1st Sunday of Lent
If you are the Son of God … (Matthew 4:3)
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17; Romans 5:12-19;Matthew 4:1-11
Imagine if Jesus came up to you today, embraced you, and said, “You are my greatest treasure!” Wouldn’t you be shocked and speechless? Well, during this Lenten season, you will have numerous opportunities for this to happen. Day after day, in prayer and in the Scriptures, you will have the chance to let Jesus show you your true dignity and identity as his beloved brother or sister.
In today’s Gospel, we read how Satan tried to get Jesus to question his identity. He prefaced his temptations by saying, “If you are the Son of God …” He knew that if Jesus became unsure of his Father’s love and wisdom, it was much more likely that he would walk away from the plan God had laid out for him. But Satan’s plan didn’t work. Jesus knew who he was, and he clung to the word of God so that he could stay focused on his Father.
God wants you to stand firm on the truth just as Jesus did. He wants to convince you that you belong to him. He wants to make it clear that he is completely committed to you. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? But we all can point to ways that the devil tries to knock us off our foundation in Christ. There seems to be no end to his attempts to discourage us and trap us in our fears and weaknesses so that we won’t bother to pray.
When these temptations come, follow Jesus’ example, and hold on to Scripture. You are God’s child, born of the incorruptible seed of his own word (1 Peter 1:23). You are part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (2:9). You have been made alive with Jesus (Ephesians 2:5) and set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Your heavenly Father will supply all your needs out of the riches of his own glory (Philippians 4:19).
There are so many promises. Hold on to them! Believe them—and watch the devil flee!
“Thank you, Lord, for claiming me as your own!”