Jesus knows him. Negativity and asking proof have shown his true character.
Nothing will be gained by proving identity.
He remembers his Father's words at his baptism and rests in His love. I won't even argue with the enemy, he thinks. Jesus knows how Moses and Elijah had been overcome by weariness and deprivation. He will trust God.
And so he quotes words he himself had spoken centuries before, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God."
He thinks God brought me into the wilderness; God will keep me here and bring me out.
Matthew 4:2-4, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-4
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If you like this series, see Arla's new series on the Bible>