In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, he (John) saw the heavens torn open, and the Spirit like a dove descending on Him (Jesus); and a voice came out of heaven saying: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!” Immediately the [Holy] Spirit forced Him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted [to do evil] by Satan; and He was with the wild animals, and the angels ministered continually to Him.
MARK 1:9-13 AMP
Happy Sunday! Today is the first Sunday after Epiphany and the lessons today at church were about baptism. First Jesus’s baptism and later the baptism of the disciples in Ephesus. This morning’s studies reminded me of when I was baptized. I asked the question in Sunday School “do you remember your baptism?” Most were baptized as infants and did not remember, but one sweet friend did. She recalled a situation similar to mine. My brother and I were baptized on the same day. For me it was like starting anew. It was a time of celebrations? It was also a time to let everyone know what you believe. Jesus’s baptism was much the same. Imagine God’s delight that day.
Verses 12 and 14 tell us that immediately following his baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days where he was tempted by Satan. Can you imagine? I wouldn’t have known what to do with that level of temptation as a young Christian, or even today.
Well, I didn’t have to go into the wilderness as a kid, but since I’ve been teaching Sunday School I am attacked by Satan every Sunday morning. I become physically ill with pain and sickness, and immediately following Sunday School, I’m completely exhausted like I’ve ran a marathon I usually sleep for several hours. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what was happening, but I have no doubts now. So I guess I must be doing something right! Isn’t that great!
Now that I’ve figured out what is going on, I smile and keep moving forward because I know the rewards in heaven will be amazing! First Peter 4:12-13 says “[b]eloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Verse 14 continues “[i]f ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” What seems like a small struggle in the scheme of life makes God happy enough that his glory rests on us!
Has this happened to you before? So what do you do? When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He used God’s word to resist Satan. So, I try to do the same when I experience my mini wilderness on Sunday morning. One of my go to verses is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I purchased a ring that has the quote inscribed on it and I wear it on my finger as a reminder, Philippians 4:13 is just one of a collection of verses that I’m always expanding. I encourage you to learn a collection of verses to use when temptations arise. I don’t know about you, but Satan is not going to keep me from doing God’s work. As a matter of fact, this is just the beginning!
Have a wonderful Sunday. God bless you.