The other day I was reading in Matthew just after I had planned to write yesterday’s post on scripture memory. As I read through Matthew 4, it hit me. Jesus was actually fighting against temptation using scripture he had memorized himself.
Christians read about this temptation scene so often, but I think we don’t really take in what Jesus is doing as a practical example for how to fight temptation, though we should. Sermons tend to focus on the truths actually presented without pointing out that if we are in the midst of battles and temptation, follow Jesus. He used scripture itself to cut through the lies of the devil.
Of course I don’t want to underplay the truths that we should be looking at, but just focusing what is said is not including what was done.
Remember that as much as Jesus is God, he is also a man. Does that mean his brain magically worked better than our human brain, and he knew the scriptures before he ever read them? Maybe. Maybe so. But nonetheless he still needed the scripture to fight the temptation.
Remember that scripture also says he was like us in every respect, tempted like we were, and yet he came out spotless. If we would like to be similar to him in every respect, we should do what he does, pray as he does, love as he does, and fight temptation as he does.
Along with this, Jesus instructed us to fight temptation with prayer by praying for the day before going into it. Paul instructed us to pray without ceasing. In other places we are instructed to keep the words of God on our lips at all times and to increase in the knowledge of God. If we’re going to have scripture on our hearts and minds, ready to be used in a battle against temptation, we’ve got to memorize it.
I am positive you would be incredibly surprised in your personal struggles to discover how powerful scripture is in turning your tastes for the things of the world into an insatiable appetite for the matters of God. Bobby and I can attest to how scripture memory will change your life. He has become so passionate for the word of God, he has memorized whole books of the Bible.
If you’d like to read about memorization from Bobby himself, this little freebie is for you:
Is there a struggle you have that you haven’t seen much victory in? Do you use scripture to fight temptation?
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